Category Archives: MOVERS & SHAKERS

Australian cupcake mogul Katelyn Matheson on track to make fortune — before her 21st birthday

WHEN Katelyn Matheson was 18, she decided to earn a little extra pocket money by selling homemade cupcakes at her local farmers’ market.

She made a few hundred dollars after selling 150 cakes after her first day — a fortune for a teenage TAFE cookery student.

But word of mouth spread, and within days she was being inundated with orders and requests via her Facebook page.

Soon, she was baking 5000 cupcakes a week to keep up with demand, and her business, Cake Creations by Kate, was born. Support this industrious girl & buy her products Australia.

“I was still living with mum at the time and I did it all in her kitchen — poor thing; I took over the house,” she said.

“It turned into a massive thing. On Friday nights there used to be cars everywhere on our street with people lined up at our door to pick up orders.

“It started out as a way to earn a little bit of extra money while I was studying but all of a sudden, people were asking about the cupcakes non-stop. I didn’t predict it would get this big.”

Ms Matheson remembers setting up trestle tables throughout her mother’s house one night to hold 4000 cupcakes that had been ordered — that was her mother’s breaking point, and the teen realised it was time to take the business to the next level.

She decided to lease a shop at her local shopping centre, but centre management asked her to trial a temporary, pop-up store first as they were concerned the then-19-year-old was too young to handle the responsibilities of a long-term lease.

They shouldn’t have been.

There was a “20m line” of eager customers waiting from the moment the store opened — and Ms Matheson had completely sold out within an hour-and-a-half.

She signed a lease almost immediately and today Ms Matheson runs two stores with a third set to open in inner-Melbourne’s QV centre this month, and with more pop-up stores to follow.

She’s also established partnerships with corporate and wholesale clients including ANZ, Crown Casino, Myer, NAB, Optus and Telstra and has branched into wedding cakes and party favours as well.

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I’m the luckiest girl is the world to have this amazing lady as my Mum, she is always so caring and puts everyone before herself, she is my biggest fab, she always supports me no matter what & her kind heart and generous natures makes everyone smile around her. Thank you Mum for being the best Mum & I hope all the Mums have a great day and get spoilt with love today

And it seems the cupcake business is a lucrative one — Ms Matheson is on track to make $1.6 million by the end of 2018, well before her 21st birthday.

She said the degree of her success had been “crazy” — but insists getting rich was never her objective.

“It’s absolutely never been my goal and I’ve never lost sight of my passion on this whole journey,” she said.

“I don’t wake up thinking about money. People say I must love making lots of money on big days like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, but that’s not my goal — I love what I do, creating desserts people love, and I never let money get in the way.

“But it’s nice to be so young and have the opportunity to make some money and be successful. I never came from a really wealthy family and my family always taught me the importance of genuine hard work.”

Ms Matheson said her success had happened so quickly she has had little chance to enjoy it, working around the clock and investing a lot of her revenue back into her company through kitchen supplies and equipment to streamline the business.

And she stressed her phenomenal success has also come with many challenges.

“It definitely hasn’t all been smooth sailing. It sounds like it’s all rainbows and unicorns but it has come with a lot of hardship. Especially being so young, there are challenges when you start making money — I was investing every single cent into new equipment, with one machine costing $35,000,” she said.

“And it becomes harder the more staff you employ. Next week our 20th staff member will come on board and it is hard to manage so many different people, but I’m learning to be versatile and a strong, independent woman.”

She said the secret ingredient to her success has been hard work, quality ingredients and treating staff well.

Ms Matheson’s signature cupcakes include Rainbow, Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate and Jam Donut.

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Henry Sapiecha

Meet Lex Greensill and the fintech that’s Australia’s newest $2b success story

A supply chain financing company with its roots in regional Queensland Australia, Greensill, has become the country’s next $1 billion-plus unicorn, thanks to a $US250 million ($336 million) venture capital injection from growth equity firm General Atlantic, which also creates the country’s newest top rich listers.

