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More than 100 Australian fintech companies made their debuts in 2020. What are the key facts to know about fintech investing in Australia?

Australia is one of the most dynamic areas for fintech, with over 800 fintech companies currently scattered around the nation's states and territories.

Fintech, or financial technology, is set to be the future of the financial services industry, and in Australia the market had an estimated worth of AU$4 billion in 2020, up from AU$250 million five years earlier. As a global fintech leader, many of the country's top players have expanded beyond its borders or plan to do so.

What else should investors know about the burgeoning Australian fintech space? Read on for a look at what this tech arena looks like right now and what could be next.


Fintech investing in Australia: Understanding the market

2020 was a bumper year for fintech in Australia, with more than 100 Australian fintech companies making their debuts, according to KPMG's latest Fintech Landscape report.

It's clear that fintech is booming as Australians look for new ways to combine finance and technology. As Finder reported this past October, around 3.7 million Australians now use digital wallets — that's close to 20 percent of the nation. What's more, 30 percent have connected their debit or credit cards to their smartphones or watches.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in Australia's fintech growth over the last year or so. As fear of coronavirus transmission took hold, the country saw a huge drop in the use of cash, with Australians using fintech solutions to pay for their items and services.

The rise of open banking has also been a boon for the industry. Under open banking, which formally commenced in mid-2020, customers can securely share banking data with other accredited banks and fintech companies, allowing for greater financial agency.

Fintech investing in Australia: Top stocks by market cap

Australia's fintech market is on the move, and for investors looking to jump into the space it may make sense to start with the biggest players before going on the hunt for smaller-cap stocks with future potential.

Here's a brief look at the biggest ASX-listed fintech stocks by market cap. Data was current as of May 3, 2021.

1. Afterpay (ASX:APT)

Market cap: AU$32.99 billion

A behemoth in the ASX tech space, Afterpay dominates the buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry, allowing users to buy diverse items using payment plans, but still receive their purchases right away.

After a mammoth year in ecommerce after the initial coronavirus shutdowns and extended lockdowns, the BNPL phenomenon is unlikely to fade anytime soon, and Afterpay continues to lead the pack.

2. Xero (ASX:XRO)

Market cap: AU$20.7 billion

This cloud-based accounting software platform services small- and medium-sized businesses. Xero bills itself as the most sophisticated software provider for accountants, and operates under a cloud-first environment.

Investors hope Xero will emerge stronger and more profitable from the COVID-19 crisis, experiencing growth as small businesses bounce back.

3. Iress (ASX:IRE)

Market cap: AU$1.92 billion

Iress is a tech company that specialises in software for the financial services industry, with more than 500,000 users globally. With over 9,000 business clients, it has offices in diverse locations worldwide.

4. Pushpay Holdings (ASX:PPH)

Market cap: AU$1.83 billion

Pushpay Holdings has created a donor and church management system. It provides donor tools, finance tools and a custom community app for the faith sector in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It also caters to non-profit organisations and education providers.

5. Bravura Solutions (ASX:BVS)

Market cap: AU$680.24 million

Software company Bravura Solutions develops tech solutions for leading financial institutions. After being admitted to the S&P ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX:XJO) in 2018, it has been acquiring similar companies, including Fino Comp and Midwinter. The business offers recurring revenue, a strong balance sheet and scalability.

Fintech investing in Australia: Market outlook

Aside from those major players, it's worth looking at a few Australian fintech stocks that had notable share price gains in 2020. For example, Money3 (ASX:MNY) saw a 23.31 percent gain; meanwhile, next-gen neobank Douugh (ASX:DOU) rose more than 100 percent from the time it launched in October until the end of last year.

So what's next for this exciting industry? In a recent report, EY states that Australia's fintech market is “among the world's most important fintech ecosystems," and notes that despite COVID-19 challenges, the industry has been able to sustain its revenue base with more paying customers and global expansion plans.

