Take a suburban Brisbane garage, a Rhodes scholar and plenty of hard work and you have GO1, a multinational, multimillion-dollar edtech startup that’s proud to be headquartered in Brisbane.
GO1 founders and Queenslanders Andrew Barnes, Vu Tran, Chris Eigeland and Chris Hood started a web development company in Brisbane in 2004 before identifying a big gap in the corporate training market. They sold off the web design company and in 2014 launched GO1, a cloud online learning portal that turns workplace training into an empowering, dynamic experience for employees by using engaging content such as TED Talks and interactive learning tools.
After submitting a last-minute application to the prestigious Y-Combinator accelerator, GO1 was accepted into the 2015 summer program. Andrew says this triggered GO1’s worldwide expansion.
The GO1 team is now 77 strong, and split over offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Ho Chi Min City, Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco.
GO1’s current clients include Google, Foxtel, the Brisbane Lions Football Club, Seek, Telstra, the Queensland and Malaysian governments and National Australia Bank. More than 400,000 users access their company’s GO1 portal for everything from coding to workplace health and safety compliance.
“GO1’s revenue grew eight fold in 2016. We then raised $4 million from Shark Tank's Steve Baxter, Blue Sky Venture Capital and Tank Stream Ventures to turbocharge product development, sales and marketing,” Andrew said.
The company is also partnering with Totara, a New Zealand-based learning management systems provider, in a bid to grow its user base to 10 million people by 2019.
Proudly headquartered in Brisbane
Despite having a growing international client base, GO1 is proudly headquartered in Brisbane.
“Brisbane has great strength and is a fantastic environment for a startup. Building the local startup ecosystem here is important to me as a proud Brisbane resident, and I’m happy to see the city and state growing and getting even stronger.
“It’s great to work in a place that’s always sunny – I think it’s why California has been successful – similar weather and a more relaxed lifestyle. We’ve never needed to look elsewhere for GO1’s headquarters.
“Had we moved to California, we’d be competing against Google and Facebook for the best talent. Basing ourselves in Brisbane means there is less competition, and the pool of great candidates keeps growing. We feel strongly about continuing to develop the local tech scene.”