The co-founder of fast-growing fintech startup Assembly Payments says Melbourne could become one of the most influential fintech hubs in the world.
It’s one of the reasons why Assembly Payments has decided to set up its global headquarters in Melbourne, along with support from the Victorian government.
“We’ve been growing quite significantly over the last couple of years and we’ve got customers in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe,” Assembly Payments co-founder Simon Jones tells StartupSmart.
“We’ve been looking around in different areas to actually put our headquarters. [Assembly Payments has] grown out of Melbourne but you want to be close to your customers.”
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Assembly Payments is used by more 100 companies across the Asia Pacific, US and South African regions, including the likes of Carsales.com.au and Airtasker.
Jones says the Victorian government’s support includes financial investment that will enable the startup to double its team.
While he declined to reveal the exact amount, he said the financial investment will help Assembly Payments create up to 60 full-time jobs over the next 12 months, from developers through to project managers and sales people. They will work out of its new, larger office in Collingwood.
Jones says Assembly Payments currently has 63 staff, of which 30 work from Melbourne. The remaining 33 employees operate out of the US and the Philippines.
“When we were looking around, the Victorian government was contacting us and they actually gave us quite a lot of support so we were able to make a decision that we would set up here,” says Jones.
The startup, which is working to be a global leader in flexible payments, recently bedded down a partnership with Gumtree and underwent a major rebrand, changing its name from PromisePay.
The startup, which launched in 2013, has also raised close to $18 million over the past couple of years with its last round – a $14 million Series A – secured in June 2016. There’s enormous potential in the payments space, says Jones.
“It’s a $26 trillion opportunity, payments is still broken and we’re in an awesome position to fix it,” he says.
Jones also believes Melbourne is growing into a “significant fintech centre”.
“We’ve got a really diverse and creative group of people here and that’s been fantastic for our business,” he says.
“The people that we’ve hired have really brought amazing value.
“The pace of growth is pretty amazing, the last 12 months in particular — it’s been very exciting. Also, the breadth and depth of talent here in Melbourne has been fantastic. We recently brought on Julia Bearzatto from SecurePay and Kylie Kneale from Xero and they’ve really added significant value.”
Victorian minister for small business and innovation Philip Dalidakis believes the establishment of Assembly Payment’s headquarters in Melbourne is another step toward making Victoria a leading tech destination in the Asia Pacific region.
“It’s great to see successful home-grown startups, like Assembly, stay true to their roots and expand here in Victoria,” Dalidakis said in a statement.
“We have the highest number of tech graduates in the country and this expansion will mean more high-skill jobs for our future.”