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10 Years

of Toustone

A Note from the Founders

As the four founders of Toustone, we are immensely proud to celebrate a decade of innovation, growth, and impact. What began as a shared vision among ex-colleagues in regional NSW has evolved into a thriving company, dedicated to empowering Australian businesses with transformative data solutions.

Over the past ten years, we’ve weathered challenges and embraced opportunities. It’s been difficult at times, transformative at others… but it has always come back to being driven by our unwavering commitment to excellence. From humble beginnings and literally bootstrapping our way through it, our journey has seen us forge strategic partnerships, expand our service offerings, and extend our reach far beyond our regional roots.

As we reflect on this milestone, we really are filled with gratitude for the dedicated Toustone team, loyal clients, and supportive partners who have contributed to our success. Together, we’ve achieved some remarkable milestones, from pioneering advanced and predictive analytics solutions to earning prestigious certifications like ISO/IEC 27001.

So what does the next 10 years look like? One thing we know for sure it that our passion for innovation burns brighter than ever. And AI is part of that. In fact we started leveraging machine learning within our predictive analytics tools several years ago. And we’ve seen first hand how it has helped our clients adjust their paths to help them reach their business goals.

At our core, we remain committed to our regional roots and the communities we serve. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we’re wholly dedicated to fostering economic growth and providing meaningful opportunities through data for businesses in regional Australia and beyond.

Thank you all for joining us on this incredible journey. Together, let’s continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible and shape the future of data analytics.

Craig, Chris, Mal, and Adam

Toustone Co-Founders
circle image of the four co-founders of Toustone

A Timeline of Toustone


In regional NSW, four associates who worked together at MARS gathered together for endless hours with the hopes of bringing their idea to life.

The idea?
Business intelligence as a flexible, future-thinking solution for Australian businesses wanting to transform their data into actionable insights.

For the four founders, it wasn’t just a dream to see this through. It was a plan that would be brought into action, thanks to the passion and dedication each of the four founders brought to the table.

“I was intrigued by the idea of what might be possible in combination with the three other founders’ complementary expertise,”

said Co-Founder Mal Chambeyron about taking the leap to start the company.

The name of the business? Mac2 (more on that down the track!)

The business began, in all its bootstrapped glory – the co-founders worked part-time on the business, putting in an initial investment each to kickstart the company and buy the starter software and tech equipment needed. It was a promising start, with one of Toustone’s first clients being a government client.

Adam in the beginning with the first company office


2015 saw the first version of the mac2 Cloud be born, a data centre making different applications and data accessible over the internet. The Cloud was developed in the times of purchasing hardware, where setup could take between 6 – 9 months, so to be able to have business intelligence not only automated, but up and running in 4 minutes was a game-changer.

The company also made a quick jump into the Agricultural industry with great down-the-road connections – being a regional company. Partnering with Rivalea and Ruralco were exciting times for the team.

Co-Founder Adam came on full-time to the business and three additional part-timers joined up, including Simon who is still with us! We also had Charles and Alison supporting as contractors, who also both work with the company today.

Yellowfin became our service partner – a pivotal moment for the company, and a partnership that has lasted to date! This partnership opened up doors, as we were able to go from manual building of each environment to having a fully automated deployment model – saving immensely in time and resources.

Starting out small and strengthening network connections, the company’s reputation quickly grew in the town thanks to word-of-mouth. Reaching further than Albury, businesses in Melbourne and Sydney came knocking, interested in how this data analytics company could help grow their business.

Agricultural work, toustone employees in field


Through the hard work of the small team in identifying a key opportunity for clients, Professional Services became an offering of the business. This service meant our professionals took their expertise into clients’ businesses and would work internally, developing internal team skills, connecting different departments together and bringing fresh eyes to solve the problem at hand.

Contributing to the buzz of Software as a Service at the time, the company executives released their SaaS automation – garnering praise from existing customers and the surrounding community. This was a powerful business intelligence solution that could be up and running for clients in a very short set-up period, an absolute game-changer amongst the days of hardware installation.

One day an interesting call came through from the lawyers at Apple, stating that ‘mac2’ was in conflict with their trademarks and brands.

