US headquarters benefits Australian startup

March 2017

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LiveTiles’ launch in the US paved the way to success for this innovative Australian startup – a leader in creating digital experiences to help organisations collaborate and prioritise the human experience without comprimising function.

Discovering opportunities

In a world where disruptive technologies are changing and challenging the traditional workforce, LiveTiles is taking the lead with its innovative software platforms.

Established in 2014, co-founders Peter Nguyen-Brown and Karl Redenbach set up LiveTiles’ headquarters in New York City. LiveTiles’ services have expanded from two technology solutions to a suite of products that serve small and large businesses across all industries.

‘We help organisations digitally transform by enabling them to create functioning digital workplaces for employees. Our product provides staff with the ability to surface and integrate scattered business applications, resources, files and more on a single pane of glass over Office 365, SharePoint and Azure,’ says Redenbach.

‘Our platforms are leading the way for PepsiCo, US Department of State, Nike and many other customers.’

Entering the US market

The decision to headquarter LiveTiles in New York was driven by the market opportunities available in the US. Redenbach acknowledges that setting up abroad had its challenges.

‘Being an Australian company we recognised our home market size would mean we had to globalise early. We identified the huge market potential for LiveTiles in the US – 15 times the size of the market in Australia. So I packed up my family and relocated to the US,’ he says.

‘Setting up on the other side of the world was hard. The laws, business environment and culture in the US were very different. It was a huge learning curve.

‘Austrade helped us build networks with lawyers, accountants and other similar businesses. They invited us to attend and collaborate on events, which built LiveTiles’ credibility.’

Utilising the Australian Government’s R&D tax incentive, which enables LiveTiles to claim expenditure on eligible research and development activities, proved crucial for the company.

‘We got out there and gave it a go,’ says Redenbach. ‘It was tough but definitely worth the effort in the end. LiveTiles is now listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

‘We have doubled our revenue every six months and are one of the best performing tech stocks on the ASX.’

Advice for entering the US market

Redenbach advises other Australian startups considering expanding into the US not to give up, accept help and utilise all opportunities.

‘While there are big cultural differences between Australia and the US, it’s important not to let these scare you away,’ he says.

‘I advise companies to take advantage of as many market opportunities as possible.

‘There is a network of Australian companies that have expanded in the US and they are willing to help. Austrade connected us with these companies and this has been very helpful, especially in providing a corporate network and Australian state government offices.’

LiveTiles employs a lot of Australians globally and integrates Australian business practices within the company.

‘Australians work hard, talk straight and generally just get things done. We found the US likes Australians and the way we approach business so we have incorporated some of these elements within the company,’ says Redenbach.

The future

With limitless market opportunities and technological advancements, LiveTiles has a promising future.

‘By establishing the headquarters of LiveTiles in the US, we have grown the company to what it is today,’ says Redenbach.

‘We have over 60 staff and offices in New York, Seattle, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. This demonstrates that with technology, it is possible to work from anywhere – even from the other side of the world.’

As the traditional workplace changes, LiveTiles continues to explore new technologies and invest in the new ways that people do their work. Redenbach notes today’s work environment has a flatter corporate structure and employee collaboration has increased.

‘Some of our main areas of focus right now are artificial intelligence and augmented reality and how this can help within the workplace. Through augmented reality platforms, we are also changing the way employees see things in the physical environment,’ says Redenbach.

‘Artificial intelligence and augmented reality will dramatically change the way employees work. LiveTiles is working to bring together and expose information and digital experiences in a new modern way.’

Produced by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade). You may reproduce the text without prior permission, though attribution of the source is appreciated. Please note that copyright restrictions do apply to all photographic images and permission must be obtained before reproduction.

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