Australian FinTech company profile #88 – iPartners
- Company Name: iPartners
- Website: ipartners.com.au
- Key Staff & Titles:
Travis Miller – Managing Director & Co-Founder
Rob Nankivell – Managing Director & Co-Founder
Chris Reade – Chief Operations Officer
Norman King – Chief Technology Officer
James Wilkinson – Head of Operations
Lincoln Stollery – Head of Investor Relations
- Location(s): Sydney and Melbourne
- In one sentence, what does your fintech do?:
iPartners is one of Australia’s leading alternative asset marketplaces giving wholesale investors direct access to a diversified range of alternative investments and asset classes – all with the innovation powering its iPlatforms technology platform for capital raisers and investors.
- How / why did you start your fintech company?:
iPartners was explicitly launched to improve the way Australian investors access alternative asset investments. We saw this as an underserviced area of the market, particularly with the long term aspect of low-interest rates. Self-directed investors could benefit from a more streamlined and transparent process of reviewing, assessing and investing in alternative asset opportunities they may not have had access to in the past. The team has developed a fintech platform that allows investors to choose from a broad range of assets and make an investment via their mobile phone. Every investor has their own dashboard, which they can tap into 24/7, and they can access a secondary market to resell their investments to other iPartners investors. This gives all of our investors more liquidity options.
- What is the best thing your company has achieved or learnt along the way (this can include awards, capital raising, etc.)?:
We had a clear vision to differentiate iPartners from a noisy marketplace, and we believe we have achieved this on two levels. Firstly, you don’t necessarily need a financial advisor to review and invest with iPartners. Our iPlatforms technology means it’s easy to build your own dataroom and manage your own portfolio of alternative investments from your phone. Secondly, and this is something we believe is really important is we co-invest alongside our investors. We personally have a stake in the alternative asset investments we bring to the table, and this gives our investors peace of mind.
We are really proud of the milestones we have achieved to date. From early-stage capital raising and the establishment of an influential advisory board, through to the development of our powerful iPlatforms technology and thousands of investors registered on the platform today we remain committed to delivering on our continued success even during COVID-19. iPartners has raised over $27 million in capital during the COVID-19 period.
- What’s some advice you’d give to an aspiring start-up?:
Our advice to any ambitious start-up is to really know the market and identify the problems that need solving. In our case, we combined our deep industry experience and networks with the transformational benefits of technology to solve the issue of accessing investments and building a secondary market for those investors. Without that focus on what you want to do, it doesn’t matter how much money you have to throw at a technology problem – you need to be very clear about this from the outset.
- What’s next for your company? And are you looking to expand overseas or stay focussed on Australia?:
Our roadmap for iPartners focuses on expanding our footprint, increasing the number and size of investment opportunities we bring to our investors and continuing to invest in our iPlatforms technology to underpin our growth. We see the New Zealand marketplace as the next obvious region for iPartners to operate in from both an opportunity and geographic location perspective.
The team will continue to source high-quality investment-grade assets from local and international opportunities, including our recently launched iPartners Investment Fund.
We also think more and more fund managers and advisors are looking to benefit from alternatives, and our iPlatforms solution can help source opportunities for clients and also help them with their own capital raising activities. This is an area we are seeing a lot of interest in right now.
- What other fintechs or companies do you admire?:
There is a lot to be said for innovation in this part of the world. Two companies that we admire and who also inspire us are XERO and Atlassian. XERO has nailed the concept of ease of use and delivering a cloud-based product that saves time and adds value to the life of the user. Great goals to replicate.
We also admire Atlassian for the scalability of their solutions and technological simplicity of their platform in providing workflow management software for tech developers. A simple idea, with excellent execution that totally works.
- What’s the most interesting or funniest moment that’s happened in your company’s lifetime?:
The most interesting but challenging thing that has happened in our company’s lifetime has certainly been how COVID-19 has impacted markets. It has created new opportunities and reinforced our vision to build a fintech platform that will support an easier and agile way to invest in alternative assets is the right direction for the future.