“It was early days.” recalls Craig Lefoe, “Our lawyer said it would be a winning case because we are about data, however Apple had the time and deep pockets to drag out the case for years. Because we didn’t have much brand equity at the time it was easier to change names.”

The process of finding a new name in a rapidly growing tech sector proved to be a challenge. “Toustone is a made up name!” Craig explains.

“Finding a company name that also then had a domain name for our website available certainly was difficult. We tried hundreds of different names, and eventually began pairing two different words together to create something unique. After a long process, we finally landed on the name Toustone.”

Toustone presentation at conferences


Some big names entered the building, with a successful partnership created with Lawson Grain. This partnership – one that still exists today – meant some close collaboration on exciting advancements in the agricultural offering from Toustone. Our cloud-based business intelligence solution was continually being revised to provide the right insights and data to our agribusinesses.

As all small businesses start in growth, enhancing the platform and key offering was the focus – putting effort into sales and marketing, and continually adapting and improving so that clients were receiving the best support with their data analytics needs. With three years under their belt, strategic goals came into play, and the team continually talked about desired achievements and services they eventually wanted to bring out.

Toustone leaders discussing matters in the Albury office


With business plodding along, Toustone hit the 4-year mark, in its little office situated on Dean Street in Albury, NSW. 14 individuals made up the team at this point, including the founders.

Toustone had made the leap to expand globally, beginning work with a business located across Ireland, Singapore and the US.

Then, the departure of an original major client turned everything on its head. The four founders – Craig, Chris, Mal and Adam got together with two heavy options weighing on their minds. Walk away, or change the strategy?

Craig recounts the experience,

“We had been operating OK and had some very good clients. However, growth had slowed for over 12 months, we lost a big client and actually started to go backwards. I remember having a meeting to decide if we call it and finish up Toustone or change our strategy and go for it. We went for it. It still took a year or so to really kick in, however, we haven’t looked back since.”


An exciting new project opportunity appeared for Toustone in 2019, where an international company called Plexure put out a tender for a partner who could assist them in their service delivery reporting solution. This was a mammoth beast of a project, being cloud-based on a global scale. Through a joint partnership with Yellowfin and Toustone – Yellowfin as the solution provider and us as the delivery and hosting partner – we were able to showcase our expertise in data visualisations, data strategy and cloud-based solutions.

Internally, there was lots happening at Toustone, with the launch of a specific reporting software tool in the NDIS space. The tool provided accurate and reliable reporting across finance, HR and more for businesses operating in the NDIS sector. When brought to NDIS service companies, it was met with praise and great interest, with one key NDIS client still working with Toustone today.


Plexure launched their new and improved analytical performance solution in 2020 with Toustone’s hosted and scalable platform. The result was Plexure’s growth in global reach, and ability to support their internal teams with more precise, actionable insights. This was a huge win for Toustone, with a project consisting of over 12 months of work, finally being brought to the public with great success.

The feedback from Plexure on Toustone was a testament to the hard work of the team, with Will Hunt, Plexure’s Product Manager explaining,

“Toustone have accelerated our ability to help our customers understand their data. Adding a hosted BI tool onto our data platform has let us focus on telling data stories, not the infrastructure that enables them. And we’ve pushed it hard, scaling to users in over 60 countries over a couple of months and pumping billions of events through our platform every month.”

On the other side of the Albury office was the Transport specialist team – headed up by Co-Founder Adam Sharp, who were chipping away at a big-scale project that had landed on their desk. A key transport operator in Australia was looking to leverage their data to improve their reporting, and we were able to deliver a powerful cloud-based dashboard reporting solution.

The benefits of remaining regional continued to reveal themselves as we began our move into the food production space. This was solidified by partnerships beginning in 2020 with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC). Toustone was able to develop custom reporting solutions that tackled data challenges in the Food industry regarding consumption, waste management and supply chain management.

By the end of 2020, we had collected more talented members in the company, all bringing their individual expertise to the table and contributing to the great work that Toustone was doing in the analytics and BI space.

Yellowfin branded building blocks


2021 started with a bang, with 51% growth showcased for Toustone over the previous 12 months. This really cemented the excellent work culture of the business, striving to achieve innovation, and bringing future-thinking approaches to every project and client partnership.

