Australian FinTech company profile #110 – TrueLayer
1. Company Name:
3. Key Australian Staff & Titles:
Brenton Charnley, Head of Australia
UK, EU, AU, HK
5. In one sentence, what does your fintech do?:
TrueLayer is opening up finance by providing secure, global access to financial and open banking APIs that empower engineers, innovators and enterprises to create smarter financial services.
6. How / why did you start your fintech company?:
TrueLayer was founded to create a financial ecosystem that’s open to everyone.
Building and maintaining new financial services is costly and time consuming, involving multiple integrations and complex regulatory challenges. At the same time, people still struggle to open bank accounts, access credit, and manage their money. Our founders saw an opportunity to make finance more accessible by exposing complex services as simple code. This provides businesses with the tools they needed to reinvent the system.
7. What is the best thing your company has achieved or learnt along the way (this can include awards, capital raising etc)?:
In terms of awards, being named by CB Insights in its Fintech 250 List of Fastest-Growing Fintech firms was a high point given how much innovation is occurring in fintech globally. To date, we’ve raised $72 million and have a set of incredibly supportive backers including Anthemis, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone & Temasek.
We’ve been involved in open banking from the very start and seen how it has evolved but are incredibly excited about what’s to come. The potential around open banking and open finance, particularly as envisaged by the CDR, are hugely powerful. In Europe, we’re a few years down that road and still only really scratched the surface of what is possible to really deliver new financial services that promote greater choice and increase financial inclusion.
8. What’s some advice you’d give to an aspiring start-up?:
Surround yourself with great people. Building a startup is hard and doing it alone is even harder – so find the people you want to do this with and work hard – together. Our Founders Francesco and Luca met at University in Italy and, since then, have stuck together and built a number of tech companies over the years. Without great people around you that you trust you won’t go anywhere fast.
You also cannot ignore company culture and it has to come from the founders, as it does with our co-founders. They believe in the mission of the company but equally, how that mission is delivered by having an inclusive company culture. This is reflected in our guiding principles that balance our ambition and drive “take risks” and “think big” with “value people” and “enjoy life” because the firm genuinely believe people are it’s greatest assets and a work-life balance is key to a healthy, happy team.
It also sounds simple but we talk about “inclusion and diversity” because we believe that without the former, you cannot achieve the latter.
9. What’s next for your company? And are you looking to expand overseas or stay focussed on Australia?:
VC firm a16z claimed ‘every firm can be a fintech firm’ and that is because of the platforms like ours that make it simple to integrate financial services like open banking into any app, any website, anywhere in the world. As more verticals look to integrate payments and financial services experiences into their platforms, it opens up a lot of opportunities all over the globe.
The markets embracing these ideas to create more consumer choice Australia, Europe and beyond, are where we are focussed. On Australia, we are looking at being the intermediary of choice for banks, fintechs and ecommerce companies and enable them to integrate financial services data, payments and products.
It’s an exciting time as we’re still at the start of the open finance revolution. As more types of data are opened up by APIs, including pensions, investments, mortgages, loans it will give consumers increased control over their financial lives and inject competition and innovation into sectors that have stood still for too long.
10. What other fintechs or companies do you admire?:
We are continuously inspired by the tenacity and resilience shown by Australian startups, particularly over the last 6 months and in particular some of the cool things being done by Brighte, Up, Athena, Indebted, Revolut, Moroku and Stake.
11. What’s the most interesting or funniest moment that’s happened in your company’s lifetime?:
Pre Covid-19, we had a tradition to be in the office on Friday’s to socialise and for our team’s to work on side-projects. A number of our products have come from our Friday sessions and we continue to ensure that our team members have time to work on their side projects when we aren’t able to come together.