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Fractions sparking new fintech friction - Kiwibank

28 May 2019
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Facilitation of shared or 'fractionalised' investment ownership looks to be the next big thing in financial technology, based on this year’s Kiwi Fintech Accelerator programme applications.

With 2019 applications now closed, Kiwibank’s accelerator lead Anand Ranchord says more than 80 fintech and founders have applied to take part.

“We’re seeing an array of concepts coming through, as well as a mix of early-stage businesses through to businesses that are already earning revenue.

“Fintech aimed at enabling and simplifying shared, fractionalised ownership is really prominent in the applications we’ve received.”

“Put simply, these are businesses seeking to make it easier and cheaper for more people to access different type of investment opportunities, from share market investment to home ownership.”

Ranchord says blockchain – a perennial darling of the fintech world – is still popular, but the focus is shifting.

“Several companies are utilising blockchain/distributed ledger technology, but this isn’t the basis of their pitch. When you look under the hood of what they’re doing, you see they’re using blockchain in their technology but not using it for the ‘hype’ or marketing play.

“We’re also seeing several AI (artificial intelligence)/machine learning applications to core financial processes. In particular, lending, to drive improved customer experience and process efficiency. We also have applications aimed at simplifying life for small businesses and a number of insurtech (insurance technology) and regtech (regulatory technology) plays.”

With successful accelerator alumni including Sharesies and Hnry, Ranchord says applicants are recognising the opportunities offered by the programme and are much further along the business development process.

“We’re really starting to see the fintech revolution come to New Zealand with more maturity in the concepts being pitched.

“While some are simply looking to get their ideas off the ground, others are already well advanced, delivering revenue and with clear plans to grow globally and attract capital investment.”

“A number of experienced fintech founders who have applied see the opportunity is more than just how to do a start-up, rather they want access to deep industry connections and partnership opportunities.”

“They recognise that Kiwi Fintech Accelerator is the fastest and most effective way of achieving that,” he said.

Fifteen applications will make it through to the next round, and teams will be announced 25 June 2019.