MailGuard Group

MailGuard Group

A start-up's journey expanding into new markets.

A start-up's journey expanding into new markets.

MailGuard Group tapped into a significant and growing issue for all Australian businesses 14 years ago when it developed a simple and inexpensive way to manage unwanted email and web content. Pioneering a range of cloud security solutions to provide complete protection against online threats such as malware, spyware, viruses and spam, the company has developed a reputation as one of Australia's best technological innovators.

Technical plus talent

The key to MailGuard’s success was two-fold – its technical capabilities were outstanding. The company used a multi-layered engine approach to stop viruses then overlaid its own proprietary technology to identify and stop potential threats – not just known threats. To achieve this, mail needed to be assessed against all policies of the company, not just malware or known threats. Companies have unique policies and these need to be assessed within a millisecond before a message is delivered.

MailGuard's ability to move and adapt quickly to understand changing threats and changing technology created the environment for success. Populating it with the right talent was its second critical contributor to ongoing innovation. Says CEO Craig McDonald: "I’m a true believer in everyone at MailGuard being their own CEO. Everyone has a voice; we have an open floor company-wide meeting, so ideas can flourish."


"Ideas are great, but you still need the team around you to understand the story and take them on the journey."

Craig McDonald
CEO, MailGuard

Moving forward

As a start up, MailGuard did not have the power of a big brand or a big budget behind it. But the culture of innovation and empowerment and a commitment to low subscription value and customer service meant that the company built a sustainable business model from day one. 

With a 98 percent retention rate of customers globally, via exceptional word-of-mouth MailGuard is already a huge success. But the company is now looking to the future. The challenge now is to move into a hyper-growth phase by expanding into new markets, building new client relationships and creating new products and services.

Through a 5-year working relationship with KPMG's R&D Incentives and Corporate Tax, MailGuard has been able to receive significant financial assistance through Research and Development Tax Credits. This has helped their ongoing developments in innovation.

They turned to KPMG Innovate to help identify ways that they could achieve this next phase through unlocking their business value.

KPMG used three key tools to help develop these levers: the industry value chain framework – an analytical framework for analysis that highlights how to best create value; the growth levers framework; and the business blueprint – which looked at what the business transformation needs to look like.

Using powerful modelling tools and analytical frameworks MailGuard has developed a strategy for moving forward into the North American market and taking on global competitors and maintaining its cutting edge.

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