Fintech Startups in Australia: 50 You Can’t Miss
There is a lot happening when it comes to fintech startups in Australia. In the past few years the industry has come into its own, even getting its own industry awards, the Finnies, to acknowledge excellence in the space. This year, the number of entrants for the awards hit 223, a 40 per cent increase from 2017 – proof that the industry is booming. You can check out this year’s winners at fintech Australia.
Not only is the industry growing, but the space is also gaining more support from the government to help the companies within it to innovate and scale. This year we saw the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge deal signed by Treasurer Scott Morrison and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, an agreement which helps the two governments to identify emerging fintech trends and policy issues, enabling better policy responses and faster licence processing. The deal could be a boom for Australian fintech startups looking to expand.
It’s fair to say that fintech in Australia, fintech in Melbourne and fintech in Sydney is thriving. Employment at these companies is understandably in high demand, with many offering a great workplace culture and awesome office spaces. We want to celebrate the rise of these fintech startups.
In no particular order, here are the top 50 Australian fintech startups to watch in this space:
Finch was created with a vision: to reimagine the consumer finance experience one behaviour at a time. In 2016, Finch beat over 100 fintech startups from around the world for one of eight spots in Silicon Valley’s top fintech incubator – Envestnet Yodlee. Their solution is a social spending app for millennials that allows them to pay friends, stay friends, and achieve financial wellness together. Their first year in operation has been massive, with the app launching on iOS and Android across Australia in July; they raised $2.25m seed capital in October, were named the Top 10 Australian Startups to Watch in December and won the award for the Best Digital Wallet at the Finnies.
Pennybox is a fintech app helping to teach kids about money, banking and finance in a fun, practical and gamified way. The business was created with the ambition to empower kids to learn real-life money concepts such as budgeting, setting savings goals, negotiating, banking, accruing interest, and managing debt. Founder Reji Eapen, a fintech veteran, has to date raised $250,000 from external investors, as well as winning the NSW MVP grant for his Pennybox app.
Valiant is an Australian business loan marketplace. They enable business owners and their advisers to get tailored business loan options and advice in a matter of minutes. Valiant’s proprietary technology gives business owners the ability to explore products from a universe of over 100 lenders and get matched to the those that they have the highest probability of being funded by. They currently offer products from lenders which cover the entire financial spectrum – from short-term working capital lenders to the Big Four banks. To date the company has raised $800,000.
PokitPal is a mobile marketplace designed to improve the way businesses and consumers interact, enabling smart transactions that provide economic advantages to both parties. Their unique loyalty solution enables businesses to identify and communicate with their customers without the need to implement or support expensive technology. PokitPal’s solution allows merchants and customers to use the existing EFTPOS equipment and credit/debit cards in circulation. Today PokitPal has a database of more than 300,000 Australian users. From August 2018, 10 million Mastercard holders in Australia will be able to link with the PokitPal app in minutes for real-time rewards on card purchases.
Marketlend is a first-of-its kind lending platform which offers working capital solutions to SMEs in Australia. They specialise in providing funding solutions to SME borrowers, including supply chain finance, debtor finance, and unsecured lines of credit. Beyond this Marketlend offers investors secure and robust investments in businesses with loss protection and insurance. All investments are managed by a Trust Manager, who handles all cash collections. Marketlend rates of returns range between at least 3-4 per cent above bank rates. Founded by Leo Tyndall, Marketlend has to date funded a total of 47 million dollars.
Cover Genius is a tech-based insurance services company; the parent company of RentalCover.com and BrightWrite. The company writes, and prices customised policies for local markets, then adapts them for other countries and underwriters. This model sees them sell regulated products in 80+ countries and 50 US States, with customers and claims serviced 24/7 in 40 languages. Claims are paid instantly in 80 currencies via direct payments to credit and prepaid cards, bank transfer and more.
Cover Genius’ patented technology delivers high liability policies that renew automatically and can be customised individually. Founded in 2014 by Angus McDonald and Chris Bayley, Cover Genius is one of the fastest growing Insurtech startups globally. To date, they have raised $1.5 million in seed investment and have offices in New York. London and Sydney, Australia.
