The links between western Australian businesses and the UK are well established, but the types of company now looking to expand in the UK has seen a real change in recent years.
WA has traditionally been the heartland of the country’s mining industry, making Perth an international hub for the extractive industries. However in recent years a new type of business has been making the leap into the UK. Fintech businesses from Western Australia have been among those expanding into London, which is now globally recognised as among the top two or three hubs for fintech in the world.
The traffic between the two regions has been encouraged by the recent launch of the UK-Australia fintech bridge, which aims to connect companies from both regions with new opportunities for expansion and investment.
And there is real momentum behind the growth of the WA start up scene. According to official government figures, $850 million of venture capital was invested in Australian startups in the 2017-18 financial year, which is a new record for the local ecosystem. And a closer look at the fintech sector reveals that VC-backed funding has grown from $69 million in 2017 to $343 million in 2018, representing a 396% year-on-year growth.
Paul Beare comments, “following a breakfast and lunch, including a number of individual meetings, it’s clear there is a strong cluster of, not just fintech, but also other sectors out of WA. From education to fitness, mining is still present but is rapidly competing with other industries.”
Paul was speaking to a number of company’s earlier today along with the Department of International Trade Tech Sector advisor, Jeff Peel who was also visiting.
”A number of Australian business are either imminently expanding into thenUK, or considering having the UK as their worldwide HQ. With income tax at 19%, dropping to 17%, it’s a very favourable offering in competing with the world market,” said Paul.
The path to success for Australian companies in the UK is a well–trodden one, and there’s no doubt the story of Western Australia’s fintech boom is only just beginning. It’s not surprising that capital is being attracted: Australia’s fintech adoption rate — the percentage of the digitally active population that uses fintech — is at 37%, the fifth highest, after China, India, the UK, and Brazil.