Fintech (financial technology) has always been synonymous with Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and other major financial hubs of the world.
These hubs also have some of the best fintech startup ecosystems in the world with heavy investment, incubators/ accelerators and public-private partnerships fuelling their boom.
However, over the last decade, New Zealand has become known for its growing fintech space.
Being one of the easiest countries in the world to start and run a business, it should come as no surprise that Fintech has thrived here – at the intersections of financial regulation, banking, payments, software, and investment.
Some key companies will come to mind when you think of ‘fintech’ and ‘New Zealand’ – such as Sharesies, Hatch, Xero and the likes – growing at their own pace and covered heavily in the media.
We even have a national industry organisation dedicated to Fintech – FintechNZ under the NZ Tech Alliance.
Here are three up and coming early stage fintech startups that I admire.
These three startups are led by some very driven founders that you may not yet have heard of but are ones to follow.
Investors are increasingly being required to measure and report on sustainable development goals and the impact of their investments. Finappster, built by Leanna Kohn Hardy, makes it simple for investors, asset managers and fund managers to do so, and to report in an easy to consume manner.
Having known Leanna for a while, I know that she won’t stop until she sees ethical and social investment become mainstream globally.
I am not an investor in NZX listed companies – yet! But if I were, Reap would be my go-to app to get real-time updates and insights on NZX-listed companies. There are huge opportunities for apps like Reap to expand its offerings to other stock exchanges once further validated.
The ability for them to deeply understand investor behaviour in stock exchanges could prove handy.
Having already built revenue and received off-shore investment, RIPA Global, led by Mel Gollan is disrupting mundane accounting processes such as expenses, receipts, reconciliation via its proprietary patented systems. No more paper receipts, invoices etc. It's a Māori-owned company, serving the globe with a stellar group of early global investors and cap table.
A few upcoming fintech trends are still yet to gain traction in New Zealand.
The power of blockchain (cryptocurrency, decentralised autonomous organisation – DAOs, non fungible tokens – NFTs) and open banking for example are only beginning to surface locally. These technologies have the potential to shake up our world and create more equity across industries and people.
These trends and early stage startups point to a future of transparent, ethical, equitable, sustainable fintech ventures that can be built in New Zealand, with the right support and investment, to serve the world.
Know any other fintech startups? Drop us a line or comment below.