Kikka Capital is a leader in online business loans. Kikka allows business owners to receive loan approvals in just minutes by assessing the business in real-time. The platform bases it’s assessment on the business’s health and current performance, rather than just the business owner’s credit score. It uses data-driven online lending platforms to provide short duration credit products to consumers and small business owners across Australia. Founded by David Brennan, Kikka Capital has facilitated the lending of over $12 million of credit, and has received $2 million in seed funding from Flexigroup.
easyshare is on a mission to make paying rent, bills and household expenses easier. The solution allows housemates to set up their own individual payment method, with easyshare taking care of the rest. The platform collects rent from each housemate and pays the total to the property manager or landlord. Splitting bills, tracking shared expenses and helping with shared savings is also made easy with the easyshare platform. Payment options are flexible with the ability for users to pay via bank transfer or credit card. Founded by John Bush, easyshare has already helped its customers pay over $10 million worth of rent and bills.
MoneyPlace is a peer-to-peer lending platform that connects investors with creditworthy borrowers. Users apply online to get a credit estimate, before being matched with suitable investors. Borrowers then get the money electronically transferred to their account. MoneyPlace was launched by ex-NAB employee Stuart Stoyan in 2014 when he saw that banks were no longer doing their part to support customers. In February 2018 MoneyPlace was acquired by Liberty in an effort to push into the personal loan market.
Founded in 2015, LoanDolphin is a loan bidding marketplace where banks and brokers compete to win your home loan. The platform is a customer-centric digital loan service which helps customers to easily and effortlessly find market-leading interest rates. As LoanDolphin is not affiliated with any one bank or mortgage broker, they are able to remain focused on creating a transparent financial marketplace for all Australians. Since the company’s launch, founders Ranin Mendis and Rod Dutra have successfully raised over $1.1 million from investors, and experienced impressive growth.
HashChing is Australia’s first and largest online home loans marketplace. It uses an AI-driven algorithm to instantly connect borrowers to verified and registered local mortgage brokers. Launched in August 2015, HashChing was created to empower people to share their experiences and make more informed loan decisions. They have quickly gained traction, settling over $975 million worth of home loans through their platform to date. They have also received $3.4 million in equity funding, backed by Picus Capital, H2 Ventures, Sapien Ventures and Jobs4NSW.
Waddle offers a flexible and on-demand, revolving line of credit to businesses through their proprietary technology. As an add-on for the major accounting platforms, their software gives Australian businesses easy access to working capital. Their fully online, cloud-based platform has brought a 4,000-year-old industry into the modern age. It is the only 100 per cent automated accounting add-on across Australia and New Zealand and is currently the highest rated financial services partner for Xero accounting software. Founded by Leigh Dunsford, Simon Creighton and Nathan Andrews in 2014, Waddle is the fastest growing cloud-based invoice financing provider.
CoinJar is an Australian bitcoin platform that enables the buying and selling of bitcoins by both individuals and businesses, as well as allowing merchants to accept bitcoin payments. The platform uses multi-factor authentication to ensure its users’ bitcoins are safe. Founded in 2013 by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhou, CoinJar has to date processed more than $1 billion worth of transactions for more than 350,000 individual and business customers. They have received $1.5 million in capital from leading investors Blackbird Ventures and DCG.
Moula offers Australian SMEs a better way to borrow money, approving and funding loans within 24 hours. They have developed a unique platform that quickly analyses a business’s data, making the process simple, fast, and even friendly. Moula was founded in 2013 by an experienced team passionate about using technology to simplify finance. Their solution is transparent and honest with no extra charges or hidden fees. The team have raised over $30 million, and are currently ranked first in the non-bank finance category on Trustpilot.
MoneyMe was built on an ethos of innovation and dedication to the customer experience. As banks continue to lose their customers trust and interest, MoneyMe is revolutionising the way Australians borrow money. MoneyMe is a new age lending platform which provides unsecured personal loans to the tech-savvy, convenience-driven millennial market in Australia. Co-founded and led by Clayton Howes and a team of young leaders in finance, MoneyMe gives customers the freedom to access personal loans up to $15,000 whenever and wherever they want, giving them ultimate control over their finances. Most recently, the team has established $120 million in investment.
