Smart50 Awards 2017

11 MoneyMe

Revenue

$14 million

Growth

297.8%

Founders

Clayton Howes, 40, Steve Bannigan, 55, and Scott Emery, 53

Head office

North Sydney, NSW

Founded

2013

Employees

50

Industry

Banking and financial services

Website

www.moneyme.com.au

What started as a casual chat over beers between co-founders Clayton Howes, Steve Bannigan and Scott Emery became MoneyMe, a personal small-loans lender looking to cater to the millennial market.

Having previously worked in the confines of “cumbersome, slow-moving corporate Australia” the founders say they recognised an area where there was “serious stagnation, laziness and market power held by oligopolistic incumbents — the big four banks.”

After realising a lucrative market in Australia’s millennial population, they set about applying their knowledge and experience to create an industry-disrupting model for providing finance to this niche market.

After agreeing the millennial market was not being catered to by these “dinosaur institutions”, MoneyMe developed a platform that could be used on the go, via mobile, and with the borrower in mind.

The founders say the most challenging aspect of establishing MoneyMe was changing people’s ingrained beliefs about small loans in Australia.

“This is a segment of consumer lending that has suffered an extremely poor — but well-deserved! — reputation as being predatory, expensive, and against the interests of the end-user,” they say.

“It was a hard pill to swallow when we found ourselves constantly being tarnished with the same brush as others who didn’t have this end-user focus in mind, simply because we offered the same size loans they did.”

The startup eventually managed to overcome these negative associations by facilitating a PR campaign that was based on positivity, differentiating their product, and embracing the changing face of fintech.

“We focused on all the ways fintech can provide fairer, lower-cost finance to underbanked Australians, or those simply looking for more responsible, bite-sized portions of credit … Slowly but surely, over many months, the message was received,” they say.

MoneyMe recorded revenue of $13.96 million in the last financial year, and has achieved a three-year revenue growth rate of 297% after raising $30 million early last year.

Looking to the future, MoneyMe plans to obtain further market share while maintaining profitability.

The company says it is about the manage “huge move” as they work to sign a seven-figure debt capital raise, which will also be used to to launch a series of new products over the next 6-12 months.

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