Venture Capital

Apr
07

Fintech sector held back by fear factor, not a lack of capital

A dearth of ideas and entrepreneurs, rather than capital, is the main barrier to innovation in Australia, delegates at the Australian Financial Review Banking & Wealth Summit heard on Wednesday. Chris Brycki​, chief executive of online investment adviser Stockspot​, said that high salaries and the low number of job losses in the financial services sector after the global financial crisis meant that few people were prepared to leave their employers and take the risk of starting a business. Mr Brycki’s comments run counter to the perceived wisdom that the unwillingness of Australian investors, particularly superannuation funds, to invest in start-ups is inhibiting their development. “I think the lack of capital […]

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Apr
04

NAB enlists venture capitalists to invest in start-ups

National Australia Bank is turning to the venture capital sector to run its $50 million fund that will invest in fintech start-ups, a plan aimed at boosting innovation across the lender. The bank has appointed Todd Forest, an entrepreneur, angel investor and digital media executive, to run NAB Ventures, which expects to make its first investment in the next month or so. Alongside Mr Forest, NAB has hired Melissa Widner, one of the most senior women in Australian venture capital, who has also worked in the United States, as general partner. A co-founder of leading Australian fund Blackbird Ventures, Bill Bartee, will also work with the NAB fund as an […]

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Mar
29

Reinventure backs Flare HR to disrupt default super

Westpac Banking Corp’s venture capital fund Reinventure Group has taken a stake in Flare HR, a start-up that has built software that promises to enhance company engagement with employees and disrupt the $9 billion default superannuation market. Reinventure Group has invested more than $1 million in a recent seed fundraising round by Flare, which has spent a year building a cloud-based platform that will launch in May. The Sydney-based company has a dozen full-time staff working in the fintech hub Stone & Chalk and expects to grow to 30 people over the next six months. Flare’s software, which manages the on-boarding of new employees and various human resources functions including […]

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Mar
21

Scott Morrison scraps GST on Bitcoin, cuts fintech red tape

Treasurer Scott Morrison said digital currencies such as Bitcoin will be exempt from GST and restrictions on crowdfunding eased, under changes to boost the fintech sector. The government will also reduce tax barriers for venture capital investing in fintech companies and is working with the corporate regulator on a “regulatory sandbox” for start-ups that will allow them to focus on developing new products first and regulatory requirements later. Other measures include tasking the Productivity Commission with deciding whether major banks should be forced to share customers’ repayments data with credit bureaus and creating a new “entrepreneur’s visa”, which was announced in December. Digital currency Bitcoin will be exempt from GST […]

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Mar
07

Signal Ventures hunts Australian early stage tech startups with $10m fund

Early stage Australian tech startups will soon have a fresh option for seeking funding with the formation of a new $10 million venture capital fund backed by US and Australian investors. The fund is to be run by Signal Ventures, which has been founded by Melbourne-based startup industry backer Atlanta Daniel and experienced US-based tech investor Niel Robertson. It is in the midst of raising a $10 million warchest, and expects to have closed its funding round by the end of April. The fund will target so-called seed investing rounds, or the first external funding round for up and coming startups, and is likely to inject around $150,000 to $250,000 […]

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Mar
02

Investec buys into H2 Ventures

This is great news for Ben and Toby Heap, the brains behind H2 Ventures, with Investec Australian taking a stake in their businesses. This is also great news for the Australian FinTech industry. Investec Australia has taken a stake in the fintech accelerator H2 Ventures, a move the specialist lender believes will put it in the box seat to win work from entrepreneurs as they scale their businesses. The amount of Investec’s investment in H2 has not been disclosed but is understood to be several million dollars. David Phillips, the head of principal investing at Investec Australia, will join the board of H2, whose only other two shareholders are the […]

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Jan
28

Fintech funds are drying up, but some local players welcome the drought

Aris Allegos, the founder of online small business lender Moula, was an entrepreneur in the dotcom era and an investment banker during the global financial crisis, so he has seen first hand the havoc a speculative frenzy can create. But as the torrent of capital from US funds backing start-ups in the burgeoning fintech industry slows, instead of panicking, this time around Allegos and his rivals are more relaxed. Although less capital will mean not all start-ups will survive, a more rational approach by investors will ensure money isn’t wasted, local fintech players say. “Before the [dotcom bust] an IPO document would say ‘This business gets X number of eyeballs’ […]

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Dec
17

Australia is fast becoming a top source of fintech funding

Despite opportunities lost and having a relatively smaller fintech market than that of the US and the UK, Australia remains a top source of funding for financial technology companies. Last week, Australia’s biggest finance firm Atlassian debuted on Nasdaq, causing somewhat of a heartbreak to the local fintech market as its road to becoming a global public brand and increasing its current $8 billion valuation could contribute a lot to the local finance industry. However, various experts in the country are still confident that there is still an overflowing amount of money to boost the nascent fintech industry, and this could come from the local investors and companies. Economists projected […]

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