SocietyOne is a peer-to-peer lending platform connecting creditworthy borrowers with savvy investors. SocietyOne enables individuals to borrow from and invest in each other without the intermediation of a bank or financial institution. Once qualified, borrowers can request up to $30,000 in unsecured personal loans at personalised rates, determined by their unique credit history. Since launching in 2012 SocietyOne has helped over 19,000 customers and provided over $450 million in loans. They have also secured $55.2 million in investments and won numerous awards, including Excellence in P2P Lending and the Best FinTech Bank Collaboration at the 2017 FinTech Australia Awards,
BRICKX is redefining property investing in Australia. They are the only regulated retail investor platform in Australia that allows investors access to the real estate asset class, as well as an in-platform secondary market for liquidity. Founded in 2014 by Markus Kahlbetzer and run by Anthony Millet (CEO), the mission for BRICKX is to provide everyone with easy access to the Australian residential property market in a transparent, low touch and accessible way. The company has raised over $12.5 million in investment to date.
Verrency is a global payments innovator on a mission to put financial institutions back at the centre of innovation. The Verrency platform connects banks to a growing marketplace of payment innovations including 3rd party fintech solutions and Verrency pre-built white-label services. Launched in 2016 by David Link, Verrency is now working with some of the world’s largest banks, card issuers and payment processors to bring these new capabilities to their customers. They have $7.6 million in capital and have offices is Australia, Singapore, USA and UK, with plans to expand into Europe and Asia.
littlepay is focused on developing micropayment processing services. Handily it is backed by a global investment company with a long track record of investing in and developing payments technologies. The company has created a versatile open-loop payment platform which can be adapted to suit a range of industry applications. The platform helps transport authorities, operators, and service providers to accept open payments quickly, simply and safely through cloud-based bank-grade infrastructure. Recently littlepay launched a contactless payment solution with two of the UK’s major transport operators, allowing travellers to use their mobile wallet, payment card or wearable device to pay for travel. They’re very effectively leveraging their expertise in international payments to create a customisable global solution.
uno is on a mission to change the way Australians finance property. It is the first platform to help you search, compare and settle a home loan all in one place. You can utilise as much or as little help as you need from their on-call team of experts. Founded by Vincent Turner, who has 15+ years experience as a FinTech entrepreneur, uno is Australia’s first online mortgage broker. To date, uno has attracted more than $50 million in funding, works with more than 20 lenders, and is successfully shaking up the industry, with two-thirds of its home loans going to non-major lenders.
Airwallex is on a mission to re-imagine cross-border payments through integrated solutions. They facilitate international money transfers through a combination of payment collection, foreign exchange and local payment distribution channels. The Airwallex platform is powered by sophisticated FX tech which can support thousands of transactions per second, and provides a cost-effective alternative to existing payment networks for businesses looking to automate and scale international payment workflows. Founded in 2015, Airwallex is today backed by high profile investors Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, MasterCard and Gobi Partners, raising $102 million in capital along the way.
Pocketbook is a free personal assistant app for your money. The Pocketbook app allows you to get comprehensive information about your past and future spending immediately after signup, making your personal and household budgeting super simple. Founded by Alvin Singh in 2012, Pocketbook has found success in the fintech market – it now boasts over 500,000 users, and recently won the Excellence in Wealth Management Award at the 2018 Finnies.
blueshyft is an iOS-based platform currently installed in over 1,200 retailers across Australia, which allows businesses to accept cash payments for digital goods and services. The network enables customers to load their digital wallet, credit their online account, and pay for online orders, and purchases or redeem gift cards. It also facilitates acquisition, identification, retail, logistics and activation services. Launched in 2015 by Kain Warwick, blueshyft has so far raised over $5 million in investments to sustain its strong growth.
Clover.com.au is an automated investment advice platform designed to help Australians understand and feel more empowered about their money. It brings online personal financial management to Australians who don’t have time or are simply unable to obtain smart advice. Co-founded in 2014 by Harry Chemay and Darcy Naunton, Clover.com.au has to date raised $2 million to expand their business and make automated investing available to everyone.
VentureCrowd is an alternative investments crowdfunding platform which provides investors unique access to fractional equity across asset classes including venture capital and property. It is Australia’s only multi-asset class crowdfunding platform. Founded by Jeremy Colless and Steven Maarbani, VentureCrowd empowers entrepreneurs, established business owners, property developers and lenders via access to alternative finance from a crowd of passionate investors. Originating out of Artesian Venture Partners, one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, VentureCrowd aligns all parties, offers complete transparency, and helps drive portfolio diversification through early-stage businesses, premium property developments and alternative debt investments.
