Sydney-based open banking startup Basiq has secured seed investment from National Australia Bank’s (NAB) funding arm NAB Ventures and Westpac’s VC fund Reinventure Group. The funding amount was not disclosed.
Basiq’s algorithm scrapes financial data from the web pages of banks to supply fintechs with data to help them compete with the big banks. Currently in its early stages, the solution looks to evolve into its own online banking platform that harnesses various application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve a customer’s experience with financial services.
The investment in the open banking fintech comes ahead of the government’s push for an open banking regime to be introduced in Australia, as outlined in this year’s budget. $1.2 million in 2017-18 will be supplied to the Department of the Treasurer to conduct an independent review into the most appropriate implementation model for open banking. Under the regime, banks would be required to share product and customer data and open up the door for new fintech offerings.
Todd Forrest, managing director of NAB Ventures, told the AFR that Basiq represented an opportunity for the bank to get ahead of open banking implementation.
“We can see that open data is coming and we want to be on the front foot,” he said.
“Basiq could play a role in that evolving landscape and provide a secure platform. This is coming, and the best way to solve for it in a positive, collaborative way. This is a bigger play than just access to data. This is about ‘banking as a platform’, where middleware like Basiq can enable new, innovative services for our customers.”
Anticipating this direction, last year saw NAB launch an API developer portal, which provides its users the ability to see NAB ATM locations and foreign exchange data.
Reinventure general partner, Kara Frederick, said the investment in Basiq will help widen the opportunities within the fintech ecosystem.
“Basiq will help to open up a world of fintech end-to-end solutions, some of which we anticipate – like the digitisation of the traditionally manual mortgage application process – and many of which are yet to be discovered,” she said.
Basis emerged out of founder Damir Cuca’s frustration with accessing secure data, banking services and banking connectivity while he was developing a budgeting app back in 2015. Entering the market this year, the platform uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model for customers and offers easy integration.
Using Basiq, Cuca said, will help banks expose their APIs and offer fintech startups and accessible pathway to tap into them.
“Basiq’s fundamental mission is to enable innovation in the fintech space,” he said.
“By providing a platform that delivers core banking functionality through a set of secure and easy to use API services the opportunities and possibilities of what can be created are endless.”
“A key part of realising this vision is to work with existing financial institutions and fintechs and be the bridge between the two. The institutions provide the regulatory discipline and the core systems, and the fintechs provide the speed of innovation.”
Image: Reinventure’s Simon Cant, Kara Frederick & Danny Gilligan. Source: Business Insider.