While Australians complain they still can’t buy rapid antigen tests, some entrepreneurs have made a killing from importing them.
Australia’s insatiable demand for rapid antigen tests is turning importers into instant millionaires, with one company that operates out of a two-bedroom apartment in Elizabeth Bay securing a $26 million contract with the Department of Health.
CEO and founder Austyn Campbell, 38, who set up the company Motion One less than a year ago, inked the massive deal with the Morrison Government to supply $26,290,000.00 in “medical supplies” this month.
Her company, Motion One, is the exclusive Australian ‘sponsor’, or importer, of Orawell saliva rapid antigen tests manufactured by Jiangsu Well Biotech, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Jinsheng Group.
She’s one of a small group of sponsors or importers approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to import the tests, who are now making huge deals.
While Motion One is a new entrant, other veterans of the medical supplies industry heavily investing in rapid tests include Pantonic Health, which is run by Julie Bishop’s partner David Pantone and his two daughters.
Hough Pharma, a Gold Coast based medical supplies company which has been urging the Morrison Government to step up investment in rapid tests for nearly two years, has also engaged the lobbying firm Premier State which is led by Liberal powerbroker Michael Photios to help argue its case.
Previously, Motion’s One’s CEO Austyn Campbell, 38, worked as a sales manager for Suttons Motors, in mergers and acquisitions for SPC Australia, and as chief commercial officer at Sydney pilates franchise Vive Active providing strategic advice to the “state-of-the-art” gyms that promise to provide “mirrored ceilings, award-winning design and epic beats pumping through our premium sound system”
According to her LinkedIn, she is also listed as an Associate Director VC for The Eights, a private investment and venture capital firm backed by a number of “high net worth families” that boasts it is “unencumbered by strict mandates and has a nimble approach to investments.”
Recently, Ms Campbell also spearheaded a push by the US based Bala offering pastel-shaded ankle and arm weights into the Asia-Pacific region featuring pretty pastel shades that she noted were “suitable for Instagram.”
Such was the urgent need for the Morrison Government to secure the rapid tests in January that there was no open tender process for the $26 million contract with Motion One.
Austender documents confirm the contract was not put out to a normal tender process “for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseen by the relevant entity, the goods and services could not be obtained in time under open tender”.
Ms Campbell also showed a philanthropic streak over the summer after she offered locals in Potts Point the chance to purchase RATs directly from her on a private Facebook group called Potts Pointers.