Fintech companies are giving traditional financial systems a run for their money and reshaping the way we do business, forever. Thanks to this fast evolving niche, it’s become easier and cheaper for businesses to grow.
Blazing a trail in Australia is Charlotte Petris.
She’s the co-founder and CEO of Timelio, an award-winning start up best described as a peer-to-peer marketplace for invoice financing.
It launched as a husband-and-wife team but will soon expand to more than 30, not bad for a venture that started only a little over a year ago.
One of Australia’s only female fintech founders, Charlotte says starting her own business was always on the cards. But Timelio only took off when two things came into acute alignment.
She says, “I had just had my second child and I couldn’t imagine going back to work in the corporate banking environment. It was the right time for me to seek a new challenge doing something I am extremely passionate about, helping other businesses grow.”
The second tipping point involved a shift in industry mood.
“The timing was also right for an industry shakeup. Particularly in Australia where I could see a huge opportunity for technology to start challenging the incumbents and old ways of doing things.”
Charlotte’s decision to quit a long and lucrative career in corporate finance and start her own business has certainly paid off.
Timelio is changing the way small businesses access finance. It works by allowing 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.
“There are a lot of people out there within the large corporate organisations that want to go out and do their own thing, but very few actually do it,” she says.
“If you have a real passion to try something new or start your own business, it’s worth taking the risk and that first step. The biggest risk is not even giving it a try.”
Keeping on top of momentum
Charlotte’s biggest challenge now is Timelio’s furious rate of growth.
As the start up embarks on a massive recruitment campaign, she’s aware of the importance of finding the right hire – every single time.
“It’s so important to get people who are the right fit for the team and company and also share your values.”
“The other challenge for me is how my role is changing almost every month as the business scales and the team grows. It’s a very exciting time, and every new hire has such a huge and positive impact on the team.”
Charlotte’s incredible journey with Timelio has been a standout success in the male dominated tech and fintech space (she’s also Vice President of FinTech Australia and a member of the Federal Government’s FinTech Advisory Group).
On gender diversity, she says her experience as a founder has been “quite positive”.
“There is more and more support, particularly through networks like Springboard that focus on women leading highly scalable technology businesses. Our first tech hire was a female. In fact, half of our team is now female, so we’re very lucky.”