Superhero and Swyftx reveal $1.5 billion merger and super app to promote asset fluidity

superhero

L - R: Alex Harper, Wayne Baskin, Angus Goldman and John Winters, co-founders of Superhero and Swyftx. Source: supplied.

Share trading and superannuation startup Superhero and cryptocurrency broker Swyftx have revealed plans to merge, establishing a $1.5 billion financial services unicorn and combining 800,000 customers onto one platform. 

Along with the merger, plans to build a “super app” were also announced, which, according to Swyftx co-founder Alex Harper, will be an inclusive financial ecosystem allowing customers to invest in a broader range of assets, including stocks and cryptocurrency, in one app.   

Speaking to SmartCompany, Harper says that currently, there’s an app for everything.

“It can be quite a confusing space to navigate, and then to try to transfer your assets between different platforms and make different investments, it’s quite difficult and hard to manage,” he said. 

With the Superhero and Swyftx super app, however, Harper says “we see a future where the interoperability of assets is quite fluid”.

“Pending technical and regulatory assessment, we’d love to see a future where you can swap bitcoin into Tesla [shares] or swap your Tesla [shares] into cash and make a transaction at the supermarket. We really want to see a future where assets are much more fluid and simple to manage.”

To this end, John Winters, co-founder and CEO of Superhero, says the merger was the result of numerous conversations with Harper. 

“We had a number of conversations with the guys from Swyftx around how we could integrate their services into our app to launch crypto. At the same time, we were talking about reciprocal offering in powering equities in the Swyftx product offering. 

“It [the merger] made a lot of sense as we were working through that [because] we’re very aligned in our thinking. We’re very aligned in what we’re trying to achieve for our customers. The conversation fairly quickly moved to what it would look like to bring the two businesses together,” he said.

Harper agreed, saying the two companies’ joint vision to help customers achieve financial freedom and grow their personal wealth and save money made the merger was a natural consequence.

“There’s no point in us building competing products when that sort of fragments the market,” Harper said.

“The better alternative is for us to join forces and provide the best possible application, all in one experience for our customers.”

An Australia-first approach to financial wellbeing

Winters and Harper told SmartCompany that not only were they bringing together the companies’ combined expertise in traditional financial services and digital currencies, they were also approaching the new app as a way to help build their customers’ financial wellbeing. 

The super app will feature integration with new open banking tech, but also education. 

“You have got to solve the problem from the ground up,” Harper said.

“There’s no point building an app that has every single investment opportunity under the sun if your customers don’t understand or aren’t educated about what it means to build their own financial freedom and build their wealth. 

“We’re taking a ground up approach and solving that, not just creating a space for them to invest but also inspiring and educating people on what they can actually achieve and fill the gaps around financial literacy and help educate people in all respects.”  

Winters added that when dealing with a new asset class like cryptocurrency, education plays a major role. 

“Education plays a part in how customers interact and invest,” he said.

“We see education as a key requirement and key responsibility of businesses like ours, and we put a lot of emphasis on educating our investors to understand investment strategies, what they’re investing in and to take into account all of the risks and opportunities. We call on the entire industry to step up and take on the responsibility of lifting financial literacy in Australia.”

With the merger expected to be completed early next year, both companies are looking at a combined customer base of 800,000 and more than 300 employees across five different continents. 

And while they’re looking at international markets, with an application filed with the UK regulator for a launch, the companies are very much looking at an Australia-first approach. 

“We’re Australia first and we’ll be focusing on building our feature set here, while also looking at opportunities globally,” Harper said.

The merger comes hot on the heels of Superhero raising an additional $15 million in funding last October, bringing it to a total of $40 million in 2021.

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