Former AFL star Joel Macdonald has made a fortune in his life after footy.
Former AFL star Joel Macdonald has made a fortune in his life after footy.

Footy’s secret $100m man

JOEL Macdonald has been a busy man since retiring from footy four years ago.

While his two former clubs - Melbourne and Brisbane - still haven't got it right since his retirement, Macdonald has used those four years to become the most unlikely $100 million star in Australian football.

Macdonald will on Friday be announced as a new inductee into the Australian Financial Review's young rich list on the back of his stake in his exploding software company GetSwift.

He has been on one helluva ride since hanging up his footy boots.

The Australian Financial Review estimates Macdonald's personal fortune to be worth more than $100 million - it would have been enough to place him as the No. 22 richest young person in Australia, according to the 2016 BRW Young Rich list.

The report values Macdonald's wealth at $36 million, but GetSwift's sharp rise has seen his estimated personal wealth sky-rocket in the past few months alone to the $100 million-mark.

He's come a long way since delivering alcohol to Saturday night party-goers on the back of a scooter.

He was trying to get his booze-delivery business LiquorRun up and running during his final season with the Demons in 2013.

As the business started to boom, Macdonald and his teammate-investors, Rohan Bail and James Strauss, spearheaded a project to deliver real-time delivery tracking software specific to their unique business needs.

It has ended up being a $200m idea.

"We built it to scratch our own itch," Macdonald told 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell.

You won’t forget about Joel Macdonald now.
You won’t forget about Joel Macdonald now.

"We had our own liquour company and a lot of people needed alcohol on a Saturday night and surprise, surprise it got really popular and we needed a solution to really streamline and optimise that whole scenario.

"It just so happens that a couple of big companies in America took more of an interest in our software than our logistics company and before we knew it we had a completely different business and the global demand was just incredible."

His company plans to allow any company in the world to follow in the footsteps of Uber's driver tracking platform or Domino's pizza delivery system.

Earlier this year the company signed a deal worth more than $100 million with a car-parts delivery network in North America.

11 months after being listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the company's software is being used in 650 countries around the globe - Uber is used in 680 countries globally, according to the MacDonald.

Since its stock was floated on the ASX at 20 cents in December, last year, it has jumped more than 740 per cent.

For GetSwift, the times are good.

The 33-year-old says his incredible success in business is in part due to his football education.

He says his learning experience under coach Leigh Matthews while playing with the Brisbane Lions during the club's historic premiership three-peat from 2001-03 has been transferred over to the culture he has established at GetSwift.

"Especially being at Brisbane when they won three premierships in a row, you learn a lot about building an organisation, setting a really strong culture," he said.

"Culture is everything. That's something we protect hard at GetSwift."

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