CXi Software is an investor registry and fund administration software that makes managing investor money easy, fast and secure. Their software streamlines and automates the back office operations of fund managers and fund administrators, delivering robust, intelligent solutions that are commercially available to all participants in the market. Their flagship product, CXi-Registry, is an award-winning member registry platform designed to deliver the best administration, management, investor and advisor experience available, while never compromising on security, legislative compliance or system performance. Recently the company announced the appointment of new staff, a move to a new office, and a series A raise of $2.25 million.
Equitise brings the Australasian investment network together, providing a platform for high growth and innovative companies to partner with investors who believe in them. They have created an intuitive and automated investment ecosystem which is highly social and inclusive for all investors, from families to VCs, from high net worth angels to less experienced retail investors. Equitise has offices in both Australia and New Zealand, and is backed by some of the best financial investors in Australia and New Zealand, including Investec, AWI, H2 Ventures, Tank Stream Ventures and BridgeLane Capital.
PractiFI is the customer platform for wealth management. Built with the power of Salesforce, PractiFI brings the best of contemporary cloud features and integration to the wealth industry. It’s more than just a system – it is an ecosystem of best-of-breed technologies that integrate harmoniously to create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. Founded by Adrian Johnstone and Glenn Elliott, PractiFI revolutionises financial services businesses by putting the client at the heart of everything. Customers can run their business on the cloud, automate processes, integrate solutions and engage more meaningfully with their customers. To date, the company has raised $1.3 million and boasts offices in Sydney, Melbourne and London.
Stockspot is Australia’s first digital investment adviser. The company was founded in 2013 by Chris Brycki with a mission to help more Australians access expert investment advice and portfolio management. The aim was to do away with the high fees, confusing jargon, endless paperwork and lack of transparency that gives the wealth management industry a bad reputation. Today Stockspot is the largest and fastest growing robo-advice service in Australia. In 2014 and 2015, Stockspot was selected as one of the leading global fintech innovators by KPMG. To date they have raised over $4 million from investors.
Xinja is a digital bank startup building an independent, 100 percent digital neobank for Australians. The solution will be quick, easy to use, intuitive, smart, personalised and automated, and a new account can be created in seconds. Customers can get instant balance updates on payments, deposits and spending, instantly see how they are tracking against financial goals, follow where money is going, and easily make spending adjustments. Xinja was founded by its CEO Eric Wilson, and is being built by a passionate team who firmly believe a bank can and should help their customers make more out of their money. Just this year the team successfully raised $2.4 million to bring their solution to more Australians.
Spaceship was founded in 2016 with a vision to engage young people in actively building a strong and secure financial future. Their first product, Spaceship Super, launched in 2017 and successfully broke into Australia’s $2.5tr superannuation industry, with the company capturing more than $200m in assets under management in its first 18 months. In December 2017, Spaceship was granted an Australian Financial Services Licence with authorisation to act as the responsible entity of registered managed fund products. In April 2018 Spaceship launched their second product – their first product outside of superannuation – Voyager, which makes investing in a diversified portfolio simple, easy and affordable.
Lendi is a home loan platform that matches borrowers and lenders; making it fast and simple for Australians to get home loans. Their tech matches customers with loans from over 30 major lenders, and helps them get approved via an easy online process. Their platform is supported by an in-house team of home loan specialists who make it easy to compare, choose and complete home loans online. Founded in 2013, Lendi has already grown to employ a team of over 250 across four offices in Australia, and has settled more than $5 billion in loans in the past year.
Ignition Wealth provides automated advice, tools and calculators to the Australian financial services market. Ignition Wealth’s tech is packaged in an off the shelf, easy to use solution targeted at professional financial businesses, predominantly advice practices and accountancy firms. Their API-based solution can integrate with a user’s existing enterprise and legacy software to enhance and augment the customer engagement process. Founded in 2014 by Mike Giles and Mark Fordree, the team have so far raised $4 million to help grow their offering.
