Brighte CEO Katherine McConnell named fintech leader of the year at Finnie Awards

- June 14, 2018 2 MIN READ

Brighte founder and CEO Katherine McConnell has been named Australia’s fintech leader of the year and Afterpay the fintech organisation of the year at the second annual Finnie Awards.

Run by FinTech Australia, the 23 awards were decided by a panel of 81 judges, recognising companies that FinTech Australia CEO Brad Kitschke said are providing consumers and businesses new and improved services and “a real alternative” to traditional financial institutions.

“The winners include smaller fintech startup companies but now also include larger scaleup fintechs which are dominant players in their sectors and are major employers in their own right,” he said.

The win for McConnell follows a big few months for Brighte.

The startup, which allows customers to purchase solar panels, insulation, and batteries for their properties on a no-interest repayment plan from more than 450 partner vendors, in mid-May secured a $20 million debt funding facility from NAB, and raised $18.5 million in a Series B round led by Airtree Ventures.

Afterpay, meanwhile, has taken out the fintech organisation of the year award and its chief executive Nick Molnar the emerging fintech leader of the year award just a few days after joining the ASX200.

The business reported earlier this year that it has more than 1.5 million customers on board, shopping through over 12,000 merchants. It has launched in New Zealand and is exploring opportunities in the United States.

With the awards presented by Jobs for NSW, Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said in a statement he was happy to see that 17 of the 23 winners were companies based in NSW.

NSW Government spokesperson deputy premier and minister for small business John Barilaro said he was happy to see that 17 out of the 23 award winners were based in NSW.

“The NSW Government welcomes this outcome and both recognises and supports the vitally important and increasing role of fintech in the state’s economy,” Barilaro said.

“A large part of NSW’s competitive advantage on the Australian and world stage comes about through its dominance in fintech innovation.”

The 23 award winners are:

  • ●  FinTech Organisation of the Year – Afterpay
  • ●  Emerging FinTech Organisation of the Year – Civic Ledger
  • ●  Outstanding FinTech Leader of the Year – Katherine McConnell, Founder and CEO, Brighte
  • ●  Female FinTech Leader of the Year – Airwallex co-founder and chief operating officer, Lucy Liu
  • ●  Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year – Afterpay CEO and co-founder Nick Molnar
  • ●  Excellence in Wealth Management – Pocketbook
  • ●  Excellence in Payments – Airwallex
  • ●  Excellence in Consumer Lending – RateSetter Australia
  • ●  Excellence in Regtech – Proviso
  • ●  Excellence in Blockchain/Distributed Ledger – AgriDigital
  • ●  Excellence in Business Lending – Trade Ledger
  • ●  Excellence in Data/AI Solutions – Data Republic
  • ●  Excellence in Insurtech – Cover Genius
  • ●  Excellence in Cyber Security – XM Cyber
  • ●  Excellence in Digital Currencies/Wallets/Exchanges – Finch
  • ●  Excellence in Crowdfunding – OnMarket
  • ●  Best Marketing/Branding Initiative of the Year – SocietyOne
  • ●  Excellence in Industry Collaboration & Partnerships – TravelbyBit
  • ●  Excellence in Establishing Market Presence: Global – Verrency
  • ●  Excellence in FinTech Support Services (Infrastructure and Investment) – Stone & Chalk
  • ●  Excellence in FinTech Support Services (Professional Services) – The Fold Legal
  • ●  Best Customer/User Experience – Look Who’s Charging
  • ●  Best Workplace Diversity – Valiant Finance

Image: Kim Jackson of Skip Capital and Katherine McConnell of Brighte. Source: Supplied.