Queenslander Lex Greensill started his own finance supply-chain company that’s now worth $2.2 billion. John Chapple

Greensill, founded in 2011 in London by Bundaberg-born farmer Lex Greensill, 41, provides businesses in industries from telecommunications to manufacturing with working capital based on their invoices, allowing them to be paid faster and fulfil the work, without shortening payment terms for the buyers.

The capital raise, which is the first for the previously bootstrapped company that had only taken capital from family and friends, values Greensill at $US1.64 billion and makes Mr Greensill and his brother Peter, who runs the family sugar cane and sweet potato farm in Bundaberg, collectively billionaires.

“The business is extraordinarily capital efficient and we’ve invested fully ourselves in growing the business because we wanted to maintain control,” Mr Greensill told The Australian Financial Review.

“The firm is still substantially owned by myself and the staff and I’m very proud of that … Dozens and dozens of our employees have become millionaires on the back of this.

“We weren’t looking to raise at all. General Atlantic approached us and the strength of their experience in multiple markets where we’re looking to grow, combined with the capital and expertise, made it worthwhile. But there are no plans to raise again or do an initial public offering.”

The investment from General Atlantic, which gives it a minority stake in the company, will allow the business to aggressively expand in major markets where it’s only got a small presence – China, India and Brazil – as well as rolling out in Africa.

From Bundaberg QLD to London

Having been raised on his family farm and seeing his parents deal with long payment terms, Mr Greensill worked full time in a law firm after finishing high school and undertook a law degree by correspondence.

After becoming a solicitor, he joined a few start-ups based in Sydney during the dotcom boom, one of which was in supply-chain finance.

This venture ultimately failed and Mr Greensill went on to be involved in a few other start-ups, before making the move to London and eventually starting Morgan Stanley’s supply-chain finance business, before moving to Citibank during the global financial crisis and becoming managing director of its supply-chain finance business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

But Mr Greensill, who has also been an adviser to former British prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama, said he became frustrated with the big banks’ inability to adopt new technologies quickly and decided to start his own firm.

“I ultimately decided there was a bigger opportunity outside of the bank because so much of the market was not being served by them and they weren’t adopting technology at the pace I thought they needed to,” he said.

“Our business model is that we work on an industrial scale. We’re low margin and we’re passing through the advantage of the extraordinary access we have to Greensill Bank [in Germany] and capital market financing through to battlers in Australia and the 56 markets we serve.

“Full enrolment online takes under one minute and in terms of accepting legal terms and conditions, it takes just one click. We marry our financial and capital markets technology as one of the biggest bond issuers in Europe, together with access to the enterprise resource planning systems of our customers in order to make credit available.”

‘I’m a farmer at heart’

Greensill bought a German bank in 2013, whose balance sheet it uses to invest in its various programs.

The company is growing at around 300 per cent year-on-year and in Australia it has gone from providing $US800 million in working capital to businesses in 2017 to more than $3 billion in the first six months of 2018.

In 2017 it made a profit of $US32.9 million on $US115.9 million in revenue.

“We see ourselves as the Amazon of the working capital world … We’ve come a long way, but the marketplace we play in is quite enormous,” Mr Greensill said.

“Our market share today is about 0.4 per cent, in a market with the potential size of a $US3.5 trillion asset requirement. That’s the market we’re going after. We want to go from 0.4 per cent to [the full] $US3.5 trillion.”

Mr Greensill’s brother Peter also sits on the board of the company, but day-to-day runs the family farming business, which is separate to Greensill.

While the company was founded in the UK, Greensill is still registered in Bundaberg and Mr Greensill, who was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire last year, has no intention of ever changing that, admitting he’s still a farmer at heart.

“Bundaberg is my home. It’s where I came from and I visited there about eight times last year with my wife and. We have never considered the thought of changing our roots,” he said.

“I’m a farmer at heart. Whenever I’m home I jump on a tractor and have a play. I don’t think of myself as a corporate titan.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Domino’s boss scores massive multi million $$$$ pay day from cheap pizza

AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.