Toustone began working with the New South Wales Government in the health sector, to revolutionise the way reporting was done, making financial, HR and operational data more accessible and easy to understand in this sector.

One client, Bankstown Sports Club, wanted accurate and insightful data integration to improve their strategic operations. Toustone created a reporting and data solution for Bankstown alongside developing an exciting new offering that would be launched just two years later.

toustone team at christmas party lunch
Toustone branding old and new polaroid


Off the back of the success working with our key transport client to advance their operational and predictive reporting, the opportunity to develop further transport data solutions was just too good to pass up. The Real-Time Data Module was born, using the SIRI protocol (Service Interface for Real-Time Information) to improve customer experience when planning public transportation journeys.

The amazing element this solution brought was the ability to process raw data in less than 1.5 seconds, and not just in a hypothetical situation either. Our module was able to be tested with a major Australian rail operator, passing with flying colours. The development of the Real-Time Data Module was a big achievement for 2022, one the Toustone team was and is very proud of.

2022 was the year Toustone began looking at how we could leverage our data expertise to key areas that require precise data on retention. From this, RetainTalent was born, an internal HR and business management tool for companies looking to manage staff turnover and increase staff retention. RetainTalent was launched in the latter half of 2022 to clients.


Though Toustone HQ remains in Albury, we have a distributed workforce with staff across WA, NSW, VIC and QLD. It is also the year we opened our Queensland office. This was an exciting achievement in its own right, showcasing the continual growth of the company. Toustone also got a face lift with refreshed brand codes.

RetainMember was launched in 2023 – our reporting and data solution for sports clubs, community clubs and membership associations. This was a solution developed hand-in-hand with our client Bankstown Sports Club, who had been working with Toustone closely for just over two years. This solution allowed Bankstown to make better data-driven decisions and see a 25% membership growth rate in just 6 months since implementing Toustone’s RetainMember – their highest membership growth rate that had ever been recorded.

The team at Toustone had been methodically gathering together everything needed to achieve an important Certification, the ISO/IEC 27001. Long hours were spent over 10 months by our CFO Chris Horn and his team.

Receiving news that this certification had been achieved at the end of 2023 was a thrilling achievement for the team. This certification showcased an international standard for Information Security that was met by Toustone, and that our commitment to values of integrity and professionalism in data analytics were recognised. And it is also the year Toustone became GDPR compliant, a key part of our privacy policy.

Reaching beyond membership retention and staff retention, the team saw a gap in the sustainability space, supporting businesses in a key area of operations – Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting. This led to the building and development of a sustainability and carbon footprint reduction tool that uses predictive intelligence to help Australian businesses meet their strategic goals and governmental requirements.

One morning, our marketing team received a notification from staff at Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of our tech partners, who had come across a video on our LinkedIn page. They were so impressed by how our predictive analytics tool, RetainMember, was supporting one of our clients grow their business and reduce membership churn admid a changing lanscpace that they wanted to write a journalistic case study and feature it on their AWS website. Being a major global player, the recognition from AWS regarding our truly leading edge work was a proud moment for us.

2023 ended on a positive high, with a recorded 23% growth over the 12 months preceding. This remarkable growth signified not only the success of existing client partnerships and projects, but was a testament to the team’s dedication, innovation and unwavering commitment to exceeding expectations in analytics. The Toustone team had now reached 30 employees, full-time, part-time and contracted.

2024 and beyond

With ten years under the belt, it’s safe to say the learning has been insurmountable and the experiences unforgettable. From four individuals to over 37 dedicated employees and contractors, Toustone is a bustling and proudly Australian-operated company expanding beyond the Asia-Pacific, despite its regional roots.

It’s with anticipation and excitement that we look to the future, with a move into the AI realm and application of AI to business operations and management.

“I would like to see how Toustone can further leverage the power of AI to enable even more businesses with insights about their data”

said Co-Founder and CFO Chris when asked about the future aspirations of Toustone.

Staying true to what is important to us and what started us is also a focus for the future.

“Continuing to grow a regional-based company and provide technical jobs for regional-based people is an aspiration for the company.”

explained Co-Founder and CEO Craig.

