Every business goes on a different growth journey with many learnings along the way. Our co-founders love to share tips for other aspiring start-ups in the hope that they too can grow and flourish. Here is part of our chat with Australian FinTech covering Lodex’s vision and some of our advice and insights to date.
In one sentence, what does your Fintech do?
Australia’s smarter way to find financial services products, through Lodex’s loans and deposits marketplace.
How / why did you start your Fintech company?
To reimagine and empower the way people access digital financial services, through access to free and unique data, on a super fast and secure loans and deposits marketplace.
What is the best thing your company has achieved or learnt along the way?
- Created the first, all encompassing, loans and deposits marketplace
- Built a secure tech platform and infrastructure with a great user experience that is unsurpassed in the industry
- We have raised $3.5million in cash & technology to date
- Auctioned over $420 million in loans
- Over 53,000 members and growing
- Holder of an Australian Credit Licence, Authorised Representative of an AFSL for Deposits, Payments, NCP, FX, Super & Life Insurance as well as being a registered Digital Currency Exchange with AUSTRAC
- Have launched over 8 financial product categories
- Over 150 lenders and brokers engaged on the Lodex Marketplace
- Creating a platform that puts the power back into the consumer’s hands.
- Giving consumers access to their data, all in the one place, and enabling them to anonymously auction their loan or deposit needs, to see the most competitive rate they can get on the Lodex Marketplace.
At Lodex, we are committed to adding value to the consumer when it comes to financial services. We want to be known for creating platforms that enables people to access financial services with greater ease and at the fairest possible price, in Australia initially and then offshore.
What’s some advice you’d give to an aspiring start-up?
The importance of TEAM
Focus on recruiting people who share the same belief and passion in the company’s vision. We have had great help along the way from our staff and an outstanding Chairman, as well as learning from other wonderful established businesses such as Finder onshore and the Neos offshore. We will continue to invest in recruiting experts in their field of expertise and partnering with the best in their categories as we are banking on the fact that this will help us remain relevant.
Build solid foundations
As financial services in highly-regulated, ensuring that you hold all the required licences is important. This foundation has been an important focus and has taken us time to put in place. Other key learnings include the need to keep investing heavily in the tech platform in order to remain relevant, the fact that as a marketplace, we have had to be very focused on building both sides including users and paid customers, as well as needing to invest heavily in partnerships in order to share mutual value and scale with greater speed.
Forever optimise and be creative
You need to continue to optimise and iterate your offering. Starting a business from scratch and competing in a category where your competitors have marketing budgets in the hundreds of millions along with armies of people to deliver the products is challenging. We have to think differently in order to compete, and most importantly we need to partner with strategically aligned, best-in-class professionals.
What’s next for Lodex? And are you looking to expand overseas or stay focused on Australia?
We are Australia-based, boast a deep understanding of the market and hold all requisite licences, so it is our plan to become a good player in this market, win the hearts of locals and then assess opportunities for expansion into other markets. The platform is built for scale so once the company is ready, we will be able to push into another market.
We have long researched the banking market offshore and studied the winning business models. Accordingly, after observing and learning from the likes of European Fintech including Revolut, Monzo, Starling Bank, N26 and Tandem Bank, we have been working on building a similar mobile bank-as-a-platform offering through a digital wallet to meet the needs of the millennial population.
We are now getting set to softly launch the e-Wallets to market in July this year, which will be separate from our marketplace financial services hub initially.
We are in the midst of the biggest transformation banking and financial services has seen as a result of the advancement of technology and open banking laws coming into play. Consumers are demanding banking services from their mobile and want access immediately. Services such as payments, money transfer, credit and deposit products all need to be easily accessible via one’s phone. Banks and other traditional financial services organisations are all looking to optimise their digital offering to remain relevant as they invariably have enormous fixed costs in terms of infrastructure (branches), core banking systems that may be out of date and legacy processes that require manual handling. Accordingly, we are seeing more and more traditional players partner with Fintechs to improve their digital offering and acquire younger customers.
We are seeing strong traction gained with the utilisation of blockchain technology when it comes to payments, through the likes of Ripple. I think that this technology has the potential to disrupt money transfer revenue lines for banks. FX is sold on cost and speed to destination. This technology promises to be unparalleled in terms of price as well as enabling the receiving party to receive the transfer in near time. We are acutely interested in this at Lodex for this feature too.
What other fintechs or companies do you admire?
Finder.com.au for their first to market solution, content delivery and their huge network. Amazing business. A juggernaut.
We’re also huge fans of Revolut, Monzo, N26 and Starling Bank from Europe. Neo Banking platforms have changed the way consumers are banking.
What’s the most interesting or funniest moment that’s happened in your company’s lifetime?
The most interesting moment would be the pushback received on the introduction of the Social Score in Australia. We thought it made sense to utilise non-traditional data to rate a consumer’s credit worthiness given the quantum of data available. It was fortuitous that we searched globally to find different ways to put the power back into the consumer’s hands as it has opened our eyes to different and innovative services that help give the consumer choice. Australia was not quite ready for Social Scores yet. Watch this space.
Originally published at Australian FinTech.