Google-backed fintech GoCardless eyes Aussie ‘subscription economy’

By 20/02/2019June 4th, 2021No Comments

Australia’s fast-growing “subscription economy” is among the key markets being targeted by fintech firm GoCardless, which has secured more than $100 million to fund its global expansion plans.

GoCardless, based in London, on Monday said it had raised $US75 million ($106 million) from investors including Google’s venture capital arm, to roll out a global direct debit payment collection system, which it offers to business clients.

The company on Monday announced a series of new backers, including GV (previously known as Google Ventures, and owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet), Adams Street Partners, and Salesforce Ventures.

Director of international expansion Pranav Sood, who is visiting Australia, said the funding round meant the business had now raised more than $US120 million to bankroll its expansion of a debit payment system.

“Working with those sorts of investors, it gives you the ability to really take your business to the next level,” he said.

GoCardless offers small and large businesses a way to collect direct debit payments across international borders, at a lower cost than using the global credit card schemes.

It launched the service in Australia late last year, and Mr Sood said the local banking sector was an important market for the firm, amid strong growth in recurring payments from consumers to businesses, such as to gyms, media companies, telecommunications firms, or utilities.

Mr Sood cited Bank for International Settlements data showing there were about 1.2 billion direct debit payments in Australia in 2017, with annual growth of roughly 10 per cent a year since 2013.

He said the country was also attractive because of its buoyant¬†fintech scene, last year’s launch of fast payments¬†through the new payments platform, and the¬†rise of “open banking” – a system allowing customers to share their financial data.

“There’s kind of like a cocktail of ingredients that make Australia a really interesting place for particularly fintech businesses,” Mr Sood said.

Accounting platform Xero, which has a partnership with¬†GoCardless, said the service could help small business owners “remove the pain associated with late payments and chasing invoices”.

The company does not disclose its revenues, but it has signed up more than 40,000 customers internationally, processes more than $US10 billion a year in transactions, and has 290 staff across the world.