Open banking start-up Basiq snares funding from Westpac and NAB
The venture capital funds of Westpac Banking Corp and National Australia Bank have co-invested in Basiq, a start-up that scrapes financial data from bank webpages to help fintechs compete with incumbent banks. Taking advantages of the government’s moves to create an economy where data moves more openly, it plans to morph into a new banking platform that uses “application programming interfaces” (APIs, or software connecting computers) to improve customer experience of financial services.
The seed investment by Reinventure Group, Westpac’s venture capital fund, and NAB Ventures comes after Treasurer Scott Morrison said in last month’s budget an “open banking” regime would be created, liberating customer banking data. The Productivity Commission, and a parliamentary committee being chaired by David Coleman, have also called for the establishment of data-sharing regimes.
Their investment in Basiq suggests NAB and Westpac see open data as an opportunity at least as much as a competitive threat.
“We can see that open data is coming and we want to be on the front foot,” said Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures.
“Basiq could play a role in that evolving landscape and provide a secure platform. This is coming, and the best way to solve for it in a positive, collaborative way. This is a bigger play than just access to data. This is about ‘banking as a platform’, where middleware like Basiq can enable new, innovative services for our customers.”
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