12 hottest and fastest growing Australian fintech startups

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fintech startups | iTMunch

There is absolutely no shortage of groundbreaking Australian fintech startups and firms that promise to offer revolutionary solutions to its users. Sydney alone is, according to Australian FinTech, a $60 billion fintech industry and home to more than half of Australia’s fintech firms. Additionally, by the end of 2020, the Australian Fintech industry revenue is expected to exceed AU$4 billion at a CAGR of 76.3% [1]. 

As the pandemic hit across Australia (and the world) and forced people to stay indoors, more Aussies started to accept online solutions as a part of the ‘new normal’. A boom was seen not just in e-commerce but also in the country’s fintech industry. The Global Fintech Adoption Index found the fintech adoption rate in Australia to be 58% in 2019 which grew further substantially in 2020 [2]. 

Most of the top fintech startups launched in the country revolve around 3 financial sectors – money lending, wealth and investment and big data or data analytics. With more than 800 fintech firms in Australia, just 25% of them actually manage to generate profits. 

Here are 12 hottest Australian fintech startups that were able to continue to grow and thrive while setting benchmarks for others:

1. Afterpay

Year of establishment: 2014

Founders: Anthony Eisen and Nicholas Molnar

CEO: Anthony Eisen

About Afterpay: One of the hottest and biggest fintech companies in Australia, Afterpay is essentially a buy now, pay later darling. Using Afterpay, online shoppers can split their purchases in 4 easy and interest free instalments, the first one being at the time of purchase. No additional fee is charged by the fintech, except for the late payment fee. The app also allows scheduling repayments and sends regular reminders for the same. The BNPL fintech firm has been operating in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Recent Achievements: Despite the pandemic taking over, 2020 was a good year for Afterpay. The Aussie company acquired Spain-based fintech Pagantis for AU$ 82 million to expand its operations in Europe. The firm also raised a whopping $1.05 billion capital for further expansion into international markets. The Roy Morgan Digital Payments Report released in June 2020 found Afterpay to be a clear ‘buy no, pay later’ market leader with 55.8% Aussies being aware of the service [3].

2. Airwallex

Australian fintech startups - Airwallex | iTMunch

Year of establishment: 2015

Founders: Jack Zhang, Lucy Liu, Xijing Dai, Max Li

CEO: Jack Zhang

About Airwallex: Airwallex is a payments giant born in Melbourne that aims at simplifying global payments for people and businesses. The fintech offers smart cross-border payments infrastructure, technology and applications that inspire international growth and opportunities. Airwallex is one of Australia’s fastest growing fintech companies that has designed and developed a technology-driven financial infrastructure solution that allows transparent, high-speed and low-cost global payments collection and transfer.

Apart from Melbourne, it has a physical presence in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, London, San Francisco, Singapore, Bengaluru and Tokyo.

Recent Achievements: The fintech unicorn raised AUD 57 million for global expansion in September 2020. Airwallex also made it to the Forbes Cloud 100 list securing #61 position. Additionally, it launched the Airwallex Borderless Card in partnership with Visa that allows businesses to make payments to suppliers in seconds.

3. Athena Home Loans 

home loan fintech | iTMunch

Year of establishment: 2017

Founders: Nathan Walsh, Michael Starkey

CEO: Nathan Walsh

About Athena Home Loans: Athena believes that it is never about getting a home loan but about getting rid of it. The fintech company is basically an online-only low-interest mortgage service provider. Based in Sydney Athena aims at providing its Aussie customers personalised customer service and competitive interest rates on loans to help them save time and money. It also claims to offer lower interest rates to applicants that are ready to pay a higher down payment. The fintech doesn’t charge applicants any fee for the service it provides.

Recent Achievements: The company says that till now, it has helped its Australian users save a cumulative sum of more than AU$70 million over their loan tenures. One of the top fintech startups in Australia, Athena recently entered a strategic partnership with Newcastle Permanent sanctioning a $300 million in mortgage and home loan funding.

SEE ALSO: Newcastle Permanent partners with home-loan fintech Athena

4. BrickX

Year of establishment: 2014

Founders: Markus Kahlbetzer

CEO: Anthony Millet

About BrickX: A regulated retail platform for investors, BrickX aims to redefine the property investment landscape in Australia. A one-of-a-kind Sydney fintech that offers property investors access to an in-platform secondary market for liquidity as well as real estate asset class. Established with the mission to make residential property accessible to every Australian citizen, the founders designed a platform for the same that is low touch, transparent and accessible.  

Recent Achievements: As of 2020, BrickX has assets worth $20 million under its management. The fintech also raised over $12.5 million for operations and product development.

5. Douugh

Year of establishment: 2016

Founders: Andy Taylor and Mark Taylor

CEO: Andy Taylor

About Douugh: Douugh is a next-generation neobank that proudly says that it is a tech company and not a bank. Its founders have created an AI-powered app using which users can effectively manage their money according to their saving plans and budgets. Using Douugh, customers can keep a track of their spendings (like how much they spent on fuel or food and drinks), view, pay and track bills via dedicated ‘Bill Jars’ and organize, manage and track their savings by setting aside money for what’s important. They can give its users all the amazing features of a checking account, minus the unnecessary fee.

