The two companies say their Proquo joint startup venture will offer a range of services to more than two million Australian small businesses where they will soon be able to develop and grow their businesses.
Proquo will begin a pilot phase this month, with a full launch expected in July.
The startup takes its name from what Telstra and NAB say is a modern interpretation of the phrase quid pro quo — meaning "this for that" — and offers users the “unique ability to swap or exchange their skills or services in addition to traditional monetary payments”.
While it is a 50/50 joint venture, it will operate as an independent entity and is specifically aimed at small and micro businesses that either can offer, or are in need of, marketing, accounting, legal, design or technology services.
Registration with Proquo is deemed by NAB and Telstra as quick and easy and can be done at the Proquo website.
In the establishment phase, Proquo will be led by Co-CEOs Carl Spurling and Ricky Lam from NAB and Telstra respectively. The board of the new venture comprises Jonathan Davey (executive general manager of NAB Labs), Andy Ellis (group managing director of Telstra Business), Christine Russo (head of key accounts at Telstra) and Leigh O’Neill (NAB executive general manager of micro and small businesses).
NAB executive general manager micro and small business Leigh O’Neill said NAB was continually looking at ways to support Australian businesses and to make it easier for them to build their business.
“Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy. Around 97% of all Australian businesses are small businesses and they provide a huge economic contribution to Australia’s current and future prosperity.
“Small business owners tell us they are continually looking for new ways to do business and we think Proquo will provide them with a unique way to network and grow their business.
“Strategic partnerships like this one with Telstra, to combine the capabilities of two of Australia’s biggest companies, create a really innovative business option for the small business community.”