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Fintech start-ups coy in asking for money

NZN 22/05/2017 Paul McBeth

Seven financial technology start-ups pitching ideas after a three-month accelerator programme drew a big crowd to their demonstration day in Wellington but were strangely coy in actually asking for capital despite two already pulling in revenue.

The participants in the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator programme wooed more than 500 people at their demo day pitch on Friday, touting their burgeoning ideas as viable businesses.

The fintech programme was the first of its kind, run through CreativeHQ's Lightning Lab, allowing participants to develop and validate their business ideas so they could be pitched to the start-up and investment community.

State-owned lender Kiwibank sponsored the accelerator, which was co-funded by Callaghan Innovation and software developer Xero.

Callaghan chief executive Victoria Crone, who took over the Crown entity tasked with raising innovation in February, told the audience that a lot of New Zealand businesses aren't prepared for the wave of technological change taking place and that programmes such as the fintech accelerator and Callaghan's grants were there to help address that.

"We do need to create a mindset, a new capability for New Zealand to break down barriers," Ms Crone said. "Put your hand up when you need some support because there's a lot of support in this system."

Flatfish was generating monthly recurring revenue of $1000, with 1000 rental properties listed on a platform where property managers and/or landlords can communicate with their tenants to deal with maintenance issues.

Chief executive Tal Meser told the audience the start-up has another 4000 properties wait-listed and expects to generate $100,000 of annual recurring revenue by the end of the year, which would include a push across the Tasman.

Accounting Pod had more than 200 registered users of its accounting simulation education product, and co-founder XingDong Yan said the start-up projected 5000 students would be using its platform within 12 months. Accounting Pod wasn't looking to raise money yet, he said.

Online business insurance broker Teddy was looking to displace existing, fee-charging insurance brokers and had several insurance firms already interested in selling products on its platform.

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