Fintechs dominate top Australian startups list

by Madison Utley18 Sep 2019

LinkedIn has released its second annual Top Startups list, ranking the 25 “hottest companies” in Australia that are growing rapidly, disrupting their industries, and “altering how we work and live.”

A challenger bank claimed the top spot on the list, with two other neobanks ranking in the top five. Three specialist lenders also nabbed slots on the roundup, all of which reflects the growing legitimisation of alternative lenders and the competition they pose to traditional banking institutions.

1—Judo Bank

Judo, referring to itself as “Australia’s first SME-focused challenger bank,” was launched in March of last year and secured its full banking licence from APRA in April 2019. In addition to business loans, Judo offers equipment loans, vehicle loans and home loans.

3 – Volt

Neobank Volt received its full banking licence from APRA in January of this year. Speaking to Australian Broker following the news, CEO Steve Weston said Volt plans to introduce both personal and home loans before the year’s end, with mortgage brokers to play a vital role in distribution.

While the bank is aiming to eventually introduce a full suite of home loan products, it will start with simpler loans while they test their systems.

5 – Xinja

Xinja was granted its full banking licence earlier this month. The challenger bank plans to add lending products to its offering in the first quarter of 2020 using data for risk-based pricing, which will allow good financial behaviour to be rewarded with better lending rates.

“We are going to see hyper-personalised, data-driven messaging, products and services that help people achieve their financial goals,” said founder and CEO Eric Wilson.

6 – Athena Home Loans

Nonbank mortgage lender Athena was launched in February of this year, centred around the goal of helping homeowners pay off their home loans faster.

“Our goal is to get customers a great home loan, and then help them get rid of it,” explained co-founder and CEO Nathan Walsh.

The lender’s digital platform eliminates the costs of bankers, branches or overheads, allowing savings to be passed through to customers in the form of lower interest rates.

Athena has made good on their platform by being the first lender to pass the rate cuts through in full following both the RBA’s June and July cash rate reductions.

14 – Moula

Business lender Moula provides loans of between $5,000 and $500,000 with no upfront fees, no transaction fees, and no penalty for early repayment. The application takes under ten minutes and a decision is delivered within 24 hours.

In March, Moula secured an additional $250m in funding to better compete head on with traditional banks, extending its loan terms from 24 to 36 months and doubling its maximum loan value. Pricing now starts from 15.95% APR and is said to be “unprecedented” in the online unsecured business lending space.

17 – GetCapital

GetCapital specialises in SME lending as well, offering a range of products that include flexible business loans, equipment finance and trade finance ranging from $5,000 to $500,000. The online application process has been designed to be frictionless, with a credit decision provided within 24 hours. The lender does not require financial statements for loans up to $150,000, and funds for approved loans are deposited into the business account within 24 hours.