Influential Sydney fintech backers lukewarm on budget

By David Tuckwell on Wednesday 17 May 2017

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Not everyone in Sydney's fintech scene is happy with the Treasurer

Not all Australian fintech players are thrilled with the budget. 

While the 2017 budget has delighted Australian fintech companies, some fintech investors are less convinced. 

In a joint release, Sydney Angels and Cicada Innovations, high-altitude flyers in Sydney’s tight-knit startup scene, have issued a wide-ranging criticism of the budget for the effects it will have on startups, including fintech. 

“[The] Budget 2017 was clearly a risk-averse election budget, with only brief mention of startup initiatives around fintech… and crowd-sourced equity funding,” said Petra Andrén, CEO of Cicada Innovations.

“Cuts to university funding and fee hikes… are absolutely devastating for students wishing to undertake the more expensive and longer STEM degrees that contribute the most to our deep tech innovation ecosystem.”

Sydney Angels, whose venture capital arm has invested in fintechs, was more moderate in its criticism.

“That fintech got mentioned is a positive, but how much impact the budget will actually have is yet to be seen,” said committee member Adrian Bunter in conversation with AltFi.

“The other thing that was positive for startups and benefits fintech to some extent is that crowdfunding has been opened up. I have no idea why they didn’t do it in last year’s budget.”

He added that the much-discussed bank levy, while having “some advantages”, would ultimately be irrelevant for alternative lenders.

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