A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.

The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.

Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.

After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.

“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.

“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.

The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.

ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.

According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.

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Henry Sapiecha

ANOTHER AUSSIE UNICORN: Design newbie Canva now valued at above $US1 billion in its latest capital raising

 

Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva. Photo: Supplied.

Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns with a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

The valuation is based on a $US40 million series A funding round. It is the sixth funding round since the company was founded 4½ years ago by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.

The latest funding won the support of one of Silicon Valley’s top five venture capitalists, Sequoia Capital, which was an early investor in Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo and LinkedIn.

Canva chief executive Ms Perkins said the money raised from existing and new shareholders would be used to expand the company’s range of online design and publishing products.

“We are in 190 countries, in 100 languages and we have done about 1 per cent of what is possible,” she told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at the company’s Sydney head office in inner-city Surry Hills.

“I know we have a $US1 billion valuation but we like to say we are a baby unicorn,” Ms Perkins said. “There is a lot more to do before we are grown up.”

When asked about her ambition for Canva, Ms Perkins did not hesitate before saying: “I think we can make Canva the most valuable tech company in the world.”

To achieve that ambition Canva will have to expand its market value about 900 times to beat the $US890 billion valuation of Apple, the world’s largest company.

That goal sounds outrageous considering Canva lost $3.3 million in the year to June 2017.

But Rick Baker, a partner of Canva shareholder Blackbird Ventures, said Canva is possibly one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time measured in terms of percentage growth in recurring revenue.

The company earns revenue from a subscription model.

“Canva is making huge strides in democratising design for everyone,” he said. “Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional.”

Mr Baker first met Ms Perkins and Mr Obrecht in 2010 before they had launched Canva.

“I convinced them to delay their first seed funding round until after Blackbird Ventures was established,” he said.

“Our first investment as a venture capital firm was the $250,000 we invested in Canva.”

Breaking silos

Lots of smart money has supported the Canva business, including Australian entrepreneurs Paul Bassat from SEEK and Daniel Petre from AirTree Ventures.

The company has attracted heaps of attention in Silicon Valley USA.

Early investors were Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, former Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

A number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms apart from Sequoia have backed Canva including Felicis Ventures, Vayner Capital, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.

Ms Perkins admitted that Canva’s two major competitors were design software companies Adobe and Microsoft.

But she said Canva was built on breaking down the silos and complexity that are part and parcel of using the products sold by Adobe and Microsoft.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Ms Perkins said.

“Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.

“This extra financing will bring us that much closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

Canva’s growth rates in terms of customer usage of its platform have been staggering.

After eight months of existence about 350,000 designs were being created each month. After 20 months of existence about 3 million designs were created each month.

Today, after 52 months in operation, Canva’s platform is handling about 34 million designs a month.

The idea for Canva had its roots in the lounge room of Ms Perkins’s family home in the northern Perth suburb of Duncraig. She and Mr Obrecht started a printing company called Fusion Books, which printed school yearbooks.

Cameron Adams, a former Google engineer, joined the company as a co-founder before its first round of seed funding in 2013.

Since then the company has raised $US81 million.

Atlassian became a unicorn well before it listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with a valuation of $US6 billion in 2015. Its market valuation is now $US11.9 billion.

This post appeared at the AFR.com. See the original here.

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Henry Sapiecha

Palmer notches $200m court win against Chinese state-owned enterprise Citic Pacific

Clive Palmer has described his victory in the long-running royalties battle in the Pilbara against Chinese state-owned enterprise Citic Pacific as a “win for all Australians”.

Palmer was awarded around $200 million in damages and a further $200 million to be paid annually for the next 30 years by the Western Australian Supreme Court last week in the dispute over royalty payments.

The dispute stems back to dealings between the two parties in 2006. Citic had paid Palmer $US415 million as part of takeover agreement, which included two separate royalties, for the Sino Iron project.

However, Citic refused to pay the second royalty, causing Minerlogy to make the claim in court.

