A new wave of financial-based products and services – from a way to easily receive and gift donation refunds to charities through to an ethical lending platform which utilises Artificial Intelligence – are among the issues being tackled in the third Kiwi FinTech Accelerator.
Fund a Future and Stream RLP are among the hand-picked teams, including one from the UK, who will work for 12-weeks with expert support to help grow their fintech businesses. Starting on 8 July, the accelerator culminates with all teams pitching for investment on 7 October.
The accelerator is delivered by Creative HQ’s Lightning Lab alongside strategic partners Kiwibank and New Zealand’s international fintech success story Xero with support from core partners Centrality, SBS Bank and Kiwi Wealth, partners Centrix and Visa and supporters EY and Simmonds Stewart.
For the first time, the 2019 Kiwi FinTech Accelerator will run from multiple sites – a Creative HQ space in central Wellington dedicated to the programme, Xero’s Rewired space in Auckland, and the SBS Bank office in Invercargill.
Kiwibank FinTech Lead Anand Ranchord says traditionally New Zealand corporates have been reluctant to build and develop FinTech in-house as most have naturally risk-averse mindsets.
“Although this lack of innovation needs to change, it also presents golden opportunities for agile fintech developers to fill the vacuum. Accelerator programmes like the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator focus on evolving and commercialising Kiwi fintech, not simply generating ‘ideas’. Partnering with experts from across the fintech sector will help shape companies and better enable their success.
“One of the key strengths of this programme is that it places value on partnerships, which helps companies grow faster, with much more stability to consolidate that growth. ”
Xero Small Business Platform Director – NZ, Nicole Buisson, believes now is a prime opportunity for FinTech entrepreneurs.
“With open banking rolling out around the world, spurring innovation in FinTech, and a global venture capital market that is awash with capital, it’s a great time to start a FinTech.”
“The Kiwi FinTech Accelerator plays a strong role in supporting New Zealand FinTech start-ups to provide new and exciting services to small businesses and consumers. When it comes to the weightless economy, New Zealand can really compete on the international stage”
Creative HQ Chief Executive Stefan Korn says there was a big increase globally in interest to participate in the accelerator with 90 teams – including 10 from Australia, seven from Europe/Russia, and five from the USA/Canada – applying for a spot.
“Last year there were 66 applications, so to see the growth in interest shows the programme is increasingly becoming recognised not just in New Zealand, but offshore in fintech circles.
“That’s mainly because of our track record after just three years of running the programme, with the accelerator already contributing to the success of companies like Sharesies, Hnry and Choice,” he said.
Kiwi FinTech Accelerator teams
Makes home ownership achievable by matching first home buyers to co-own a property which is years faster than saving individually. By registering with Miuwi, you can stop renting and purchase your own home or investment property within just a few weeks.
Fund a Future
Aims to help Kiwis give back to the community by providing a platform that facilitates a way for donors to augment their positive impact. Will provide an easy way to get back and gift donation refunds to charities they support or invest in Socially Responsible funds.
My Cap Market
A licensed marketplace for trading and investing in Kiwi businesses.
Stream offers a digital platform that leverages A.I. and Machine Learning to enable lenders to provide an end-to-end, responsible lending experience to their customers.
BankEngine is an Application Programming Interface API platform that allows different applications to communicate with one another. It will be used so you can access all of New Zealand’s banks through a unified API.
Helps retail banks understand and target customers based on their dynamic and predicted behaviours. This is achieved by implementing a behavioural search engine on top of raw customer data so that all customers will be searchable by their behaviours at Google speed.
First AML is automating the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer due diligence and identity verification process and building a database of verified individuals and entities to improve the speed of verification.
Pocketful is a social sharing wallet for flats, joint accounts and groups that manages income/spending and budgeting.
Cove strives to make insurance simple and digital for its customers. This has the company benefit of making it cheap to administer and data-rich to assist with claims and underwriting.
Loop.local’s goal is to provide a social and logistics software platform and a toolkit allowing communities to create a self-managed economy.