Prominent British entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij says Australian fintech companies are “world-class”
Leading British entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij says he is impressed with the “serious solutions” being built by founders in the local fintech sector, which he believes is on par with the rest of the world.
“The quality of companies that we’ve met here are world-class,” he tells StartupSmart.
Van der Kleij, who founded London’s largest fintech hub Level39, is in Australia this week for the UK government’s Australian Hunger Games-inspired event held in Sydney.
Van der Kleij is a special adviser in fintech and blockchain for UK’s Department for International Trade, and is on a mission to help promising Australian startups with a “soft and accelerated landing into the UK market”.
“Having met quite literally thousands of startups across Europe and the US in the last five-six years, I would say [Australia’s startup scene] is vibrant,” van der Kleij tells StartupSmart.
“It’s looking for a couple of additional things to help it really unlock its true potential … such as sufficient risk capital and I think the other thing we’ve heard [is] the appetite and the attitude towards risk from the corporates is something that people would like to see improved here.
“But I’ve been very impressed by the calibre of the solutions and they’re not fluff, they’re serious solutions.”
A notable differentiator in Australia’s fintech sector for van der Kleij is the volume of superannuation funds.
“You’ve got these amazing superannuation funds,” he says.
“Those are very interesting and potentially high value opportunities to help those sectors transform.
“The natural environment is bringing innovation that dovetails with the cultural environment here and that of course creates unique opportunities when you think about how to take these companies international.”
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