Here’s what Australian startup founders are expecting to see in tech in 2020

- January 20, 2020 4 MIN READ
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As part of Startup Daily’s summer series, we asked a range of people in the startup ecosystem about the year that’s been and what they see for 2020.

One of the questions we asked was what are they expecting to see in tech this year. Here’s what they said.


Yanir Yakutiel, CEO and founder of Lumi

Yanir Yakutiel

CEO and founder of Lumi

2020 will be the year of the Fintech. I believe there are two specific things to look out for that sound contradictory but they’re not. The first point is that banks are retreating from a lot of industries, but on the other hand, some banks (often challenger banks) are being more supportive of fintech funding, allowing them to grow by accessing more capital. 

We’re also going to start seeing a lot of services that have been transitioning towards automation. Mainstream acceptance of automation is happening whether that’s through credit decisioning or robo-advice. This is driven by both improvements in AI technology but also data sending. 

More specifically for lending fintechs and the credit environment, 2020 will see the property market staying buoyant as a consequence of a trickle down effect from every other segment in the economy – especially when it comes to sentiment. Australia’s VCs have raised a record amount of money this year so there’s an unbelievable amount to be invested. There’s never been a better time to be a fintech founder – there’s a real opportunity for market share.


Adrian Przelozny, founder and CEO, Independent Reserve

Adrian Przelozny

CEO and Founder, Independent Reserve

According to our recent IRCI survey, 20% of Australians are looking to purchase crypto in 2020. 

Moreover, 32% to 38% of Gen-z and millennials indicated that they would be likely to purchase crypto in 2020. This isn’t surprising, as according to the survey, 94% of Gen-zs have made money or broke even in crypto. And just about everyone in that age group knows someone who’s made a sizeable profit in the space.

The adoption of cryptocurrency isn’t as meteoric as it was in 2017, but the growth is nonetheless strong and steady. We’re going to see more and more businesses accepting Bitcoin and other cryptos, as well as content producers and influencers accepting crypto donations. Independent Reserve is seeing millions of dollars being poured in from SMSFs – and I expect this to continue next year. You wouldn’t know about it unless you’re in the middle of it all!


Bryan Williams, Head of Ecosystem and Marketplace, Xero Australia

Bryan Williams

Head of Ecosystem and Marketplace, Xero Australia

With the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll having rolled out in the past 18 months, it has created the need for many Australian businesses to have a digital system of record for their payroll.

We’re expecting this to have a knock on effect to surrounding tech players across HR, onboarding and scheduling and rostering.

Carolyn Breeze

GM ANZ, GoCardless

I think we will see great innovations in the financial services sector. Particularly as open banking APIs become available.

I see this followed by consolidation and partnerships that are driving world-class in context experiences for consumers.

Dave Stein, Head of Corporate Development, Airwallex

Dave Stein

Head of Corporate Development, Airwallex 

eCommerce is booming in Australia, and with it, the volume of international business transactions. 2020 is going to be a pivotal year in removing the financial barriers that have prevented Australian brands and businesses from trading overseas.

It’s very exciting to be at the forefront of this change. 


Dipra Ray 

CEO of mPort

Big focus on privacy and cybersecurity on the consumer end. I’d expect some regulation on big tech as we’re at a tipping point where some of the larger tech firms wield far too much power.


Silvia Pfeiffer, Coviu CEO

Dr Silvia Pfeiffer

CEO of Coviu

As technical advances continue and network connectivity issues become less and less, next year I’m expecting to see more healthcare clinicians get on board with telehealth technology and start to offer video visits as part of their standard services.

This is absolutely critical in not only helping to bridge the healthcare gap between rural vs metro areas, but also in giving busy professionals, or those with mobility issues, the opportunity to access quality healthcare services, as and when they need it. 

With this, we’ll also see more reimbursements for telehealth than ever before, coupled with more technical updates in telehealth and EHealth in general.


Jurie Rossouw, CEO, Driven

Jurie Rossouw

CEO, Driven

In 2020, I think we’ll see more and more businesses integrating AI. We are seeing with clients that they are actively working to integrate AI into their tech strategies, especially in the wellness space.

We believe that AI can help democratise mental health.

That’s why we built Driven, an AI chatbot scientifically proven to build resilience which is a key preventative factor against mental disease.


Sunil Vohra

Co-founder, The Workability Index 

More good ideas, more competition and some breakthrough of how technology changes the big conversations in the community. I think we will be talking more about how the solutions create value, not just that they are founded in technology.


Karen Chan

Senior Member, Investec Emerging Companies

The ecosystem is only getting stronger and we are seeing deeper ecosystem development outside of Sydney and Melbourne. We are also starting to see extensions of the ecosystem, as startups continue to chase global expansion.

Sam Bashiry

Director and founder, Broadband Solutions

I think personalisation will be key. At the levels of scale that we’re really talking about, and as we approach more and more digital disruption in traditional industries, people are going to be looking for technology that maintains an element of the personal touch and personal experience, rather than treating them like just another user.


Jason Byrne

CEO and co-founder, Freighty

In terms of exits I see lots of trade sales. I don’t see many IPOs getting away!


Mark Trowell, co-founder and CEO, Yabonza

Mark Trowell

Cofounder and CEO, Yabonza 

I think we’ll see a lot more hybrid FinTech companies combined with other offerings products and verticals coming out as open banking increases and the landscape becomes more attuned to the needs of potential disrupters.


Cortina McCurry

Co-founder and CEO, Caia

More innovations around chatbots, IoT and in home devices being used to support health care needs for the elderly and those who might have mobility issues. Additionally, an increase in automation to support diagnostics at scale.


Giorgio Baracchi

Co-founder and CEO, RecycleSmart

More and more great companies getting out of Antler cohorts!


Skye Theodorou

Co-founder and CEO of upcover

There are a huge amount of angel investors turning their syndicates to funds. I wish them all the best, as I know it will be a great kick-starter for so many aspiring start-ups in 2020. 


Ian Yip

Co-founder and CEO of Avertro

More AR, VR, AI, RPA, and random acronyms, unfortunately. Thankfully, I think we’ll see less blockchain-related solutions looking for problems to solve.


Lara Solomon, founder and CEO of Story Antics

Lara Solomon

Founder and CEO, Story Antics

I expect and hope to see more accountability for platform content, more transparency and positive movement for gender issues such as pay, management positions etc.

Finally more platforms creating platform specific content (Netflix, Amazon, etc).