2019 CHRISTMAS EDITION
I wanted to use this edition to say thanks to you all for being such an engaged & entertaining audience for 2019. I love sending this out each week and especially relish the feedback I get in response (when I haven't messed up the trivia questions). For now, I'm going to take a few weeks off of writing and return in late January. Before I jet, I'll make some comments on the past year and provide a little more insight on what I have planned for 2020.
First - I'll share some highlights of the year in Australian FinTech:
(1) We've witnessed massive growth in the BNPL sector - including international expansion for Australian brands (namely Afterpay & Zip) - and proven to an international audience that Australia is a stronghold for BNPL (even if Openpay's listing was a little weak this week). No doubt, regulation is going to match in 2020 (e.g. outcome of no surcharge rule).
(2) We've seen a rollercoaster ride for IPOs - Latitude's having been pulled and Prospa's being delayed. But we also witnessed the successful listing of Tyro who are genuine contenders to change what we call 'The Big Four' in the future. The ones that missed out this year will be back with a vengeance next year.
(3) APRA has handed out banking licenses like hotcakes - with Judo, Volt, 86 400 and Xinja all securing one (of which Eric Wilson, Xinja CEO speaks quite candidly about here). Next year will decide if these neobanks survive, or a banking partnership (a la Up) becomes a more feasible distribution strategy.
These are all massive foundational blocks for establishing a strong, prosperous and compliant FinTech industry.
Now - what I have planned personally & in the newsletter for the future (2020 and beyond):
(a) Community Building (offline and online) - I'd like to start featuring a Fintech 'Product' of the Week that can sit below the 'Friends' section - I'm hoping to build a backlog of FinTech products that are out in the market that can be featured weekly (if that's you, let me know). I'm also trialling a Fintech meetup for new products and startups - and if the format works, I'll be sharing within this newsletter (again, if that interests you, let me know).
(b) Longer-form original content - I like to analyse where I can, but sometimes the newsletter format is too intimate to contain such dense analysis. I'll have a think on the best medium for this (e.g. personal website, Medium, LinkedIn) but I also do not want to move away from this format too much. I've also moved into the Fintech industry myself so can hopefully bring a strong perspective to future analysis (caveat: this also time permitting).
(c) Continue to post on the international startup & big tech landscape - although FinTech is the initial focus, it's important to position our domestic news in the broader context of the globe. We've seen a massive push for the Uber's, Apple's, Amazon's, Google's & Facebook's of this world to starting either being banks or offering banking services. There's a lot to be said about this, especially with the highly engaging nature of these platforms.
Anyway, there's my more-than-two-cents on 2019 and a bit of a teaser of what ticks on in my head about what's coming next. I'd be keen to hear if that's something that interests you as readers, that doesn't interest you (I'm just here for news & trivia), or what you'd suggest for the future.
I'll leave you with a great long read to round out the year: The most wholesome news stories of 2019. Link
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
All the best
Think someone else would love reading this next year? Send them to www.jimmygrafton.com to get them in the loop!
Answers at the end of the email
(a) What were the five most 'Googled' searches of 2019 in Australia?
(b) What were the most streamed Spotify songs of 2019 (Worldwide)?
(c) What was my most streamed Spotify song of 2019?