NSW fintechs dominate Finnie Awards

New South Wales-based fintech innovators cleaned up at the second annual Finnie Awards.

The second installment of FinTech Australia's annual industry awards were held last night and 16 awards were handed to NSW fintech innovators.

The night saw 23 awards presented by a panel of 81 domestic and international judges across wealth management, regtech, insurtech, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and lending.

Automated budgeting app PocketBook took home the wealth management gong, while emerging fintech leader of the year was awarded to AfterPay's Nick Molnar.

The excellence in regtech award went to automated bank statement retrieval specialist Proviso, while Sydney-based insurance solution provider Cover Genius was recognised for excellence in insurtech.

Former Macquarie investment banker Katherine McConnell was awarded outstanding fintech leader of the year after her energy financing startup Brighte secured $18.5 million in additional funding last month.

The startup provides finance for energy home improvements, having approved more than $50 million in financing to over 6000 Australian homeowners in the 18 months since its launch.

FinTech Australia chief executive Brad Kitschke - who recently linked with the policy body after previous stints with Uber and Settlement Services International - said the winners of the 2018 Finnies gave businesses and consumers an alternative to traditional institutions.

"The winners of the 2018 Finnies are providing consumers and businesses new and improved services and a real alternative to the banks and other traditional financial institutions," Kitschke said.

"The winners include smaller fintech startup companies but now also include larger scale-up fintechs which are dominant players in their sectors and are major employers in their own right."

The awards were presented by Jobs for NSW, and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the increasing role of fintech in driving innovation and growth in the state's financial services sector was recognised by the state government.

"This is a tremendous result for our fintech sector with NSW picking up 55 out of 89 finalist positions and now nearly 70% of the awards," Barilaro said.

"The NSW Government is investing heavily in startups which are creating jobs and industries for the future, including through initiatives like Jobs for NSW and the Sydney Startup Hub as well as our support for the Finnie Awards."

Read more: FinTech AustraliaBrad KitschkeJohn BarilaroAfterPayBrighteKatherine McConnellMacquarieProvisoSettlement Services InternationalUber
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