Japanese fintech firm Moneytree is gearing up for an Australian launch, backed by a ¥ 1 billion ($12 million) Series B funding round from all three Japanese megabanks.
Moneytree chief executive and co-founder Paul Chapman has spent two decades working to bridge Australia and Japan and said the app, which has 1.3 million users in Japan, is coming to Australia.
“We raised $12m to grow what we’ve already validated in Japan,” he said. “We already have staff on the ground in Australia and we’ll be hiring.
“Australia has a very fragmented banking environment and we think the whole world is moving towards greater fragmentation, not less.”
The app’s pitch is to provide tools and services for both individuals and businesses to aggregate and control all their financial data in a single place.
“We don’t claim to have the most features, we don’t send you interesting articles, we just show you your money clearly and accurately,” Mr Chapman said. “Fintech is really about trust, and that’s been lacking. We don’t want to launch without aggregation and without the app being stable enough, so we’re running a beta program now then launching for Australians in coming months.”
He said the app had come a long way since 2013, when the company launched the product that went on to win Apple’s App of the Year two years in a row.
Moneytree was also invited to be one of the first financial services to develop an app for the launch of the Apple Watch in Japan. In October 2015, the start-up became the first to receive simultaneous investment from all three Japanese Megabanks (Mizuho Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and SMBC Venture Capital) in a funding round led by Salesforce.com.
Australia is currently waiting for a productivity commission inquiry into open APIs and Mr Chapman pointed to research showing open APIs could bring about change in earnings structures and business methods as banks moved away from the channel concept.
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