Credi.com is an online platform for managing loan agreements between family, friends, and colleagues. They change the way people lend to each other by providing them with a platform to create, negotiate and accept loan agreements with the people they know and trust. Credi’s online platform offers users transparency, flexibility, and formality to informal loan agreements in Australia. Launched in 2016, Credi has already facilitated over $66 million worth of loans on the platform in Australia alone.
With the introduction of Open Banking, financial services organisations will need to provide their data through standardised APIs, which is possible using Basiq’s platform. Basiq partners with banks and fintechs to find innovative ways to do more with valuable insights gained through customer financial data. Access to real-time banking data enables organisations to leverage the power of data to gain greater customer insight, deliver new financial services and help their customers make smarter financial decisions. Secure access to hundreds of financial institutions (including Super funds and mortgage details) across Australia and New Zealand is provided through a simple set of RESTful APIs. Organisations choose to leverage Basiq’s powerful categorisation and enhancement engine for a variety of use cases including: credit decisioning, more targeted customer engagement, and better financial advice; across banks, lenders and fintechs.
QuietGrowth is an automated investment management service that offers customised and highly diversified portfolios. Clients can also have their funds professionally managed with a long-term investment perspective for a very low fee. Clients invest with them in Individual, joint, SMSF and trust accounts. QuietGrowth have built a robo-advice solution that automates the delivery of personalised investment advice and manages the funds of clients using algorithms and interactive interfaces. Founded by Dilip Sankarreddy and Krupakara Chinnasani in 2014, their mission is to provide everybody with access to wise investing, through knowledge, technology and transparency.
FirstStep helps you save as you spend. It analyses your discretionary spending and automatically saves small amounts into a diversified investment account. FirstStep lets anyone get started with no minimum investment, a simple setup, and a hassle-free and an automated way to collect small amounts around your daily spending habits. A FirstStep account invests in a diversified portfolio of low cost ETFs offering choice across several investment themes (Tech, Ethical, Asia and Health). Founded in 2015 by a group of young entrepreneurs, FirstStep has used the wonders of technology to build an investment product fund from the ground-up to direct small savings into investments that align with users own interests, with just a smartphone.
Adviser Ratings is Australia’s only independent financial adviser ratings and customer review service. Their solution helps customers to navigate their way through a financial advice industry with no less than 18,500 participants, while also helping the industry to better connect with customers. The solution is a service that makes choosing an adviser easier and helps consumers determine whether their current adviser is right for them. Adviser Ratings currently boasts over 24,500 advisers on their platform.
Pepperstone is an Australian online retail foreign exchange broker specialising in foreign exchange trading. They provide cutting-edge technology to traders across the globe. Established in 2010, their focus has been to change the way people trade on the foreign exchange market. The company provides access to fair, competitive and transparent pricing across all major currencies by equipping traders with best in class trading technology and customer service. Pepperstone offers a range of online trading platforms including MetaTrader 4, cTrader, WebTrader and mobile apps for iPhone, Android and tablets.
Cashwerkz is a term deposit investing hub, designed for the pros but freely available to anyone who wants to actively manage their cash. Their unique online platform provides access to a marketplace of some of the best term deposit rates offered, together with simple tools to search, compare and immediately invest. Founded in 2013 by Greg Bartlett and Mark Austin, Cashwerkz is passionate about helping Australians earn more interest on their cash investments by providing an easy and secure way to invest online. With collective backgrounds in technology, financial services, e-commerce and marketing, they have developed an online platform to transform the way consumers and financial advisers manage cash investing in Australia.
Rounded helps Australian freelancers and sole traders to run their business with invoicing, time and expense tracking, as well as everything they require at tax time. It’s the only accounting app explicitly designed to support freelancers, sole traders and gig economy workers. The solution is a beautifully designed, easy to use and affordable app which gives users everything they need with nothing they don’t. The app is available on desktop, tablet, Android and iOS.
Pin Payments is an all-in-one multi-currency online payment system, designed to bring the banks’ traditional merchant services up to date. Their solution is a developer API for accepting credit card payments online in multiple currencies. Through integrations with key e-commerce and business platforms, Pin Payments enables small businesses to start accepting payments online quickly and easily, whether they’re running an online store, invoicing clients, or processing card sales manually. They build beautifully simple software to help customers accept card payments using just one account, with multiple ways to get paid.
