SA tech cos Fivecast, Nuago get help to map growth

September 8, 2020

High demand for digital solutions to keep the world and businesses safe is driving rapid growth for Adelaide’s Fivecast and Nuago, so they have tapped into a program that has assisted more than 500 others in SA.

Adelaide technology companies Fivecast and Nuago say they are better prepared for rapid growth after attending a program that has assisted more than 500 other SA businesses and more nationally.

Kent Town data analytics business Fivecast, which was born out of the Federally-funded Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre, raised $4 million in July last year from CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund.

The business has developed software that can quickly review massive amounts of data online – including publicly available information, chat rooms, dark web, blogs and chats – for red flags, or indicators of risks, threats, patterns, language use, audiology and symbology.

Fivecast sells its software as a service solution to law enforcement, defence and other security organisations nationally and internationally to pre-empt terrorist threats, frauds as well as human trafficking and child exploitation material.

One of the incidents where Fivecast’s expertise was called to hand was right after the Christchurch massacre in NZ in March 2019 when its software was uses to look for other threats.

Founded by chief executive Brenton Cooper, Ross Buglak, Duane Rivett and Dave Blockow in 2017, the company is set to grow from 25 staff to 40 in the next 12 months in SA and in the US.

Mr Cooper said the company, which has a US office, has seen a fivefold increase in revenue in just one year.

“We have just started working with an organisation in the US to stem human trafficking, so we are getting busier and growing fast.

“Since we offer all employees equity in the business, we need our leadership team to be on-message to steer that growth in the right direction,” Mr Cooper said.

The core management team this year turned to the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia, led by director Dr Jana Matthews, for assistance.

“We now have the growth tools and shared vision we need to manage our expansion,” Mr Cooper said.

IT systems integrator Nuago, one of SA’s fastest growing companies, also completed the Australian Centre for Business Growth program this year.

It is working with retail chains like Drakes Supermarkets, local schools and other manufacturers to implement safe and efficient networks.

“As a rapidly growing company, we have experienced fivefold growth over the past three years and the centre’s growth programs have provided us with the knowledge and leadership tools we need to sustain our growth well into the future,” Nuago managing director Brendon O’Rourke said.

“It has been a game changer for us,” said the Eastwood-headquartered business, which employs more than 30 staff.

“Attending the centre’s clinic and the growth modules has provided a platform for our team to prepare the business for its next stage of growth,” he said.

Fivecast and Nuago are recent graduates of the Australian Centre for Business Growth program, which has now assisted 536 companies in SA since it was founded in 2014, Dr Matthews said.

Nationally, it has now taught the CEOs/MDs of more than 1,000 small and medium Australian companies how to grow and create jobs.

“Nobody is born knowing how to drive a car, but billions of people have learned how,” Dr Matthews said.

“Likewise, nobody is born knowing how to drive company growth, and that’s why CEOs/MDs and their executive team members come to our programs.

“Once our CEOs and their executive teams learn how to grow companies, they add jobs.”

The centre has received support from the Federal and SA, Queensland, WA, the NT governments, co-funding from companies, and support from ANZ, the centre’s foundation partner.

Image: Fivecast chief executive Brenton Cooper and Nuago chief executive Brendon O’Rourke pictured at Base 64. Credit: Matt Turner

Valerina Changarathil, The Advertiser, 8 September 2020