Challenges moving forward include regulatory concerns and competitive pressure, with EY noting that policy enhancements, fewer barriers to open banking and continued engagement with regulators will be key if the sector is to continue advancing in the land down under.

If market participants can rise to meet those obstacles, those interested in the Australian fintech market can rest assured of finding future opportunities.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Which ASX technology stocks performed the best in 2021? Here’s a look at the five top ASX technology stocks by share price performance.

Australia is home to a thriving tech sector with fresh investment opportunities emerging across a variety of subsectors, such as gaming, fintech, healthcare and cleantech.

The technology sector currently contributes about AU$167 billion to the Australian economy, according to research commissioned by the Technology Council of Australia. This figure has increased by 79 percent from 2016, representing a growth rate that is more than four times that of most industries. In fact, the tech sector is the third largest economic sector in Australia, behind mining and finance/insurance.

Unsurprisingly, many tech stocks on the ASX have performed well in this landscape.


Below the Investing News Network profiles the five best ASX technology stocks in terms of share price performance in 2021. Data for the companies was gathered on December 31, 2021, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all of the best ASX technology stocks listed had market caps above AU$10 million at that time.

1. Novonix

Market cap: AU$4.45 billion; year-to-date gain: 659.5 percent

The first of the best ASX tech stocks on this list is battery technology company Novonix (ASX:NVX), which specializes in developing battery testing equipment for the worldwide lithium-ion battery market. The company was spun out from Dr. Jeff Dahn’s lab at Dalhousie University; Dr. Dahn is one of the pioneers of the lithium-ion battery.

While not yet a revenue generator, the company has benefited from the explosive growth expected out of the fast-moving global electric vehicle (EV) industry.

In December, Novonix announced preliminary results from an environmental impact study; they show the company’s synthetic graphite EV and energy storage system (ESS) battery anode product offers an approximate 60 percent decrease in CO2 emissions, potentially making it “2.5 times better for the environment than Chinese synthetic graphite EV and ESS battery anode material,” as per the Market Herald.

2. Oneview Healthcare

Market cap: AU$114.57 million; year-to-date gain: 488.89 percent

Oneview Healthcare’s (ASX:ONE) interactive software platform offers digital tools to healthcare providers, patients and families to improve point of care outcomes.

This past spring, the global healthcare tech company launched its cloud-based care platform. “Deployed on Microsoft Azure, this platform enables health systems to quickly adopt technology for engaging patients, reducing non-clinical demands on care teams and optimising clinical and operational effectiveness,” notes a press release.

Oneview has signed a number of contracts for the use of this platform, including with Omaha’s Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Northern Health in Melbourne and Kingman Regional Medical Center in Arizona. In late November, Oneview raised AU$20 million in a private placement with plans to use the funds to further product development, scale its cloud enterprise and strengthen its balance sheet.

3. Emyria

Market cap: AU$105.86 million; year-to-date gain: 318.48 percent

Emyria (ASX:EMD) is a healthcare technology company that specializes in data-backed drug development and operates a network of medical clinics. Using proprietary clinical evidence, the company develops registered treatments for underserved medical needs.

Emyria’s current drug development programs center on cannabidiol (CBD) medicines for mental health, CBD/THC treatments for irritable bowel syndrome and MDMA treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In late November, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups, Tattarang, made a AU$5 million investment in Emyria, which will help the company further advance its drug development work.

4. PlaySide Studios

Market cap: AU$445.38 million; year-to-date gain: 139.13 percent

PlaySide Studios (ASX:PLY) develops mobile games, virtual reality, augmented reality and PC games. The company’s portfolio consists of 52 titles, including original intellectual property games, as well as games developed with the worlds’ largest studios, such as Disney (NYSE:DIS), Warner Bros and Nickelodeon.

PlaySide Studios is Australia’s largest publicly listed gaming technology company, and following its 2020 initial public offering, it generated revenue of AU$10.88 million for the 2021 fiscal year. In November, the company inked a landmark deal with 2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO).

