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THE FINNIES: All the winners from Australia's first fintech industry awards

Emma Weston. (Source: supplied)
Business Insider Australia is the proud media partner for the 2017 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. Read more on the awards. »

The founder of a startup delivering blockchain technologies to farmers was one of the big winners at FinTech Australia’s inaugural industry awards ceremony held in Sydney on Wednesday night.

AgriDigital co-founder and chief executive Emma Weston took out two of the five marquee awards at “The Finnies” – female fintech leader of the year and emerging fintech leader of the year.

The Sydney startup describes its product as “an integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry” that facilitates real-time payments to growers using blockchain technologies and smart contracts.

The judges stated that Weston possesses “a strong combination of business and technical leadership” and has shown “courageous leadership” in running AgriDigital.

“Getting blockchain to process settlements for a physical commodity is a huge step forward for global finance,” stated the judges.

Finnie award winners celebrate. Photo: Supplied

The fintech organisation of the year gong went to Afterpay, which made headlines in February for its merger with Touchcorp. The company, set to form a $350 million fintech giant after the merge, was praised by the FinTech Australia judges for its “strong, customer-centric” retail buy-now-pay-later solution.

Prospa co-founders Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli were crowned joint winners in the male fintech leader of the year category. Their online lending business in February received $25 million in a funding round dubbed the largest of its kind in Australia, just months after it came in at number 31 on the global Fintech 100 honour list.

The fifth headline award, emerging fintech organisation of the year, went to millennial superannuation startup Spaceship. The business, backed by Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes, in March boasted that it would have $100 million under management by its official launch – although it has attracted its share of critics.

FinTech Australia president Simon Cant said that all the winners were a testament to a local fintech industry that has “almost unlimited potential”.

L-R: Matt Kean, NSW Minister of Innovation and Better Regulation, Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli, joint CEOs of Prospa (and winners of Male FinTech Leader of the Year award). Photo; Supplied

“The awards also amplify the work of our fintech industry members who are taking on and solving key industry challenges, such as increasing leadership diversity and building partnerships with larger financial institutions,” he said.

Among the specialty awards, data aggregator Proviso Data was the big winner, taking home three trophies — for excellence in fintech support services, regtech and data solutions.

NSW government’s Jobs For NSW programme is sponsoring The Finnies for its first two years. Nineteen of the 29 Finnie winners are from NSW, which the state innovation minister Matt Kean was pleased with.

L-R: Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Gabrielle Wakeman and Nick Molnar from Afterpay (winner of FinTech Organisation of the Year), and Karen Borg, CEO of Jobs for NSW. Photo: Supplied

“Sydney is home to Australia’s largest financial services industry and [is] a leading Asia-Pacific fintech hub with 54 per cent of our fintech sector based in NSW,” he said.

“We are committed to growing this exciting high-value growth sector to create jobs and economic opportunities for our state.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Fintech organisation of the year

Afterpay

Female fintech leader of the year

Emma Weston, CEO, AgriDigital

Male fintech leader of the year

Greg Moshal & Beau Bertoli, founders and joint executive officers, Prospa

Emerging fintech organisation of the year

Spaceship

Emerging fintech leader of the year

Emma Weston, CEO and co-founder, AgriDigital

Best fintech place to work

Prospa

Best workplace diversity

Timelio

Marketing campaign or brand initiative of the year

Equitise – Equitise Bubble

Excellence in establishing market presence: Australia

BrickX

Excellence in establishing market presence: global

Avoka

Excellence in industry collaboration & partnerships (Australia)

Sharesight

Excellence in industry collaboration & partnerships (overseas)

OnDeck Capital

Excellence in business lending

RateSetter Australia

Excellence in consumer lending

RateSetter Australia

Excellence in peer-to-peer lending

SocietyOne

Excellence in crowdfunding

CrowdfundUP and Equitise (joint winners)

Excellence in payments

Assembly Payments

Excellence in digital currencies/wallets/exchanges

Coinjar

Excellence in blockchain and distributed ledger

AgriDigital

Excellence in cybersecurity

Entersoft

Excellence in insurance technology

Instanda

Excellence in data and artificial intelligence solutions

Proviso Data

Excellence in regulatory technology and risk management

Proviso Data

Excellence in wealth management

Acorns Grow

Excellence in asset management and trading

SelfWealth

Excellence in financial inclusion (social good)

Peppermint Innovation

Excellence in fintech support services

Proviso Data

Best co-working space (national)

Tank Stream Labs

Best investment firm (venture capital, family office, etc)

AirTree Ventures and Reinventure Group (joint winners)

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