According to the Economist, few countries have as many attractive economic conditions as Australia, whose attributes include affordability, a low public debt level and rising income.
To boot, prior to a short downturn during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the Australian economy had not witnessed a recession in nearly three decades.
Permeating through the economy is a tech sector that is growing and innovating at a considerable clip. With advancements in fintech, 3D printing and more, Australia is home to a slew of tech stock darlings.
Amid this tech sector growth, the government of Australia has identified core areas that are projected to transform the country’s business and social fabric. Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the internet of things are among the emerging technologies that will be implemented at a greater scale.
Gartner estimates that companies are prioritizing integrating AI and advanced technology systems into their operations. In one study, 54 percent of chief investment officers surveyed in Australia and New Zealand were found to be increasing investment in digital systems at their businesses.
1. Afterpay (ASX:APT)
Market cap: AU$37.64 billion; current share price: AU$134
Afterpay takes the crown as the largest technology company in Australia by far. The company has had a meteoric rise in Australia’s stock market over the past year, leaping from a year low of AU$8 last March to its current blockbuster stock price. The firm is made up of two primary business functions. Its first, Afterpay, is a service that allows customers to buy now and pay later using microloans. Over 55,000 retail businesses use the system, and the current customer base is close to 10 million.
Its second primary operation, Touch, is an online payment system. In its work with Switzerland-based Corner Bank, Touch has implemented an omnichannel system that includes services for Corner Bank-issued Visa (NASDAQ:V) and MasterCard (NASDAQ:MA) payment cards. Touch has also partnered with 7-Eleven on an app to drive customer engagement, integrating payments and security at the highest level.
2. Xero (ASX:XRO)
Market cap: AU$20.05 billion; current share price: AU$137.66
Xero is a software firm that develops cloud-based accounting tools for businesses. The tech company’s suite of tools has over 2.5 million subscribers and boasts over 700 integration capabilities. Among its accounting features are tools designed for project management, invoicing and payroll. For example, by integrating both PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Stripe into its platform, Xero has added payment features to its online invoices. This allows users to accept payments or pay directly when they receive an invoice.
Serving enterprise, small business and banking customers, Xero’s clients include the four largest banks in Australia: National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC,NYSE:WBK) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ). Xero has partnered with several international banks in countries from the UK to South Africa.
3. Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC)
Market cap: AU$9.17 billion; current share price: AU$29.75
Logistics software company Wisetech Global serves multinational companies and small businesses, with 17,000 clients in 160 countries. CargoWise One, Wisetech’s hallmark product, improves automation and visibility in supply chains. It is designed to help businesses scale, and also assists them in processes related to customs, tariffs, warehousing and freight container management.
Wisetech has completed a number of acquisitions in recent years as it continues to expand. In 2019, it acquired Ohio-based Depot Systems as well as Xware, a Swedish messaging company. This followed in line with a number of other previous deals in Argentina, Spain, Norway and Turkey. Moving forward, the company is focused on integrating these acquisitions into its business operations.
4. Computershare (ASX:CPU)
Market cap: AU$7.69 billion; current share price: AU$14.38
With principal operations in share registry services, Computershare helps security holders with redeeming electronic shares. On the enterprise level, the company assists businesses with share registry services, employee equity plans and corporate trust services, among others. Computershare had its beginnings in 1978 as one of the first tech startups in Melbourne. It has since grown to employ 12,000 staff, while managing over 75 million customer files.
Among all of its business divisions, the maintenance of shares remains Computershare’s primary generator of revenue. It has also branched out to mortgage services; growth in its US clientele, coupled with its acquisition of LenderLive, has strengthened its secondary market mortgage services.
5. NEXTDC (ASX:NXT)
Market cap: AU$5.23 billion; current share price: AU$11.70
Top ASX tech stock NEXTDC is a data centre company. Utilizing energy-efficient methods, NEXTDC’s data centres connect its customers to various cloud infrastructures. With several of the largest companies in Australia using its data and colocation services, NEXTDC operates nine facilities that power high-performance computing demands in addition to hosting services.
NEXTDC connects clients to some of the largest cloud providers in the world. Its platforms include names such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Cloud, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Cloud.
6. Altium (ASX:ALU)
Market cap: AU$3.67 billion; current share price: AU$28.75
Having created an interface specifically for 3D printing, Altium works principally in 3D-printed circuit board (PCB) computer-aided design.
Included in its products is Altium Designer, which is targeted towards designers and engineers who want to transfer their designs to reality. It takes into account the limitations of materials, physics and the tools that manufacturers are using. Altium is the leading software interface of its kind in the world, and the tech company claims that the user base for Altium Design grows by 6,000 new clients annually.
Beyond this technology, Altium offers PCB design tools such as CircuitStudio, which enables individuals to design circuit board layouts. The industries that Altium serves include everything from automotive to entertainment.
7. Nuix (ASX:NXL)
Market cap: AU$2.96 billion; current share price: A$9.75
Nuix creates investigative analytics and intelligence software for extracting valuable information from unstructured data. The company’s platform is capable of converting large amounts of data from sources such as emails and social media into actionable data that can be searched, filtered and analyzed.
Nuix’s has more than 1,000 customers — including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Samsung (KRX:005930) — in 78 countries, with the majority of its revenue coming from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company’s 2020 initial public offering, which raised AU$975 million, was the largest in Australia that year.
8. Appen (ASX:APX)
Market cap: AU$2.77 billion; current share price: AU$23.08
AI data annotation company Appen provides translation services for over 180 languages. Appen also applies its AI to search engine services, personalizing its service for clients to generate sales and leads.
As social media sites and search engines update frequently over time, Appen meets these demands by evaluating the accuracy of a company’s search presence in a query and how the company compares to its competitors.
9. Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK)
Market cap: AU$2.48 billion; current share price: AU$4.67
Administration solutions company Link Administration Holdings has a network of global clients, including pension funds and corporations. Link provides a host of proprietary technology services. For example, its pension division provides data analytics and fund administration tools to its 10 million superannuation clients. Within its technology and operations department, Link applies predictive analytics for wealth management workflows and database management. Additionally, Link offers share registry services and employee share plans.
The international reach of Link includes Germany, France, India and the United Arab Emirates.
10. TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE)
Market cap: AU$2.45 billion; current share price: AU$7.83
Enterprise technology software company TechnologyOne has a client base of over 1,200, including the University of Melbourne, Sydney Motorway, GWM Water and the London School of Economics.
TechnologyOne’s software services cast a wide net. For example, in its work with La Trobe University, the company transferred paper-based processes for 36,000 students to digital. As part of the project, it also moved existing student management services onto the cloud, ushering in the first cloud-based service of its kind in Australia. Essentially, TechnologyOne helps companies adapt to online demands, providing a sophisticated infrastructure to deploy services and remove outdated systems.
In addition to student management, TechnologyOne offers the government, health and financial services sectors application management solutions. Via the digital transformation process, TechnologyOne helps improve bottom lines and addresses areas where clients can reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.