Australia still more of an “emerging star” according to Fintech100 list

Elizabeth Barry 25 October 2016

looking at an emerging star

The list, released by H2 Ventures and KPMG, included twice as many "emerging star" companies as established fintech companies.

The Fintech100 list, released overnight by KPMG and H2Ventures, listed double the number of Australian companies as "emerging stars", while only three companies were listed in the top 50. Prospa (31), Tyro (43) and SocietyOne (50) all found a place in the top of the list, an achievement for any Australian company on a global list, but the highest we placed was Prospa at number 31.

While these companies are operating in a market that is much smaller than other countries and dealing with a different financial landscape, the list shows that Australia is only just beginning to make a name for itself on the global fintech stage. In fintech reports where regions have been analysed for their innovation finesse, Australia is usually lumped together with the rest of Asia, albeit occasionally exemplified for leading policies or progression. The same is true for this report.

Most often praised is our regulation, which is still being formed and changed to better support startups looking to innovate financial services. Another important differentiator is where Australia is in the fintech lifecycle. It's generally agreed that banks partnering with fintech startups will be the next stage for the industry, as opposed to outright disruption and destruction by startups. These partnerships are already commonplace in Australia.

Our highest-ranked fintech company Prospa is one of the leading examples of this with its partnership with Westpac. Global lender OnDeck (30), which operates in Australia but is headquartered in the US, won fintech partnership of the year at the Australian Fintech Awards for its collaboration with CommBank.

Tony Heap of H2 Ventures, an Australian digital design and investment firm, commented on the dominance of other markets in this list.

"The continued dominance of China, which rapidly rose last year to take the top spot, tells only part of the story. We are seeing the emergence of exciting fintech players in countries across the world – from India to Israel, from Portugal to the Philippines."

While the landscape for Australia becomes more conducive to fintech success, we have to remember that we are operating in a global market and that the standards of innovation increase with that.

The six companies that achieved "emerging star" status were AfterPay, Brighte, Data Republic, HashChing, Identitii and Spriggy.

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