There weren’t many surprises at FinTech Australia’s Finnies 2019 awards, with unicorn Airwallex taking home three trophies in total and Afterpay winning the FinTech Organisation of the Year award for the third year running.
Airwallex bagged the Biggest Raise of the Year award, for the $141 million Series C round that valued the company at more than $US1 billion and secured its unicorn status just three-and-a-half years after it was founded.
Co-founder Jack Zhang also won the Outstanding FinTech Leader of the Year award, and the team took home an award for excellence in establishing a global market presence.
As well as the coveted FinTech Organisation of the Year award, buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay also won the Excellence in Payments award.
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Up Bank was also among the evening’s big winners, scoring awards for its collaboration with Ferocia, and partnership with Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank.
The neobank won both the Best Partnership of the Year award and the Prize for Excellence in Industry Collaborations and Partnerships.
Elsewhere, the Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year award went to Jessica Ellerm, co-founder and chief of superannuation disruptor Zuper, while Athena Home Loans was named Emerging FinTech Organisation of the Year.
Xinja co-founder Van Le won the Female FinTech Leader of the Year award.
According to FinTech Australia general manager Rebecca Schot-Guppy, the awards saw a record number of entries, up 30% from last year. For the first time, the awards also had a waiting list for ticket sales.
“It all ties into the unprecedented growth we’ve seen in the fintech sector in the past year,” Schot-Guppy said.
“Meanwhile, collaboration between fintechs and banks has deepened and the aftermath of the Hayne’s banking royal commission has only reinforced the need for that relationship and for partnerships that benefit both the banks and their customers.”
The full list of Finnies 2019 winners
FinTech Organisation of the Year: Afterpay
Emerging FinTech Organisation of the Year: Athena Home Loans
Outstanding FinTech Leader of the Year: Jack Zhang, AirWallex
Emerging FinTech Leader of the Year (under 35): Jessica Ellerm, Zuper
Female FinTech Leader of the Year: Van Le, Xinja
Best Partnership of the Year: Up
Biggest Raise of the Year: AirWallex
Deal of the Year: MoneyPlace
Best Workplace Diversity: Identitii
Excellence in Blockchain/Distributed Ledger and Digital Currencies/Wallets/Exchanges: Enosi Australia
Excellence in Business Lending: Trade Ledger
Excellence in Consumer Lending: Wisr
Excellence in Crowdfunding: Equitise
Excellence in Establishing Market Presence, Global: Airwallex
Excellence in FinTech Support Services: Reinventure Group
Excellence in Industry Collaborations and Partnerships: Up
Excellence in Insurtech: Huddle Insurance
Excellence in Payments: Afterpay
Excellence in Wealth Management: Myprosperity