Australia’s Fintech hub Stone & Chalk opens in Sydney CBD with 41 resident startups

By @diplomatist10 on
A man walks in front of an electronic board with news on the interest rates in central Sydney August 6, 2013.
A man walks in front of an electronic board with news on the interest rates in central Sydney August 6, 2013. As Australia contemplates life on the other side of the mining boom, the onus is very much on the country's central bank to prop up the economy by taking interest rates to historic lows and likely keep them there for a long time to come. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Australian fintech (financial technology) hub Stone & Chalk was officially inaugurated into the Sydney scene this week, just as it announced the first startups join its community. Located at the AMP Tower, 50 Bridge Street in Sydney, Stone and Chalk’s new facility houses 41 fintech startups, selected through an intense six-month screening process.

“From the outset our aim has been to attract the highest quality fintech startups in Australia, co-locate them under one roof, and support fast tracking their growth to ultimately help them go global,” Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra said.

The hub aims to improve innovation in Australia’s financial services sector by bringing together startups and the corporate sector. From the 2300 square metre co working space, Stone & Chalk will run events and accelerator programs for resident “Stone and Chalkers”, which are expected to grow 200 strong by the end of 2015.

Significant startups

Notable among the 41 start ups are Google-backed, Silicon Valley-based Ripple Labs, which is developing new payments transfer technology. Berlin-based Spotcap is yet another notable start up. It is an online lender to small businesses and became an international start-up when it opened its office in Australia through Stone & Chalk, reports The Australian Financial Review.

“The decision by overseas start-ups like Ripple Labs and Spotcap to set-up their regional headquarters in Sydney despite all the incentives being thrown at them by other cities in Asia is evidence of the opportunity that exists for us,” said Alex Scandurra.

Here is the list of startups at Stone & Chalk

  • ABA Technology
  • Calibre Financial Technology
  • Crowd Money
  • easyshare
  • Ei8ht
  • Financial Crimes Solutions
  • Fincast
  • Foreign Exchange Central
  • Grow Capital
  • H2 Ventures
  • iDATS
  • Inamo
  • InstaReM
  • Macrovue
  • Mafematica
  • Metamako
  • Monetise
  • Moroku
  • My Angel Investment
  • Neu Capital
  • NexPay
  • Open Orbit
  • Ordermentum
  • Physi Secure
  • Piggy
  • Private Reporting
  • ProWise
  • Rental Cover
  • RainCheck
  • Reinventure
  • Ripple Labs
  • Simple KYC
  • Spotcap
  • Startupcap Sydney
  • SuperGuide
  • TradeFloor
  • VentureCrowd
  • Zetaris

The CEO also expressed happiness at the talent and diversity of the startups who had applied with the intent to transform Australia’s multi-billion financial services sector.

The fintech hub also enjoys the support of the NSW government. From big corporations, including American Express, AMP, ANZ, Macquarie and Westpac, it attracted more than AU$2 million in funding.

Improving innovation

NSW Industry Minister Anthony Roberts, who officially opened the hub on Tuesday, asserted that Stone & Chalk has the potential to become a global fintech hotspot.

“It will also grow our vitally important startup community by bringing these smaller operators alongside business leaders, financiers and regulators to drive new opportunities and solutions,” the minister said. According to the minister, Sydney has become the nexus point for Australia's finance, digital and start-up sectors, making it the epicentre for growth in the Asia-Pacific region, reports Investor Daily.

“Stone & Chalk is a great example of the exciting collaborations that are developing out of the NSW Government's Knowledge Hubs initiative,” Roberts said.

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