Ten years mark the significant milestone in our journey towards becoming industry leaders and bringing data solutions to businesses of all sizes and locations. As we celebrate this achievement all together, we look forward to striving towards even greater advancements, forging new partnerships and taking risks into uncharted territory to discover the rewards that come from being future thinkers.

Interviewing Our Co-Founders

Craig Lefoe Co-Founder
Craig Lefoe
Chris Horn Co-Founder
Chris Horn
Adan Sharp, Co-Founder
Adam Sharp
Service Delivery Director
Mal Chambeyron Co-Founder
Mal Chambeyron
Senior Data Developer & Expert

Craig, Chris, Mal & Adam

Craig: “I was seeking a new challenge in my career. Having lived the corporate life for a while, I was drawn to the challenge of starting a new business.”

Mal: “I was already consulting in this space and loving it, but I was intrigued by the idea of what might be possible in combination with the three other founders’ complementary expertise.”

Chris: “Having come from MARS, I had seen what we had done at an enterprise level. I wanted to take on the challenge of building a cloud-based Business Intelligence solution that was cost-effective and available to Australian businesses. It’s always been an area of interest of mine, and bringing that to businesses of all sizes has been rewarding.”

Adam: “I was motivated to strike out on my own to “have a crack” at starting and running a business. The area of Business Intelligence at the time was still very much “in house” with little cloud offering. We reasoned that there would be demand for a complete “turn key” solution where clients who know they need to leverage data and analytics, but didn’t have the capability internally and didn’t want to build that capability.”

Mal, Craig & Adam

Mal: “It’s an achievement in itself that we began by bootstrapping and have now evolved into our customer offering and software tools/technology. Another achievement I am proud of is our ability to deliver time and again – most notably against the failures of bigger players.”

Craig: “Going from being bootstrapped – it’s hard to start from nothing and build with no cash injection. It took a lot of hours to get things going and many hours we weren’t paid for in the beginning! The pay-off of taking the risk. I was in a very comfortable and well-paid job where I easily could’ve stayed, but I got the best example of ‘learning on the job.’ Starting out regionally based yet having national clients – a big achievement indeed. Remaining at the forefront of technology – this is a great achievement for a small company. And finally, our custom delivery. Continually doing what we say, and consistently solving many technical challenges that others have failed at.”

Adam: “Starting a business from scratch is nothing short of bloody tough! The biggest achievement is to build from the ground up and survive the first few years. There was no significant investment which meant that we have to generate work and cashflow to continue to build. That achievement still amazes me and one that I am very proud of. Some others:

  • Building an incredible team of people who are motivated and continue to trust us as a business with their careers. That is very humbling.
  • A significant portfolio of clients who also are trusting us to deliver on critical business needs.
  • Continuing to push the envelope of technology to deliver some amazing results.
  • Having the opportunity to invest and grow in new areas, some of which are critical for the future of our planet (i.e. “sustainability”).”

Craig, Chris & Adam

Craig: “Between mid to end of 2018, we had been operating with some very good clients. However, growth had slowed for over 12 months and then we lost a big client. It felt like we started to go backwards. I remember having a meeting to decide if we call it, and finish up Toustone… or change our strategy and go for it. We went for it! It still took a year or so to really kick in, however we haven’t looked back since.”

Chris: “When we brought on our partner Yellowfin, and were able to build the Yellowfin Cloud, this allowed us to go from manually building each environment to having a fully automated deployment model.
This paired with bringing on experience directors to help us grow and mature as a company were pivotal moments to me.”

Adam: ” Some key events that spring to mind:

  • Starting the business and the first 6 months we managed to secure two very significant clients. That gave us a pipeline and revenue stream to kick the business off with confidence.
  • A very pivotal moment was the securing of the contract with a significant Australian transport operator. This has been a very important customer from a scale point of view and also opening up the transport vertical for Toustone.”

Chris & Craig

Chris: “We’ve gone from 4 founders working part-time on our business, to the large number of full-time staff employed across Australia to date. Some have been with us since early days, so it’s been great to see those staff grow with the company.”

Craig: “Our knowledge on how to run a business has greatly improved. We don’t wear as many hats as we used to. Professional board, professional sales and marketing people. We used to do the lot. The speed in which we develop has sped up. We are resolving more complex data problems with new technology, based on a solid foundation of talented people.”


