Melbourne is a metropolis that boasts a population of more than 4.7mn residents as of 2016, spread across 31 municipalities. The city is the capital of the state of Victoria and Australia's second most populous behind only Sydney. In addition to being the common name for the metropolis' city centre, Melbourne spans an area totaling nearly 3,900 square miles.
In 2017, Melbourne was named as the world's most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the seventh year in a row. The city was recognised for high rankings particularly in the areas of tourism, education, healthcare, sport, research and development and entertainment. The Global Financial Centres Index consistently ranks Melbourne as one of the top 20 financial centres in the world, with the city coming in at number 12 for 2017.
Melbourne has an extensive transportation infrastructure. The Port of Melbourne is the country's busiest in terms of both general and container cargo. Melbourne Airport, also known as the Tullamarine Airport, is Australia's second busiest.
The city is home to the largest urban tram network in the world as well as the country's most extensive freeway system. It is also undergoing an enormous undergournd metro construction project.
According to the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Melbourne has the world's 21st most competitive financial centre. Not surprisingly, many diverse global brands base their Australian operations in Melbourne. In the Scoresby, a suburb in the southeast of the city, Nintendo has chosen to set up its Australian headquarters. Two of Australia's biggest banks, Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB), are based in Melbourne. Worldwide manufacturers such as Boeing, Cadbury, Kenworth and Jayco chose Melbourne as the base for their operations in Australia.
Melbourne is also the location of five of Australia's largest corporations based on their revenue. Here are the top three:
Founded in 1916 as a department of the federal government, CSL Limited was privatised in 1994. The biotechnology company develops, markets, researches and manufactures products such as vaccines, cell culture reagents, blood plasma derivatives and antivenom. The company reported a revenue of nearly $7bn in 2016.
Telstra Corporation is the leading telecommunications company in Australia and the country's largest. It focusses on operating and building telecommunications networks as well as marketing communications products and services such as internet access, mobile, pay television, mobile and other entertainment options. In 2016, the company reported more than $27bn in revenue and a profit of $5.8bn.
BHP Billiton is the largest mining company in the world by market value. It specialises in metals products such as copper, coal, iron ore, uranium and nickel as well as petroleum products and natural gas. The company reported a profit of $6.2bn and revenue of nearly $25bn in 2016.
Melbourne is also an innovative space that supports forward-thinking enterprises and businesses. According to The Martec, a company that seeks to connect people with technology, job opportunities and more, there are at least 40 Melbourne-based startups that should be on everyone's watchlist, including the following:
Founded by Jules Lund, a radio and television host known throughout Australia, as a way to help him manage his own personal workflow, TRIBE connects leading brands with creators of social media content. TRIBE recently secured $5.35mn in funding to increase its global reach. Already, the app boasts 2,600 brand campaigns and 13,000 influencers.
In 2014, Nick Molnar launched Afterpay and disrupted the way that Australians can pay for products. This easy-to-use process allows shoppers to pay for a product in four equal biweekly instalments. Afterpay is currently partnered with hundreds of retailers in Australia, including Hype DC, Cue, General Pants, Topshop, Marcs, Glue and more. Shoppers can use Afterpay instore or online. The startup was the recipient of the "FinTech Innovator in Payments" award at the FinTech Awards in 2016 and was The Finnies’ "FinTech Organization of the Year" in May 2017.
The brainchild of Katy Barfield, herself a food rescue veteran, Yume Food is a marketplace that seeks to reduce the amount of food waste in the commercial sector. The marketplace serves as a connection point between businesses that have a surplus of food and other businesses that can make use of it. Currently, 9.5mn tonnes of food is wasted each year with nearly 4mn tonnes of that being from the commercial food industry. Between 400,000 and 600,000 tonnes of that is edible, quality food that can not only be accessed but also used. In 2017, Yume Food raised $2.6mn in investments to expand its reach.