In the last weeks of 2021, PlaySide signed a number of deals, including a contract with Shiba Inu Games and a partnership with One True King to co-develop a PC-based game, which will also provide access to One True King's 21 million global followers.

5. Universal Biosensors

Market cap: AU$175.98 million; year-to-date gain: 127.59 percent

Last on this list of best ASX tech stocks is medical device technology company Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI), which develops, manufactures and commercializes diagnostic testing systems for point-of-care providers and at-home use. It has products for blood glucose monitoring, coagulation testing, immunoassays and molecular diagnostics.

“UBI’s biosensor technology platform has been used to deliver more than 10 billion diagnostic tests to patients worldwide generating billions of dollars in sales,” states a company presentation. “We have licensed and partnered new technology and new biosensors with global applications.”

In November, Universal Biosensors signed a three year master collaboration agreement with Mayo Clinic Biopharma Diagnostics. The deal includes work on Universal Biosensors’ Tn antigen cancer biosensor. In late December, the company entered into a global exclusive license agreement with IQ Science for the commercialization of a SARS-CoV-2 N-protein detection test that will use Universal Biosensors' proprietary electrochemical strip and device technology.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Looking for the best-performing cobalt stocks on the ASX? Here's a look at the three top gainers of 2021.

Cobalt prices have soared this past year, with investors paying more attention to this battery metal.

A large reason for cobalt’s bullish behaviour is that it is used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles (EVs) — as demand for EVs continues to rise, it's likely cobalt demand will remain strong too.

Currently the future of EVs looks bright — the market is growing quickly and is expected to boom over the next decade. In the first half of 2021 alone, EV sales ballooned by 160 percent, and by the end of the year, a total of 15 countries had announced measures to begin transitioning toward an all-electric future.


The three top cobalt-producing countries worldwide are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia and Australia — the last of which is investing in ramping up its production of the metal.

With that in mind, which Australian cobalt miners gained the most value in 2021? Read on to learn more about the three best cobalt companies on the ASX by year-to-date share price gains. All information was obtained on December 30, 2021, using TradingView's stock screener.

1. Jervois Global

Year-to-date gain: 63.89 percent; current share price: AU$0.59

Jervois Global (ASX:JRV) is best known for its Finland operations, which produce cobalt for chemical, catalyst, pigment, powder metallurgy and — most significantly — battery applications. The company is currently in the process of launching its new Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) and is on track to become the first US cobalt miner.

On December 15, Jervois announced an update on ICO, saying first ore is expected in August 2022, with sustainable production expected by December 2022. The estimated capital expenditure required to stay on schedule has risen to US$99.1 million, up from US$92.6 million, with mine engineering 64 percent complete.

2. Cobalt Blue Holdings

Year-to-date gain: 177.78 percent; current share price: AU$0.50

Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB) is a rare cobalt-only company, and defines itself by its planned ethical and sustainable extraction and production processes. The firm's flagship New South Wales-based Broken Hill project is slated to produce an average of 3,500 to 3,600 tonnes per year of cobalt once in operation.

In December 2021, Cobalt Blue Holdings announced it has executed a memorandum of understanding with the State of Queensland, acting through the Department of Resources, to assess opportunities for the recovery of cobalt (as well as any coexisting base and precious metals) from mine waste.

3. Australian Mines

Year-to-date gain: 31.25 percent; current share price: AU$0.21

Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) is aiming to supply metals to the growing EV industry, with a focus on ethical and sustainable production. Its flagship Queensland-based Sconi nickel-cobalt project boasts a mine life of over 30 years and will be capable of processing 2 million tonnes of ore annually.

In late October, Australian Mines reported on its quarterly activities, including an agreement for Korea-based LG Energy Solution, a top global producer of EV batteries, to buy 100 percent of the Sconi project’s nickel-cobalt hydroxide output over an initial six year term. The future agreement indicates that LG Energy Solution will buy a projected 7,000 tonnes of cobalt from Australian Mines over the six year period.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Isabel Armiento, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.