More government money for Aussie fintech

By David Tuckwell on Monday 17 July 2017

Alternative Lending

Sydney will get a new fintech hub, with support from the NSW government

Who said governments can’t pick winners?

Australian federal and state governments have showered fintech with largesse in recent years, offering tax breaks, cheap financial services licenses, and funding for their advocacy groups.

The New South Wales government has upped the ante, announcing that it will fund a new 11-floor “start-up hub”, which will provide subsidised real estate in inner-city Sydney to Australian fintech companies.

Jobs for NSW, the government body overseeing the funding, has said it will invest A$35 million in the facility, claiming that the money will go towards creating up to 6,500 new jobs.

“Creating a central destination for the NSW startup sector via a high-density cluster is critical to ignite collaboration, innovation and propel us into the top world’s top 10 ranked innovation centres,” said Jobs for NSW in a fact sheet.

To all appearances, the policy is a copycat of the Victorian government, which similarly launched a fintech hub in Melbourne’s Docklands in June.

Commenting on the launch, FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho said it was important because it showed bipartisan support for fintech, and would help build out Australia’s export footprint into Asia.

“Both of these announcements clearly prove there is united support for fintech across both Federal and State governments and from both sides of politics,” Ms Szetho said.

“The new Sydney Startup Hub will be an important and regionally-significant centre of gravity for fintech and startup innovation within Asia.

“We expect the size and density of this Sydney hub, along with the growing fintech ecosystem in Melbourne, will help elevate Australian fintech’s status within Asia and the world.”

The biggest winner from the new hub is the fintech not-for-profit Stone & Chalk, which provides shared office space to start-ups.

Stone & Chalk has been unveiled as the anchor tenant and said it will house 600 residents at the Sydney Startup Hub, making it the largest hub of its kind anywhere in the world.

The Sydney Startup Hub is expected to open in late 2017 or early 2018, with the Melbourne FinTech hub following a similar timeframe.

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