Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia.
Aussie trade finance startup Trade Ledger is one of a handful of Aussie fintechs chalking up success after success offshore, especially in Europe. Last year the company won Barclay’s Open Innovation Challenge, and just this week it was announced UK VC fund Hambro Perks had led a £1.5M investment into the lend-tech business. According to the company’s press release, the funds will be used to further accelerate revenue growth for the business.
That revenue growth comes in the form of deep partnerships with global banks and alternative finance providers, helping to automate their commercial lending processes, no doubt ensuring they are competitive and agile in an increasingly tech enabled lending environment. Europe is a key focus for Trade Ledger, who established headquarters in London last year.
Trade Ledger isn’t the only local lend-tech business to have found appetite in the Northern Hemisphere. Aussie SME lender Waddle has partnered with Royal Bank of Scotland, who is now in the process of rolling out the Waddle platform across its UK business, under the brand name NatWest Rapid Cash.
Given Australia’s condensed banking market, looking towards Europe can be a sound commercial strategy for a local fintech, not only to increase revenues, but to build credibility back home. The UK is certainly well advanced compared to the local market, and has benefitted from earlier adoption of regulatory and structural changes, such as Open Banking. All these learnings can eventually be imported back to Australia.
There is also the possibility many of these global players, who choose partnerships with Aussie fintechs, may eventually use them to passport back into the market here, catching our local banks unaware. It’s a long shot, but not entirely improbable. One thing local fintechs have struggled with in Australia is building deep enough war-chests to compete head on with the major banks. Banks of the ilk of RBS certainly don’t have that issue.