Venture Capital and Corporate Partnership firm Reinventure was founded by Danny Gilligan and Simon Cant; and it operates at a strict arm’s length from Westpac. One of the core investment strategies firm is to invest in technology companies that Westpac can provide a significant advantage to.
Most corporate venture capital firms look at investments and ask, ‘Is there an advantage for the corporation in this investment?’ Cant, however, says that Reinventure flips that model on its head and asks the question, ‘Is there a strategic advantage for the venture in being backed by this corporation?’
“The reason we do that is because disruption is a long term process, it a five to seven year experience and it creates very unpredictable changes, and as a result companies that are seen as successful in being a massive disruptor to their industry often end up doing so by diversifying into spaces that they might never have imagined they would be involved in previously,” says Cant.
“One of the best examples of that would probably be Fuji Film who have diversified out of the traditional film industry – which was completely disrupted and have diversified into cosmetics and biomedical products, they do semi-conductors, they create the film on the front of LCD televisions, so they have diversified into a whole range of companies and imaging is now a small part of what they do.”
While that is not going to be true for every industry that gets disrupted, Cant is right; and these days you do see this diversification happening in a lot of disrupted industries – media being a classic example. Media players are trying to get into ecommerce and retail – look at Allure’s recent investment in startup BellaBox.
“What we are doing is exploring adjacent markets and ideally creating options for Westpac overtime,” Cant told Startup Daily.
Startups that Reinventure have put money into so far include SocietyOne and Nabo, as well as another to be announced in coming weeks that Cant was unable to mention during our conversation.
This idea of disruption and diversification will form the premise of Cant’s talk at the upcoming Disruptocon Conference being held later this month.
There will be a whole track of the conference dedicated to FinTech companies with speakers including Alex Twig (UBank), Kim Heras (25Fifteen), Jamie Conyngham (Tapit), Chris Diehm (Coinjar) and Chris Brycki (Stockspot), to name a few.
In addition to the focus around financial technologies, Disruptocon will also have tracks of the conference focused on Business and Innovation, Bitcoin, Health Technologies and Venture Capital and Investment.
Like most startup related conferences, there will also be a pitching competition taking place over the course of the two days as well as a Tech Talent Show. The format, however, will be a little different with startups able to participate online if they can not physically be at the conference. If you are a startup and interested in taking part, you can register here.
Disruptocon will take place on the 28th and 29th of April at the Marriott Hotel in Sydney. There will also be a live stream of conference available for those unable to make the trip interstate.
To find out more about Disruptocon or register for the livestream visit Disruptocon.com