Recent Achievements: In October 2020, neobank Douugh began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange post a reverse takeover of a fintech startup ZipTel. Douugh raised $6 million ahead of its debut on the ASX.

6. Judo Bank

Year of establishment: 2018

Chairperson: Peter Hodgson

About Judo Bank: Headquartered in Melbourne, Judo Bank offers traditional & tech-backed financing options for SMEs across Australia. is an Australian challenger bank that provides lending opportunities to SMEs through its tech-enabled products.

Recent Achievement: The bank has managed to amass deposits worth AU$1 billion till Jan 2020

7. Moula

Australian fintech startup for business loans | iTMunch

Year of establishment: 2014

Founders: Aris Allegos, Andrew Watt and Piers Moller

CEO: Aris Allegos

About Moula: Moula is an Aussie fintech-based loan service startup that helps small and medium enterprises borrow money easily to scale up their businesses. Moula has created a world class platform by integrating business accounting data with tech that can process loan applications and make fair and responsible capital-lending decisions within minutes so the businesses can get access to credit the following day.

Recent Achievements: In 2019, Moula processed more than 20,000 business loan applications and grew its loan book by 124%. In December 2019, the fintech startup also raised a whopping AU$20 million in Series D funding round, which brings the total amount raised by Moula so far to AU$50 million.

8. Sempo 

Year of establishment: 2017

Founders: Tristan Cole and Nick Williams

About Sempo: An Australian blockchain payments fintech firm that created an inclusive payments infrastructure for emerging industries and markets. It is basically a lightweight wallet designed and developed to connect unbanked people in remote localities and communities and enable them to receive and send money easily.

Recent Achievements: Sempo recently received a massive €1 million grant from the European Commission to scale up its operations. Sempo is one of the biggest fintech companies that is backed by Blackbird Ventures, SOSV, dLab and Startmate.

SEE ALSO: Macquarie Group prepares its IT company Nuix for $1.5 billion IPO

9. Slyp 

Year of establishment: 2017

Founders: Paul Weingarth, Spiro Rokos and Mike Boyd

CEO: Paul Weingarth

About Slyp: A digital receipts platform through which retailers send smart receipts instantly to customers’ banking app via SMS & email. Slyp is a sophisticated digital receipt platform that enables retailers to seamlessly send interactive smart receipts to banking apps of consumers via SMS or email. The fintech startup allows users to pay with their bank cards and receive itemised tax receipts in their banking apps.

Recent Milestone: Integrated with NAB’s banking app. Its investors include big names in banking such as ANZ, NAB, Scentre Group (Westfield) and Westpac Ventures (Reinventure).

10. Up

Year of establishment: 2018

Founders: Dominic Pym and Grant Thomas

About Up: Counted in one of the top fintech companies in Australia, Up is an innovative digital bank designed in collaboration between Bendigo Bank and Ferocia, a software firm. The mobile-only bank works on users’ smartphones through an app and a debit card which is lined to a traditional real bank account. Few of its interesting features are 3-minute seamless merchant identification, real-time conversational payments, spending insights, instant Apple Pay activation in the app itself and automated round-ups.

Recent Milestone: Reinvested profits of $205 million into Australian communities

11. Waddle

accounting platform fintech | iTMunch

Year of establishment: 2014

Founders: Simon Creighton and Nathan Andrews

About Waddle: Long story short, Waddle is an efficient invoice finance platform. One of the industry-leading and fastest growing fintech companies, Waddle offers the most transparent pricing in addition to the friendliest terms for their accounting platform. It is an add-on for accounting platforms that gives Aussie organizations access to an on-demand revolving line of credit or working capital.

Recent Achievements: Over $330 million worth of loans to date have been provided to organizations in need.

SEE ALSO: Australian e-invoicing startup lands deal with the Federal Treasury

12. Zip Co

Year of establishment: 2013

Founders: Larry Diamond and Peter Gray

CEO: Larry Diamond

About Zip: Another buy now, pay later service in Australia that allows shoppers to shop anywhere online and set their own repayments. The Zip app allows users to manage their account in real-time, check and view their account balance and see their upcoming payments. The repayments can be made fortnightly, weekly or monthly and are always interest free.

Recent Achievements: The BNPL service is loved by 2 million+ Australian and Kiwi customers. Since its establishment, Zip has completed more than transactions worth more than $2 billion. Post Afterpay, Zip is the most trusted BNPL fintech in Australia with over 35.2% now being aware of its services [4].

Source

[1] Australian FinTech (2017) “Australian FinTech will exceed AUD $4 Billion by 2020” [Online] Available from: https://australianfintech.com.au/australian-fintech-will-exceed-aud-4-billion-by-2020/ [Accessed October 2020]

[2] Statista (2020) “Rate of fintech adoption in Australia from 2015 to 2019” [Online] Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1039163/australia-fintech-adoption-rate/ [Accessed October 2020]

[3] [4] Roy Morgan (2020) “Awareness of buy-now-pay-later services Afterpay and Zip soars to over 12.3 million Australians” [Online] Available from: www.roymorgan.com/findings/8438-digital-payment-solutions-june-2020-202006090457 [Accessed October 2020]

SEE ALSO: Fintech Revolut looks for new Aussie boss for senior global role

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