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KPMG has chosen these 14 fintech start-ups for its new accelerator to help bring innovation to Australia’s mutual banks


KPMG Australia recently announced the launch of mLabs, a market-first corporate fintech accelerator connecting forward-thinking mutual Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) with some of Australia’s most exciting fintech start-ups.

The program will be initially utilised by seven Australian mutual banks and credit unions: Beyond Bank, CUA, Greater Bank, Heritage, IMB Bank, Police Bank, and Teachers Mutual Bank.

James Mabbott, Head of KPMG Innovate, commented: “As a hybrid of start-up accelerator and corporate innovation program, KPMG mLabs draws upon our experience delivering the Energise energy and natural resources startup accelerator, and the elevate61 program which connects Australian enterprise tech start-ups to US markets.”

What is KPMG mLabs?

KPMG mLabs is the brainchild of KPMG Australia, and follows the successful Energise accelerator run for the energy and natural resources sector last year.

It has been designed to help mutual banks and credit unions and their members gain access to leading fintech innovators. It also provides a unique opportunity for fintech ventures to work with a number of like-minded mutuals in one program.

It is an immersive program co-designed with the mutuals to promote and accelerate innovation by identifying and developing commercial solutions to business challenges in collaboration with fintech start-ups.

The programme will incorporate best practices from design thinking, start-up incubators, lean methodologies and corporate innovation labs.

Over the course of the accelerator, the seven mutuals will work closely with 14 fintech start-ups to ideate new solutions, test assumptions and co-create and prototype products and services.

Participants will follow a 12-week structured program providing access to expertise from KPMG mentors and industry advisors such as Chris Whitehead who has helped to tailor the program for the mutual sector, as well as Leona Murphy, previously head of strategy for IAG, and Andrew Davis formerly Global Fintech lead for HSBC.

The accelerator will be hosted in Sydney at KPMG’s new Barangaroo office and at fintech hub Stone & Chalk. It kicked off on 12 July 2016 and culminates in a demo-day, where the fintechs will pitch their ideas and progress to investors and finance sector leaders.

What is KPMG mLabs looking to achieve?

Mabbott commented, “The KPMG Mutuals Review 2015 noted that mutuals are well placed to implement new technologies and ideas and to collaborate with fintech start-ups.”

According to him, KPMG mLabs is designed to catalyse this process. It will be a platform for collaboration and a safe space for experimentation – and help bring some exciting new services to life for mutual banks and credit unions and their customers.

The objective of KPMG mLabs is to systematically foster greater levels of collaboration between the participating mutual ADIs and fintech start-ups.

“The mutuals are eager to engage the start-up community and for the fintech ventures, the prospect of innovating with the mutuals, who represent a combined customer base of more than two million, is a very attractive proposition,” said Ian Pollari, KPMG’s Global Co-Lead for Fintech.

“Most importantly, KPMG mLabs will drive commercial outcomes for all participants, whether that be designing and launching new digital products and services, enhancing the customer experience or improving internal efficiency.”

Ian Pollari (KPMG), Phillipa Beltran (Flamingo), Scott Morgan (Greater Bank), Tracey Robinson (Flamingo)
Ian Pollari (KPMG), Phillipa Beltran (Flamingo), Scott Morgan (Greater Bank), Tracey Robinson (Flamingo)

Who will take part in this project?

For the first iteration of the mLabs accelerator, 14 Australian fintech startups have been curated by KPMG and selected based on input from mutuals around areas ripe for innovation.

The KPMG mLabs 2016 fintech start-ups are:

  1. Avoka (avoka.com) – Accelerates digital customer acquisition and increases business agility for financial services, government, education, and other industries.
  2. Brighte (brighte.com.au) – the easiest way to pay ‘no interest ever’ for home energy and improvements.
  3. Chekk (chekk.me) – A digital identity start-up enabling consumers to own, manage and share their personal data with other individuals and businesses, supporting improved customer experience and interactions for businesses to request access to up-to-date customer information.
  4. Cloudcase (cloudcase.net) – Omni-Product loan origination software enabling financial institutions to on-board customers and originate any financial product.
  5. DSYNC (dsync.com) – integration platform that joins fragmented systems together. The platform enables companies to integrate both cloud and on premise applications with an advanced data transformation and mapping engine.
  6. Easyshare (easyshare.money) – A secure, online platform designed to simplify the payment of shared house, residential and commercial rent, bills and expenses.
  7. Edstart (edstart.com.au) – Provides a simple, low-cost financing solution, leveraging the latest technology to deliver a service to customers which is both easier to use and lower cost than traditional finance providers.
  8. Fitchain – a fitness-based rewards program leveraging wearables and blockchain technology to improve engagement between both employees and customers.
  9. Flamingo (flamingo.io) – A customer experience personalisation platform that provides businesses with a retention, acquisition, co-creation and analytics capability.
  10. Moneycatcha (moneycatcha.com) – A loan origination solution that is built on the Blockchain, delivering significant competitive advantage through improvements to speed, efficiency and security.
  11. Moroku (moroku.com) – Moroku creates engaging mobile experiences by gamifying consumer interactions in banking and payments with the Moroku Game System.
  12. Pocketbook (getpocketbook.com) – a free budget planner that makes managing personal finance ridiculously simple.
  13. Simplekyc (simplekyc.com) – Hassle free, business process management solution for both large and small entities that greatly reduces the man hours involved in onboarding new customers.
  14. Spriggy (spriggy.com) – Helps parents teach kids about money. Using prepaid cards and a purpose-built mobile app, young people learn vital earning, saving and spending skills with real world practice under the safe supervision of their family.