WA Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Martin ruled that Citic’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Sino Iron and Korean Steel pay Palmer’s Mineralogy the damages.

“This is a win for Australian law over Chinese Communist Government powerhouses who have wasted precious court time, resources and energy,” Palmer said.

“Many Australian companies have lost these battles because they haven’t been able to afford to fight them.

“For too long they have used their power to try and crush Australian enterprise and thankfully today justice has been served.”

Another hearing will take place this week to address remaining issues in the dispute.

Henry Sapiecha

Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes confesses to having impostor syndrome

The man in the baseball cap and hoodie may be Australia’s 17th richest individual but is scared of being found out as an impostor.

As a keynote speaker at TEDxSydney, Mike Cannon-Brookes  confessed he suffered from impostor syndrome and most days felt like he did not know what he was doing.

“Have you ever felt out of your depth, like a fraud, and just kind of guessed-slash-bullshitted your way through the situation, petrified that at any time someone was going to call you on it?” he said on Friday.

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“It’s not a fear of failure. It’s not a fear of being unable to do it. It’s more a sensation of  getting away with something, a fear of being discovered, that at any time someone is going to figure it out.

“And if they did figure it out, you’d say to yourself, ‘well, that’s fair enough actually’.”

Mr Cannon-Brookes said when he and his partner, Scott Farquhar started their IT company their main aim was not to wear a suit to work but success brought complications.

Hiring their first HR manager, he did not know what questions to ask and later, attending board meetings in a T-shirt, he found himself  “surrounded by suits, acronyms flying around and feeling like a five-year-old as I write them down secretly in my notebook so that I can look them up on Wikipedia when I get home later”.

“For me impostor syndrome is a feeling of being well out of your depth. Internally you know you’re not experienced enough or qualified enough to justify being there. Yet you are there. And you have to figure a way out because you can’t just get out.”

The Australian Financial Review‘s 2017 Rich List named Mr Cannon-Brookes, 37 and a Sydneysider, as the nation’s 17th most wealthy individual with a personal fortune of $2.51 billion. He co-founded Atlassian , a collaboration software company that helps teams organise, discuss and complete shared work. More than 68,000 organisations – including eBay, Twitter, Coca-Cola, Visa, BMW and NASA – use Atlassian’s products.

Mr Cannon-Brookes joked he had met his wife posing as an impostor.

A weekly commuter to San Francisco some years back, he was in the Qantas lounge when she approached mistaking him for somebody else. He did not disabuse her of her initial impression.

“Classic Aussie bullshit became some sort of forward movement and a phone number … a decade later she is my wife and we have four children,” he said.

Mr Cannon-Brookes thought most successful people “felt like frauds” but the key was to realise they were out of their depth and harness self-doubt as a force for good.

Recently, when South Australia had a power crisis he saw something on Twitter that Tesla thought it could solve the situation so he fired off some tweets only to see the media descend on him as “some sort of expert in energy”.

At the time, he said, he did not know the difference between a AA battery and 100 megawatt battery.

“A chronic case of  impostor syndrome … I remember thinking, ‘I’ve kind of started something here I can’t really get out. If I abandon the situation, I could set back renewables in Australia and maybe look like a complete idiot on Twitter’. All I could do was to not freeze and try to learn,” he said.

He ended up brokering talks between Tesla boss Elon Musk, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and PM Malcolm Turnbull on the nation’s energy shortages.

Henry Sapiecha

 

AUSTRALIAN MILLION DOLLAR GOLD COIN HAS BEEN RELEASED

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Premier Colin Barnett today unveiled the world’s first coin to feature a significant red diamond from Rio Tinto’s Argyle pink diamond mine.

The exclusive $1 million Kimberley Treasure coin was struck by The Perth Mint from one kilogram of 99.99 per cent pure gold, and features an image of a red kangaroo holding a radiant 0.54 carat red gemstone between its front paws. >>>>>>MORE HERE

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Henry Sapiecha