The 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups has revealed 25 young, emerging companies where Australia wants to work now and two hospitality innovators have made the list.
When putting together this year’s rankings, LinkedIn looked at data across four pillars: employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees; and how well these startups pulled talent from our flagship LinkedIn Top Companies list. In order to be eligible, companies must be seven years old or younger, have at least 50 employees and be privately held and headquartered in Australia.
Mr Yum came in at No.4 on the list. The company is headquartered in Melbourne and has 95 full-time staff.
LinkedIn said: “When the pandemic hit and hospitality businesses were limited to takeaway, Mr Yum reacted quickly — in just nine days, the company built and launched pick-up and delivery functionality to its platform to support local businesses to trade through lockdown.”
Mr Yum CEO Kim Teo said the ranking was a great acknowledgement of a team that’s grown from 15 people at the start of 2021 to 100 employees, who are now spread across Australia, the US, UK, South Africa and the Philippines.
“This unique award is so meaningful because it is completely data-driven and considers every startup in 26 countries,” she explained. “It is measured on employee engagement with the company and each other, growth and retention, and the quality of talent we’ve been attracting to Mr Yum.
“The number one differentiation between startups is the team – it’s all down to execution. This is testament to the incredible humans who have taken a chance, believed in our mission and are now killing it across the world. We have fun, lift each other up, run towards the fire and think 10x. So proud and grateful for the first 100 people to have hopped on this rocketship!”
Co-founder and CTO Andrei Miulescu added: “Building tech teams isn’t the same as other teams. We have to convince people – they have 20 different opportunities, why would they take ours? It’s because they believe in our product, believe in the mission and it’s creating an awesome culture,” he says.
“Everybody loves working for Mr Yum. The team has the opportunity to create something amazing and work with amazing people. We’re not just saying it, we’re doing it.”
It’s been a massive 12 months for Mr Yum. After closing a post-seed funding round of $11 million in April 2021, Mr Yum launched in US and UK markets simultaneously.
In the UK, Mr Yum gained early traction in the northern hemisphere summer being implemented at festivals including Taste of London and Henley Regatta, while in the US, Mr Yum has been successfully launched in bars and restaurants, initially focused on Los Angeles.
In Australia, Mr Yum launched in Sydney and Perth Airports and announced a global-first partnership with Afterpay.
Mr Yum now has more than 1500 venues using the platform globally with 11 million users. The team has quadrupled in the past 12 months, with more than 50 team members joining in the past six months alone.
me&u transforms contactless ordering
me&u came in at No.17 on the list. The company is headquartered in Sydney and has 90 full-time staff. It aims to enhance customer experience by taking care of the basics – order and payment – so hospitality staff can spend time on what is most important – serving, hosting, and building relationships with guests.
The me&u platform is now being used at hundreds of Australian venues, with partnerships with many of the leading groups including Merivale, Rockpool Dining Group, Solotel and Howard Smith Wharves. More than one million orders have been taken through the platform since launching in 2018.
LinkedIn said: “No more waiting 15 minutes for a beer! Me&u aims to transform the hospitality industry by making it easier to order and pay at your table. With demand for cashless and contactless payments soaring amid the pandemic, me&u has developed new features to ensure its hospitality partners can continue to grow.”
me&u said: “It’s been a tough year for the hospitality industry, so this isn’t just a win for us, but a win for an industry that needs some positivity right now.
“me&u is more than just a startup, we’re a close-knit community working together to build up the hospitality industry. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people who bring our vision to life and encourage us to strive everyday to reach a brighter future of hospitality.
“With NSW and VIC venues on the path to opening up their doors again soon, we can’t wait to Tap On at pubs and bars to celebrate together.”
Founder Stevan Premutico noted that on average customers spend 27.5% more when using the me&u at-table ordering App, and staff get to pocket more tips, thanks to a new tipping function.
“The hospitality industry has been brought to its knees over the past year, and whilst we are certainly on the road to recovery, there is still a long way to go,” he added. “Technology must be used to support and strengthen the industry, not take away from it, and I’m energised by the role it can play in business recovery.”