When we talk about financial technology in Asia, we typically turn to places like Singapore, widely regarded to be the fintech “hub” of the region, or to Japan, with its advanced consumer economy (and increased participation in fintech events in the West, like Finovate and FinDEVr, or to China which was recognized by H2 Ventures and KPMG in their 2016 Fintech 100 report as follows:
China now tops the global ranks—swithin three years, China’s fintech ventures have gone from only one company included in the top Established 50 rankings in 2014, to this year China featuring four of the top five companies and eight of the top 50.
This includes Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, which as the world’s largest third-party payment platform, is the #1 company in the report, as well as Qudian, a Beijing-based student micro lender, ranked #2.
But there’s a reason why analysts refer to the area as the Asia-Pacific region, and part of that reason is the presence of countries like Australia and New Zealand which, while very much a part of the Asian financial ecosystem, are often overlooked in discussions about the growth of fintech in the area.
Turning back to the H2 Ventures/KPMG report, we see that of the top 100 companies highlighted, while 14 are from Asia, 1o are from Australia and New Zealand. This compares well with the U.K., a long-standing global fintech center, that landed 12 companies in the top 100. These companies include:
- #14 Xero (F11; FD14) – New Zealand
- #31 Prospa – Australia
- #43 Tyro – Australia
- #50 SocietyOne (F12) – Australia
As well as emerging stars:
- AfterPay – Australia
- Bright – Australia
- Data Republic – Australia
- HashChing – Australia
- Identitii (F16) – Australia
- springy – Australia
Australian and New Zealand fintech companies are clearly punching above their weight. As one illustration noted by Let’s Talk Payments, in December 2015, 5% of Australian fintech startups raised capital. Yet that 5% represented 14% of all capital raised by fintechs in December. Compare this to the United Kingdom where 15% of fintechs received investment dollars in December 2015, yet the amount raised was 11% of the total for that month. It is no surprise that China stands out as the true overachiever, with only 2% of Chinese companies raising capital in last December, but those companies represented 17% of all financing raised.
The takeaway here is more than a call for FinovateDownUnder—although that’s an intriguing idea. It suggests that more attention paid to Australia—as both a developing fintech nation in its own right, as well as a way for Western companies, technical talent, and capital to begin making its way eastward—could be well-rewarded.
- 9 Australian companies have made it to the latest global Fintech 100 – Business Insider Australia
- Australian FinTech Firms Recognized as World Leaders in FinTech – Cryptocoins News
- Australian fintech founders recognized as world leaders next to tech giants Stripe, Xero and Square – Startup Smart
- CBA takes pop-up innovation lab on a tour of Australia – Finextra
Our friends from Down Under
This discussion of Australia and New Zealand merits a reminder of how many innovators from Down Under are alums of our Finovate and FinDEVr conferences. In addition to those mentioned above, here’s a quick look at some of our more recent Australian and New Zealander alums: