Ten of Australia’s most promising fintech startups were welcomed to the UK at the Australian High Commission last night. Hosted by UKTI and The Australian Trade Commission, the event gave the opportunity for UK-based companies to meet and share experiences with their peers from down under.
Whilst in London the ten Australian companies will also have the opportunity to pitch at London Fintech Week and tour Canary Wharf incubator Level39.
The delegation was welecomed to London by Passion Capital's Eileen Burbidge, special envoy for fintech to David Cameron. Speaking exclusively to Finextra, she says: “Companies established in Sydney or London are very likely to court, attract and service users from all over the world -- and certainly those two respective metropolitan centres. It's in the best interest of any company to have established partnerships and distribution to service all of its potential markets.”
Australia's second incubator Stone and Chalk was opened earlier this year to create a fintech hub in Sydney. However, it comes at a time when concern has been raised that the country could be losing its fintech startups to other countries with more attractive offers of support and lower corporation tax rates. Australian high-tech hotshot Atlassian moved its headquarters to London last year and this visit by the cream of Australia's startup community resulted from a UK government-run competition.
London is keen to attract more tech talent to its shores in support of the burgeoning fintech ecosystem. Says Burbidge: "Ideally this talent is cultivated here in the UK but as that pipeline develops, we would benefit from free movement of highly skilled talent and the ability to attract people to come and work in the UK."
Nick McInnes, director general for UK Trade and Investment in Australia and New Zealand, says the invitees can learn from the thriving fintech industry in London and seek out opportunities for collaboration and expansion. "Equally, we want to showcase the Australian fintech offering - it is a rapidly changing environment in Australia and now is the right time for British companies to look to do business here," he adds.
Australia’s Macquarie Bank estimates that over £13 billion of current Australian banking revenue is at risk to fintech disruption, and UK Trade and Investment has already assisted a number of British fintech companies to expand in Australia.