Two Australian fintech startups will be showcasing their skills on a global stage in Singapore next week, having been selected among five finalists to take part in a global fintech industry challenge.
CurrencyVue and Assembly Payments beat out nearly 70 entrants from around the world to take part in the SWIFT gpi Industry Challenge, which will take place at the LATTICE80 event in Singapore on September 13 and 14. The competition, run by financial messaging platform SWIFT, will see startups from around the world working with 30 global banks to develop new services for SWIFT’s more than 11,000 members in 200 countries.
Founded in 2015, Sydney-based CurrencyVue helps businesses automate international payments and hedge foreign exchange risks, as well as automating financial processes and giving businesses real-time payment visibility, according to its founder and chief executive Matthew Tyrrell.
Assembly Payments is a Melbourne-based fintech platform that allows users to create tailored online payment solutions, and is used by more 100 companies across the Asia Pacific, US and South African regions, including Carsales.com.au and Airtasker.
Both will be heading to Singapore to participate in the competition, alongside three startups from other countries: AccessPay (UK), Backrail (Canada) and Biotos (Belgium).
The two startups with the strongest proof of concept will each be awarded €100,000 ($149,222) in prize money and will be featured at SWIFT’s global flagship event Sibos in Toronto later this year.
For CurrencyVue co-founder Matthew Tyrrell, it isn’t just the cash prizes that motivated his startup to enter the competition.
“We applied because we really thought it [SWIFT’s gpi offering] was very much aligned with what we were doing,” Tyrrell tells StartupSmart.
Tyrrell says CurrencyVue’s vision is “all about removing the friction in international payments and FX [foreign exchange] hedging”, which means the startup sees its offerings as being “very much aligned to the SWIFT gpi value proposition”.
“There’s lots of synergies between our solution and the SWIFT solution — the whole value proposition around gpi [global payment innovation] is important — there’s a couple of features where if we had that functionality [at CurrencyVue] it would make a huge difference to our value proposition,” he says.
“Even if we didn’t win we would still be finding ways to tap into that [gpi] functionality.”
Gaining international recognition and access to SWIFT’s network of financial institutions were also key reasons for CurrencyVue to enter the competition, which Tyrell says will help the startup tap in to potential customer bases and partnerships with financial institutions.
“It’s a massive opportunity for us,” Tyrrell says, adding that representatives from ANZ, Westpac and NAB will be among the 30 banks attending the event.
“The [financial sector] decision makers are going to be there in Singapore and it’s a great opportunity for us; they’re part of the SWIFT gpi network and they are going to be the right people to be in front of,” he says.
While CurrencyVue is pre-revenue, Tyrrell says it is looking to officially launch next month, after raising $500,000 in seed funding in March this year from venture capital fund Artesian and other unnamed angel investors.
The startup has also recently returned from an Austrade and Jobs for NSW-led fintech delegation to Tel Aviv, Tyrrell says, where it was one of 10 startups chosen to take part in the two-week trip.
CurrencyVue has more international expeditions in its future, with the startup looking to expand “really quickly” in to Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand in the next 12 months, according to Tyrrell