Thursday, 15 October 2015 01:09

Melbourne fintech sector lags Sydney: survey


Finding key talent and the availability of capital funding sources remain the most significant problem for fintechs in Melbourne, according to the findings of a fintech census, which also finds Melbourne already has a strong and thriving community of financial tech companies.

But, despite the strength of the Melbourne fintech community, the survey finds that Melbourne is lagging behind, and offers poor support, to financial tech companies compared to Sydney, London, the US, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Fintech Census, founded by MoneyPlace CEO, Stuart Stoyan, surveyed 52 Melbourne fintech companies, representing more than 500 entrepreneurs about the challenges facing their business.

According to Stoyan, there is an “overarching cry out” for a dedicated fintech space in Melbourne and, more broadly, he says Fintech is a huge opportunity for Australia. “Financial services represent 9% of GDP and are ripe for disruption.”

But, Stoyan says the biggest problem facing fintechs was attracting customers, with the consensus that greater accessibility to key figures in private and public enterprises would give emerging businesses a much needed leg up.

“There has been some great efforts to establish Sydney’s fintech community.  We need these efforts to be replicated in Melbourne, so that a robust national fintech ecosystem can ensure Australian fintech remains relevant in a regional and global context,” Stoyan said.

“The census paints a clear picture of the needs of fintech in Melbourne including limited early stage funding, lack of clear pathways to partner with Government or corporates and that the majority believe Melbourne is lagging behind Sydney.”

And, Stoyan says the Fintech Census – the first ever in Melbourne - was the first step towards establishing a collective voice for Victorian fintech entrepreneurs and, he adds, it showed a unified call for greater support from the Government and corporates.

And, here’s a snapshot of Melbourne’s fledgling fintech sector from Stoyan:

•    Melbourne fintechs are solving problems for payments, personal finance/asset management, lending or providing institutional tools

•    The majority of Melbourne fintechs are under two years old, have less than 10 employees, are post-launch and are based in the CBD

•    Almost 60% of Melbourne fintechs have five or less employees. About 10% have more than 20 people in the company

•    85% of Melbourne fintechs are founder funded with a quarter also receiving funding from VCs or externally funded

•    Only 10% of Melbourne fintech founders are women

•    The majority, 50% were aged in their 30s, with 15% in their 20s and 10% over 50-year-old.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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