WAIV has created a better solution for transferring money overseas. Understanding that migrant workers represent a large portion of international money transfers, WAIV set out to create an international remittance platform for this marginalised group. Upon sign up members are given a new bank account, debit card, and access to the mobile app. The platform facilitates international money transfers in seconds for a low, flat fee. All about financial inclusion, the WAIV platform gives the world a better way to send and receive money, faster than ever before.
Simply Wall St helps share market investors to make better-informed decisions, by giving them access to institutional quality financial data presented in easy to understand infographics that can be easily appreciated by both new investors and veterans. Snowflake, the company’s graphic interpretation of live stock data, provides insight into investments in just a glance. Users can research more than 18,000 stocks (each with their own unique infographic visualisation), get new investment ideas, and manage their share portfolios. The company is backed by AWI Ventures and has raised over $3 million from investors to date.
From a small fintech startup with a big idea, Tappr has grown to develop a simple and smart payment platform ready for the future of payments. The company focuses on business payments, a space that used to be simple but is now rapidly expanding with payment options that consumers are demanding.
To solve this problem Tappr has built a platform that lets business future-proof their payments by creating…
1. Simple sign-up of new payment types,
2. Simple transacting of those payments on the Tappr Smart-Reader,
3. Simple business management through the Tappr Dashboard.
By offering the next-gen in payment technology, Tappr is revolutionising the payments industry and enriching the relationship between business and their customer’s payment experience.
Brighte is a digital credit platform for financing home energy improvements; making it easier to pay no interest for these upgrades. Brighte offers 0% interest payment plans that remove the upfront cost barrier of big-ticket items like solar and batteries for homeowners. endors meanwhile receive the prompt lump sum payment they need as soon as they complete the job. Brighte has raised $46 million, backed by Grok Investments as well as strategic supporters KPMG, Equifax, IBM and Stone and Chalk. Brighte founder Katherine McConnell recently won Outstanding FinTech Leader of the Year at the Finnies. Brighte is currently seeking a credit underwriter to join the team.
Can you be a startup and an ASX listed company? If you’re Afterpay Touch you can. In 2017, Afterpay and Touchcorp came together to leverage each other’s strengths, successfully floating on the stock market. The Afterpay solution is a simple payment process which allows shoppers to buy their product today and pay it off in 4 equal fortnightly instalments. Founded by Nick Molnar, Afterpay now represents over 25 percent of all Australian domestic apparel online sales and over 8 percent of all online physical retail sales, with more and more key brands now actively adopting Afterpay in-store. Afterpay Touch currently has half a dozen jobs open across sales, marketing, software engineering and QA.
Timelio is changing the way businesses access finance. The marketplace enables SMEs to expand by getting paid through an online network of investors who fund their invoices. Businesses can enhance cash flow by getting their customer invoices paid in less than 24 hours. The solution was created after husband and wife founders Charlotte and Andrew Petris noticed how tough it was for Australian SMEs trying to grow a business without access to adequate finance. They sought to bring the industry up to speed, and Timelio was born. To date they have funded $250 million of invoices and continue to grow staff numbers. Timelio is currently on the lookout for a sales and partnerships manager.
Prospa is a multi award winning online small business lender committed to helping small businesses access the funds they need to grow. Using a smart proprietary technology platform and a simple online application process, Prospa gives small business owners a fast and easy way to access finance. The company has already helped thousands of Australian small businesses, lending over $500 million since being established in 2011. They have raised over $96 million and were recently listed by The Martec as one of the top Australian tech employers. You can browse their LinkedIn jobs page for opportunities across HR, marketing, and tech.
We already featured Othera in our Sydney Blockchain Startups article, but we wanted to talk about them more! Othera is a financial services technology company that services lenders who are looking to streamline and automate SME credit decisions and manage post-settlement credit risk. Utilising blockchain technology, loan originators can automate lending workflows, digitise and tokenise loans, and issue digital loan tokens to investors. Their products include Ethereum blockchain lending platform as a service, blockchain digital asset exchange, accounting data stream service for SME automated lending providers, SME credit scoring and banks style decision model and software tools, and big data/machine learning dynamic credit risk management software for lenders. If you love Blockchain, good news – Othera are actively hiring.
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