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Fintechs aiming for growth

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Australia’s fintechs have set ambitious growth targets despite a tightening in funding availability, a new study has found.

The EY/FinTech Australia Census is based on a survey of 120 fintechs, including insurtechs such as Blue Zebra, Claim Central Consolidated and Cinch Insurance.

The outlook for the sector remains positive with 81% of fintechs expecting to grow their revenue within the next year, 64% expecting to increase their number of employees, and 51% planning to expand overseas.

Almost a quarter (23%) of local fintech companies are now running at a profit – up from 19% last year – and median revenue has grown 80% from this time last year.

This is despite a tightening of access to capital which is “reflective of the wider economic environment”.

Local fintech capital raisings are reducing in number and, of those that have attempted to raise capital, only 45% raised more than $1 million in their latest round (compared with 63% last year).

The proportion of founder-funding is up significantly, from 60% in last year’s census to 75% this year.

“Overall, we are seeing less success in capital raisings and lower levels of funds being raised,” EY Australia Fintech Adviser Meredith Angwin said.

“At the same time, the funding that is available is becoming more conservative and skewing towards the more established and experienced fintechs.”

Many fintechs believe relationships with insurers have improved since the Hayne royal commission.

Almost half the respondents (49%) say that since the royal commission they have seen a stronger uptake of fintech solutions by consumers, and 26% say incumbent financial institutions have become more willing to partner with them.

“The Australian fintech sector is continuing to mature and grow, becoming increasingly profitable and globally connected,” Ms Angwin said.

“There is increased recognition of the need for partnerships and collaboration for the benefit of consumers and the financial services sector as a whole.”