Finalists galore in ‘the Finnies’
This year’s Fintech Australia awards drew more than 300 entries, and there are only 156 finalists in the 19 categories, including several Jewish faces.
An impressive range of Jewish innovators are the driving forces behind companies named finalists last week for the 2023 Finnies – Fintech Australia’s seventh annual awards.
These include Aaron Bassin and Nick Jacobs, the co-founders of Bridgit, a finalist for emerging fintech organisation of the year.
They established it in 2021 as a “technology-first” specialist bridging loans provider, offering simple online applications and same-day approval, and developed a world-first bridging loan calculator.
By the end of 2022, the start-up raised almost $113 million in capital, and processed more than $1 billion in loan applications.
Bassin, Bridgit’s CEO, is also a finalist for emerging fintech leader of the year.
In a Fintech Australia podcast last May, Bassin said everything is digital, because “we’ve built the technology for servicing the clients of today”.
Patrick Coghlan – one of CreditorWatch’s three founding employees in 2010, and its CEO since 2017 – is a finalist for outstanding fintech leader of the year.
CreditorWatch is a commercial credit reporting bureau that provides exclusive credit risk insights for its 55,000 customers.
Coghlan said on the firm’s YouTube channel late last year that despite it operating for 12 years, “I still feel that we’ve got that start-up mentality – that we’re still keen to move fast, and to try things.”
Lumi, whose founder and CEO is Israeli native Yanir Yakutiel, is a finalist for best workplace diversity, and it specialises in harnessing big data in real-time, and analytics, to offer customised lending solutions.
“My overarching ambition with Lumi is to empower small business owners to grow their businesses and achieve their dreams and aspirations, Yakutiel said.
David Salkinder and Ethan Singer co-founded Fundabl in 2021, shortlisted for excellence in business lending, and emerging fintech organisation of the year.
Fundabl offers start-ups and other businesses a fast and effective means to monetise their recurring monthly revenue models, by providing up to 12 months of it upfront.
Brothers David (CEO) and Daniel (chair) Lavecky, and Tim Moddel (head of products), co-founded Canvas in 2017, a privacy-focused blockchain company committed to driving the digital transformation of banks, financial institutions and government departments.
Canvas has made the Finnies finals for excellence in blockchain/distributed ledger, and for emerging fintech organisation of the year.
Superhero Super is a finalist for excellence in wealth management, and was established by Wayne Baskin and John Winters in 2018, before launching its ASX trading platform in September 2020.
It has developed a technology-enabled super fund, offering greater transparency and control for members, while reflecting their values and beliefs.
Prospa – which has a Jewish co-founder in Greg Moshal, and an Israeli, Shai Haim, as chief technology officer – is shortlisted for best workplace diversity, and excellence in wealth management.
Established 10 years ago as a responsive lender and financial manager for the businesses sector, it offers world-class technology and expertise.
Walter Rapoport and Rael Ross are co-founders and joint CEOs of BUTN, an embedded finance platform and funder, specialising in assisting businesses to grow faster via multiple cashflow solutions.
BUTN is a finalist for excellence in business lending, and also excellence in industry collaborations and partnerships, through its work with MYOB.
Wisr, whose chief product officer is Israeli native Ben Berger, is a finalist for best workplace diversity, excellence in consumer lending, and for the positive impact award.
It prides itself on being Australia’s first ASX-listed neo-lender and a fintech pioneer in the fast-growing Australian consumer finance market.
Wisr’s chief strategy officer, Dr Lili Sussman, is a finalist for female fintech leader of the year.
Honey Insurance, founded by Richard Joffe, is shortlisted for excellence in insurance tech.
John Myers became CEO of OCR Labs in 2017, which has made the cut for fintech organisation of the year.
And Futurerent, whose chief financial officer is Tomer Hershcovitz, is a finalist for excellence in consumer lending.
Fintech Australia general manager Rehan D’Almeida said, “There have been some tough decisions by the judges [of the 2023 Finnies], so as a result, any company or individual who makes this shortlist should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”
This year’s awards drew more than 300 entries, and there are only 156 finalists in the 19 categories.
The winners will be announced at a reception in Melbourne on May 31.