Melbourne-based Pencil, an application management system that allows businesses to easily submit credit applications digitally, with immediate approvals, is the only Australian business chosen to take part in Startupbootcamp’s next fintech accelerator.
Two social impact startups, Youthful Savings, a learning marketplace offering the next generation the tools of financial education and entrepreneurship; and ZigWay, a mobile app that helps low income families access nano loans of less than $200 quickly and cheaply, will also join the cohort, which includes startups from India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Myanmar, the UK and the US.
Startupbootcamp received nearly 900 applications globally from 59 countries for the program and the final 10 were chosen from a shortlist of 20 companies after a recent two-day screening and mentoring event in Melbourne.
Businesses with a focus on back office efficiency comprised the majority of total applications, followed by those in the areas of asset and wealth management, financial inclusion and RegTech, financial wellbeing and open banking.
The program, backed by the likes of NAB, Bupa, Deloitte, Capgemini, DiUS and Amazon Web Service, will kick off on June 3, climaxing with a Demo Day on August 29.
Each company receives free co-working space at Startupbootcamp’s Melbourne CBD offices, $25,000 for living expenses, more than $1 million worth of partner deals, including support from DiUS, KHQ Lawyers and Pitcher Partner.
Startupbootcamp Australia CEO Trevor Townsend said the global fintech sector was booming with VC-backed companies raising US$6.3B in the first quarter of 2019.
“The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing and we’ve seen tremendous interest in this program across the financial sector in Australia. The calibre of startup applications is the best and most we’ve ever seen for a first year program,” he said
“The next three months will be transformational for the 10 startups selected. They’ll be pushed to breaking point and will need to quickly focus on their greatest opportunity as a result of the hundred plus meetings, workshops and mentoring sessions with industry leaders. It’s why when we select, the most important thing we look for is the strength of their team, how coachable they are and their ability to execute.”
Startupbootcamp FinTech Australia MD Brian Collins said it was exciting to have an Australian startup in the top 10 from among 900 global applications.
“Pencil is changing the way that smaller businesses interact with their vendors and its founders, Tim and Greg, are seasoned entrepreneurs who have a track record of building successful businesses here in Australia,” he said.
“Collectively, these 10 startups have the ability to make a real impact on the Australian financial industry at large.”
Startupbootcamp Australia accelerated 20 startups since 2018, which have gone on to raise a combined total of AU$61.3M, create 44 jobs and work on 25 POCs with local commercial partners.
The 10 teams selected for the FinTech Accelerator program are:
ZScore Technologies: an AI-powered platform that enables organisations to understand and extract value from their data through advanced data profiling.
Emotics: a RegTech company that analyses user engagement with online compliance training, using a suite of analytics, including facial recognition and facial micro-expression analysis.
ChintaMoney: a mobile app that digitises Jam Jar budgeting, which allows users to split their income into different categories (bills, travel, savings, etc) for better financial health.
InsureVite: a NLP chatbot that includes advanced features, like smart contracts and optical image processing, for applications in industries like insurance, banking, e-commerce, and airlines.
TradingValley: a wealth management solution powered by machine learning that helps users build the right investment portfolio to suit their life needs.
InfoVera: an online marketplace that gives business owners an industry benchmark score and recommendations to increase the value of their company.
Youthful Savings: a learning marketplace that empowers the next generation with the tools of financial education and entrepreneurship necessary to thrive.
Pencil: an application management system that allows businesses to easily submit credit applications digitally by auto collating an accurate ASIC-verified business record for immediate approvals.
ZigWay: a mobile app that helps low income families access nano loans of less than $200 quickly and cheaply.
Fractal: an API suite that provides a data aggregation and intelligence platform where banks and other financial institutions can provide value adding services to SMEs.
Startupbootcamp is one of the world’s largest fintech innovation networks, running programs in more than 10 cities around the globe.