Mal: “An early day memory is when I was working closely with Chris on the original Data Parcer and Web File Loader. I went from enjoying the occasional Zambrero’s to eating it daily for months as we continued our discussions over lunch. To this day, I cannot face Zambrero’s, a previous favourite treat!”

Chris & Craig

Chris: “We have expanded into the Machine Learning space to create our predictive analytics solutions.”

Craig: “We originally started as a cloud business intelligence company using just one BI tool. Through the hard work of the team and bringing some talented minds together, we expanded into different spaces to cater to the gaps we’ve found – gaps that really benefit from Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics. Now we use multiple tools such as PowerBI, we build Machine Learning models and are moving more into AI.”

Mal, Craig & Adam

Mal: “Continued growth driven by the solutions we deliver. These solutions are valued by our customers and drive us to become the go-to provider in a handful of key spaces. We also would like to keep evolving in supporting technical excellence in a regional setting.”

Craig: “I want to continue to grow a regional-based company. We are really passionate about providing technical jobs for regional-based people. It’s an aspiration to continue to be seen as a technology leader in our space by focusing on innovation. To me this all comes back to building that strong culture and focus of delivery to the customer in the best possible way.”

Adam: “Continue to grow the business in a sustainable way with motivated people and customers who are raving fans.”

Craig, Mal & Adam

Craig: “Artificial Intelligence – definitely a hot topic at the moment! Toustone is in this space, and we are definitely embracing this technology to provide better solutions to our customers. There are some incredible things happening in this space, changes that will really propel us forward into the future as a society.”

Mal: “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will grow exponentially across the analytics space. While there will be efficiency gains across the board, the space with the most return will be that of “Augmented Intelligence”, popularised by Garry Kasparov. This is where I believe Toustone will excel; strong players augmented by AI.”

Adam: “Analytics will continue to be critical for business to understand and operate their businesses. Importantly though, the service must be as automated as possible so that business users are able to spend time analysing, not creating reporting.

Clearly, with the recent advent of AI and growing use of ML, the level of sophistication is growing. This means that businesses are going to become more reliant on trusted partners to work with them. Such relationships will be more of an embedded relationship, not a transitional vendor/customer relationship.”

Mal & Adam

Mal: “Having a can-do attitude with the capabilities and tenacity to back it up – delivering increasingly larger solutions with fewer resources. It’s also good to consider that this can represent an ‘Achilles’ Heel’ as we continue to grow. We want to continue to mature our services, offerings and culture while not losing too much of the leanness that got us here.”

Adam: “The first and most important value is “customer first”. We strive to ensure that our customers are given the best possible experience and outcomes. We need to demonstrate that we can be trusted and relied upon to provide value and better than what can be obtained elsewhere.

This gets down to building good relationships with our key stakeholders within the businesses we work with extending to then ensuring we deliver quality solutions.

A further key value is nurturing and growing our people. As a business that delivers intellectual services, we need excellent people who are motivated.”

Craig & Mal

Craig: “We truly believe in a strong data foundation. If you have this foundation in place it doesn’t matter what new technology comes. You are in the best position to take advantage of it quickly. This is the approach Toustone takes with all customers, and we want to continue to focus on building those quality foundations for our customers.”

Mal: “Allocating deliberate research and practice each week, preferably outside of the immediate work scope and across disciplines – this practice over decades continues to deliver dividends, especially on the intersection of these spaces. Equally important is giving yourself time to think, be that quiet time or activities that take you to a place of flow – for me, predominantly motorbikes and being outdoors – being “always busy” is the best way to stifle creativity.”

what role has networking and partnerships played?


Adam: “Networking has been the most important source of customers for us. In a couple of cases, existing networks have built new networks which in turn have resulted in key customer acquisition.

A good example of an unlikely partnership was a chance encounter of an ex-colleague in a fish and chip shop who upon hearing of the starting of Toustone, indicated that his new place of work was in need of our services. That lead to the relationship forming with at that time, our largest client. That client then lead to partnerships in new areas and subsequent onboarding of our now largest customer.

Networks are critical.”