We had a dream. When we launched Tyro, we were the challenger who dared to compete in a core banking process with the four veteran Australian retail banks. We were declared crazy. We were told it would never work, we had lost before we began. Yes, it was a school of hard knocks but today we serve 12,500 small-to-medium businesses. Our team has grown to 211 professionals, as of yesterday, and we are currently hiring eight engineers per month.
Now we have another dream. We are the only technology company with a banking license and access to the core banking system. We opened Australia’s first fintech hub, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, at 155 Clarence Street. A second fintech hub, Stone & Chalk, has been announced at 45 Clarence Street. What if between the two of us, living on what I call “Fintech Alley”, we can foster 1000 new startups over the next two years?
Now is the window of opportunity. Think of the 20 million Australians who will be looking for new banking and financial services designed around their need for elegant solutions, that can be used without effort, and actually with pleasure. Or imagine if the two million small-to-medium Australian businesses could obtain the working capital badly needed to grow their businesses. At least $60 billion is needed but not afforded to them. What a contribution that would make to job creation and prosperity.
And what will the big banks be doing? Well, they will be busy spending further billions renovating their legacy systems over the next five years. They will have to find ways to renew themselves while fighting the lethargy that comes with the complexity and complicatedness of their mammoth organisations.
I call on bankers, the best and brightest, who have these great ideas but cannot get them done where they are. Leave your cosy corner office and give yourself a chance. Join the startup community, team up with techies, have a dream and deliver against all the odds. Prove all those sceptics wrong.
If we are going to catch up with the Londons and New Yorks of the fintech world, we need the 1000 startups in the next two years.
(Panel contribution to Fintech Sydney MeetUp)