Xinja Bank: making Australian fintech startup history
The sum, which will be paid to Xinja in one $160mn lump sum and the remaining amount in installments over the next two years, represents a landmark achievement in the history of Australian fintech startups.
Eric Wilson, founder and CEO, proclaimed the news as a groundbreaking success.
“We think this is the largest single investment in an Australian neobank or startup, and combined with exceptional customer acquisition and deposit growth, positions Xinja Bank as a frontrunner in the Australian neobank market,” he said.
A lightning-fast success story
Started less than three years ago in May 2017, Xinja has gone from strength to strength and now hosts over 45,000 accounts and holds more than $450mn in deposits.
Designed to revolutionise a customer’s experience with banking by making it quick, easy and even fun, Xinja helps the user track their spending and saving whilst also suggesting ways to maximise their income.
A 100% digital platform in the mould of Monzo or Starling Bank, Xinja is covered by the Government of Australia’s Financial Claims Scheme like any other bank, with deposits up to $250,000 full protected.
The company commented that it was grateful to WI for recognising the exciting potential that Xinja offers its clients and the modernisation aspirations of Australia.
“We believe Xinja Bank is at the cutting edge of next-generation banking in Australia. Its technology, commitment to customers and ethical banking philosophy made it an obvious investment choice for us,” said WI CEO H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Al Qubaisi.
Based in Dubai, WI is noted for its investing experience within the banking industry, which, according to the press release, include activities in the Middle East and Europe.
Providing help during a difficult time
Despite having a reason to celebrate, Wilson assumed a more equanimous tone, considering the ongoing disruption in Australia owing to COVID-19 (coronavirus) a reason to temper the company’s reaction.
Knowing that many of the country’s citizens will be concerned, not just about their health but about their financial security, Wilson stated that Xinja would be there to help those who needed assistance.
“I believe Xinja’s mission to help Australians make more of their money is going to be even more important in the coming year. We are only a small part of the economy, but we are committed to continuing to deliver the best in banking outcomes for our customers.”
For more information on business topics in ANZ, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief ANZ.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.