U.S. tech giant buys Aussie startup Omney

Another Australian tech start-up has cracked the lucrative American market turning some of its creators into instant millionaires and enhancing the international reputation of local entrepreneurs as innovative and visionary.

Co-founder of podcast distributor Omny Studio, Long Zheng has confirmed the company’s sale to Los Angeles digital and advertising company, Triton Digital.

Zheng has not disclosed the financial details but industry insiders estimate the sale would be worth millions of dollars based on similar acquisitions.

Investment tracking database CrunchBase shows Omny has raised $2.5m in capital since its creation lifting its overall value into the millions of dollars bracket. 

Zheng, now Omny’s head of product, has been working on the device since 2012 when he was 24.

Other co-founders to benefit from the sale include the company’s chief technology officer Andrew Armstrong and former chief executive Ed Hooper and current chief executive Sharon Taylor, who joined the Omny in 2016.

While planning to celebrate the sale with his co-founders, Zheng offered an essential mix of optimism and the need for dedication to start-up operators still looking for success.

“The start-up journey is very much a roller coaster,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Prepare for the ups and downs because there will be many and they will be frequent, which takes a toll over a period of time, so make sure you have a strong team, friends and family to help you recover.”

He said setbacks were inevitable but could be overcome with determination and faith in the product.

“Mistakes and failures are unavoidable,” he said.

“So learn from them because each one is an invaluable lesson.”

He also told the SMH that creating products with international appeal is not as glamorous as sometimes portrayed in book, films and social media.

“Most of the time the work is not glamourous. Or sexy. It just needs focus, persistence and a bit of luck,” he said.

“The start-up industry and social media can paint a picture of glamourous success and dramatic failure, which can be easy to be distracted by.”

Zheng’s belief that perseverance is a cornerstone of any start-up success was reflected in the evolution of Omny Studio after earlier attempts with a personalised radio consumer mobile app failed to gain traction.

Switching to an enterprise podcasting service proved much more successful, generating growth and attracting the interest of U.S. interests.

“When we started delivering podcasts for several of the top radio networks in the US, we proved that our business is competitive in the global market,” he said.