Here you’ll find a curated list of Australian fintech companies, incubators and MeetUps. To make a recommendation or add your company to the list, contact me.
What they do: CoinJar is a global personal finance company, where people can easily buy and spend bitcoin and other currencies. With over 37,000 customers, they’ve processed over $50M worth of transactions in the last 12 months.
Potential impact: They’re making Bitcoin accessible to everyday users, from mobile management of your Bitcoins through to an Australian issued debit card. Plus hedging of Bitcoins against the four major currencies is now also available through the platform. Traditional payment systems allow banks to collect a number of fees from both sellers and buyers. In the new world of Bitcoin this revenue stream could take a significant hit.
What they do: Nimble is a paperless, online credit provider, issuing $100 – $1200 loans to consumers, with transfers completed within 60 minutes.
Potential impact: Nimble recently placed 34th in the worlds top 50 fintech innovators, according to a report prepared in conjunction with AWI, FSC and KMPG Australia. For consumers, fed up with racking up credit card bills and overdrafts when they need temporary credit, Nimble is a viable alternative.
What they do: SocietyOne is a Peer-to-Peer lender that connects investors with creditworthy borrowers, anonymously, in a secure online platform.
Potential impact: James Packer, Kerry Stokes and News Corp have contributed $20 million in equity funding to back Society One. They’re more than likely hoping Society One will be Australia’s first Lending Club. It’s a marketplace outside of the traditional control of the banks, which means no clip on loans or brokerage fees.
What they do: Stockspot is Australia’s first online, automated investment adviser and fund manager. They aim to make professional wealth management accessible to more Australians.
Potential impact: Stockspot recently placed 45th in the world’s top 50 fintech innovators, according to a report prepared in conjunction with AWI, FSC and KMPG Australia. With a significant degree of heat on Australia’s beleaguered and scandal ridden financial advice sector, more and more consumers will look to robo-advice as a viable and far more cost effective alternative to the banks in-house planners.
What they do: Lend2Fund, launching in April this year, aims to provide institutional investors with direct access to profitable commercial property transactions that until now have largely been the preserve of banks.
Potential impact: Lend2Fund see themselves as a pure marketplace lender, not another peer-to-peer lender and as such, they’ll be applying for an Australian Market License (AML). Currently Australian peer-to-peer lenders operate under Australian Financial Services Licenses (AFSLs). While banks are likely to continue to play a part in commercial property financing, with less appetite for risk, Lend2Fund envisages they will take smaller stakes, with balances been made up by a combination of other investors keen to get a slice of the property market.
What they do: Tyro Payments is Australia’s only independent and fastest growing EFTPOS provider. They are an unlisted public company and hold an authority to carry on banking business in Australia subject to conditions.
Potential impact: Tyro broke into the payments space over 10 years ago and has since acquired over 12,000 customers. The key to Tyro’s success has been to create an ultra sticky payments product that integrates with a small businesses’ point-of-sale software. The emerging cloud and iOS market is all but being dominated by Tyro currently, with banks failing to keep up with the technological pace when it comes to connecting their systems to these emerging platforms.
What they do: Timelio is an online marketplace connecting businesses directly with investors to buy their customer invoices. The platform allows businesses to have their invoices funded by investors who bid on each invoice, giving businesses access to working capital immediately instead of waiting up to 120 days for their invoice to be paid by a debtor. Invoices must have a minimum value of $10,000, with a maximum value of $1 million.
Potential impact: Timelio is not a new concept, however introducing a marketplace component to the mix is. With most banks and invoice financiers only paying out a maximum of 80% of the invoice value to SMEs, there is plenty of fat to be creamed off by investors via platforms like Timelio. With $63 billion in invoice finance already happening offline in Australia, and $240 billion in bank loans, one imagines that if Timelio can get solid traction early in the space, they will have a clean run, purely on a cost differential.
Other Early Stage Players to Watch
Similar to Mint in the US, Pocketbook want to own the personal mobile money management space. Currently in pre-monetisation stage, the company claims to have over 100,000 users on it’s platform.
Another peer to peer lender, MoneyPlace was founded by 4 former NAB bankers. They have not yet launched but are looking to do so after a capital raising in March 2015.
Fintech Hubs and Investors to Watch
Not content with simply being the leading banking disruptor, Tyro has opened it’s doors to local fintech startups. Co-working space is available as is the opportunity to partner more closely with Tyro via access to a range of open APIs and co-marketing expertise.
Backed by leading industry banking and technology veterans, Stone & Chalk is an independent, not-for-profit Fintech hub whose overarching objective is to help foster and accelerate the development of world-leading Fintech start-ups. .
AWI is Australia’s only fintech focussed incubator and venture capital investor. They’re reported to be looking to raise $50M in 2015 to back more fintech plays. Currently they have a $2M invested in 7 fintech related businesses, including StockSpot.
The one and only Meetup that really matters is the Sydney FinTech Meetup, founded by serial entrepreneur Kim Heras. The last event, hosted by Sydney’s Macqaurie Bank, had over 200 registrations. No doubt a sign of positive things to come and a clear indication of the groundswell of activity in the fintech space.