The UK Department of International Trade (DIT) is partnering with the Australian Chamber of Commerce to send five Australian fintech startups to the UK to participate in the inaugural British Australian Fintech Forum (BAFF), which will see them collaborating with local startups and gaining insight from key industry members.
The participants, who must be developing their product or service with an international focus to be selected, will be exposed to a network of senior figures from UK and Australia’s fintech ecosystem to share their ideas and meet potential investors and collaborators.
Joining the startups will be a number of Australian industry names, including Toby Heap, founding partner of H2 Ventures, and Deputy CEO of the ASX, Peter Hiom. Also participating in the course is Tyro Fintech Hub head Andrew Corbett-Jones and Global Head of Fintech for Ernst & Young, Imran Gulamhuseinwala.
Michael Ward, British Consul General and Director-General for UK Trade and Investment, Australia and New Zealand, said the program will provide an excellent opportunity for any Australian fintech company looking to expand into the UK or globally.
“It will be a tremendous opportunity for any fintech considering expansion to the UK to meet with the movers and shakers in the London fintech community and learn about the opportunities in this world leading financial centre,” said Ward.
The UK is the world’s fastest growing region for local fintech investment, a sector which turned over GBP$6.5 billion GBP (AUD$10.5 billion) in revenue and attracted above GBP$520 million (AUD$85 million) in investment during 2015.
The BAFF represents just one initiative to facilitate collaboration between UK and Australia to help fintech innovation flourish, with earlier this month the UK DIT announcing a new trade delegation of eleven successful UK startups to participate in a five day pitching and workshop program in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
The lineup includes startups innovating across various fintech areas including data analytics, small business loans, cloud asset management and compliance.}
Amongst these is FundApps, which provides an cloud based platform that looks to automate the compliance and shareholding disclosure process in over 85 different jurisdictions.
The delegation, which kicks off in mid-March, will look to provide the startups an opportunity to meet and pitch to Australian VC firms and financial institutions, visit fintech hubs, meet regulatory and government ministers and also network with other local Australian and UK startups.
Speaking about the local program, Ward said he believes it will provide a strong opportunity for both UK and Australian fintechs.
“We look forward to welcoming our first UK fintech delegation to showcase the opportunities that exist in Australia and New Zealand for UK companies and to foster greater collaboration between our countries in this rapidly developing and growing sector,” he said.
Helping Australian fintech startups collaborate and expand into international markets has emerged as a trend beginning last year, with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) signing an agreement with foreign regulatory bodies including the UK’s Financial Services Authority, the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada and the Capital Market Authority of Kenya.
According to ASIC Commissioner John Price, the agreements marked a significant step in “paving the way” towards helping Australian fintech startups grow internationally.
Image: Michael Ward (left). Source: Australian British Chamber of Commerce.