Check out this bargain barrel of sub $20m market cap fintech players
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Fintech companies sprouted at a ridiculous pace during the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by e-commerce spending and a shift from physical towards digital payments.
In fact, Australia’s fintech industry has seen a five-fold increase in the number of fintech companies in the past five years alone – with over 800 fintechs currently operating.
Not to mention, the industry is now worth more than US$4 billion ($5.87 billion).
The sector certainly slowed down for most of last year, and rate rises have put a lot of pressure on lenders, especially non-bank lenders and the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) sector this year.
Interest rate rises are putting strain on the BNPL business model, because they not only increase funding costs, they also reduce people’s ability to make purchases and cause higher rates of defaulting customers.
But despite all this, fintechs on the ASX are not actually doing too badly.
While many are still a long way off from profitability, a handful of companies have already launched themselves on the pathway to profits.
However, those are probably on the expensive side of town so let’s take a look at the stocks under the $20m market cap mark.
(Note: All market cap information pulled from the ASX and correct as of May 17.)
Market Cap: $18.34m
Peppermint is focused on the commercialisation of its proprietary mobile banking, payments and remittance technology, which is designed for banks, mobile money operators, remittance companies, payment processors, retailers/merchants, credit card companies, and microfinance institutions.
The focus of the company’s initial efforts is in the Philippines, a country with a population of circa 100 million people and 105 million mobile phones in use.
And earlier this month, the MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center kicked off closed loop live production testing of the company’s bizmoto’s Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) financial services via its Pinoy Coop mobile app.
Under the five-year deal announced last year, MASS-SPECC users will be able to complete cash-in and cash-out transactions, transfer direct from the bizmoto wallet to another bank as well as access other e-wallet financial services – all directly from the bizmoto wallet.
The company plans to onboard around 480,000 of MASS-SPECC’s 1.6 million individual members in the first 12 months of full commercial operation – with MASS-SPECC aiming to initiate a full commercial launch of the Pinoy Coop app in May.
Additionally, Peppermint has been in ongoing discussions with VISA and its BIN sponsor about launching a virtual VISA card for bizmoto users and a physical VISA card during the second half of 2023.
In its March quarterly, MD and CEO Chris Kain said the company is looking for mobile money, non-bank lending opportunities in a global mobile-money sector “that is expanding rapidly.”
“A 2023 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money highlights that in just over 17 years, the mobile money industry has grown from a niche market offering to a mainstream financial service, transforming the lives of over 1 billion people,” he said.
“The report showed registered mobile money accounts grew by 13% year on year, from 1.4 billion in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2022 while transaction values grew by 22% in the same period, from $1 trillion to around $1.26 trillion.
“Furthermore, global daily transaction values are far exceeding predictions, with $3.45 billion being transacted daily via mobile money in 2022 compared to an initial forecast of $3 billion a day.”
Market Cap: $16.2m
This company offers B2B payments and lending solutions, and says it’s on track to achieve run-rate break-even cash EBITDA for the month of June 2023.
This is in part due to solid growth in the US in the March quarter, with US Pay Now Total Transaction Values (TTV) up 20% to US$263 million (Q3 FY22: US$219 million); and US ACH revenue up 18%, and US card revenue up 83%.
Financing revenue grew 56% vs pcp on the back of lending volume growth and price increases made over the past 15 months.
“The US represents a huge opportunity for QuickFee, with our current portfolio of accounting firms generating around US$8.8 billion in revenue, of which we capture just 12% via our platform,” president, North America Jennifer Warawa said.
“We are focussed on growing our share of this revenue, as well as building on our portfolio of accounting and legal firms using our services.”
Financing TTV in Australia grew 38%, while active firm numbers increased 5% and the Australian ‘Q Pay Plan’ product, which includes the Jim’s Group Franchise agreement, grew TTV by 150% in Q3 FY23 to $0.5 million (Q3 FY22: $0.2 million).
Market Cap: $15.23m
Last month tech venture firm Fatfish raised $1.3m from an institutional investor at $0.025/share to build up its fintech business arm.
The company is already making progress, with its Malaysian subsidiary SF Direct Sdn Bhd recently receiving a conditional approval from Malaysia’s Ministry of Local Government Development to conduct digital money lending activities.
The SF Direct team targets to convert the conditional licence into a full licence by Q3 2023.
The company also announced a restructuring exercise to move the headquarter of ASEAN Fintech Group to Indonesia to capitalise on the fast-growing technology sector in the country.
“The restructuring will allow AFG to explore a potential initial public offering (IPO) in the country, as only entities that are domiciled in Indonesia may list their shares on the Indonesian Stock Exchange,” the company said in its March quarterly.
The keyword there is potential, with the company highlighting an Indonesian IPO is subject to Fatfish obtaining the required regulatory and shareholder approvals (if any).
Market Cap: $14.89m
HALO is an online global equities research and trade execution software solution that brings sophisticated institutional-grade analytical frameworks and market insights to everyday investors.
In February the company made progress towards entering the United Kingdom financial services market, after agreeing to a strategic acquisition for licensed entity, Resilient Fund Managers Ltd.
The deal will allow the company to enter the UK market – offering its unique online global equities research and trade execution software services there, by leveraging Resilient’s established regulatory structure.
It also opens the window for HALO to operate future acquired financial service firms and formalise strategic distribution partner agreements in Europe.
In its March quarterly, the company said despite revenue for the period at $11.4m (down 3.7% on FY21 pro-forma), there are “positive signs of a long-awaited market recovery heading into FY23, with February 2023 brokerage revenue representing a significant improvement on recent trading and being the second highest brokerage revenue month in the last 14 months.”
HALO is confident it’s on track to return to profitability in the first half of FY23 – providing market conditions remain the same as they are currently, or improve during the period.
Market Cap: $14.61m
Credit Intelligence is a debt restructuring, BNPL and personal insolvency management businesses within the credit funding sector operating in Hong Kong.
In its half yearly report ending 31 December 2022, the company flagged an increase of 152% in client onboarding and an increase of 82% in gross revenue in debt management services.
Similarly, CHT saw an increase in mortgage refinance revenue as interest rates have put pressure on Australian households.
“CHT is seeing Australian consumers fall behind on their unsecured debts in order to keep up with their mortgage repayments,” the company said.
“This is driving demand for debt management service as CHT negotiates with their creditors and manage and disburse client’s funds on their behalf.
“Although rates are rising CHT has seen a rise in mortgage applications given the need to consolidate their unsecured debts into one manageable payment.”
In Hong Kong, the group’s OneStep app, which offers BNPL services, transacted $236k funds to its clients with minimum operation costs during HY23.
Market Cap: $8.85m
Back in Feb, the responsible super app company officially launched its money management platform to the Aussie market, with the first stage being its micro-investing service which allows customers to automatically invest in one of six diversified portfolios managed by BlackRock – as well as high-conviction single stocks like Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and Disney.
The new product will earn revenue through account, instant funding and foreign exchange fees as well as interest on cash balances – and that its fees include unlimited trading for $2.99 per month as well as a flat fee of $2.00 per month to invest in a managed portfolio.
DOU also soft launched its reimagined card, account and loan product during the March quarter, and says it’s on track to launch the new Douugh card offering in Q4.
“We believe this will give us a truly unique value proposition in the market, allowing us to challenge existing monoline providers of financial services with a diversified revenue model,” founder and CEO Andy Taylor said.
For Q3, total registered customers stands at ~7k, with active customers at ~1.3k and total revenue a $22,848, up 475% from Q2.
A total of 67% of those who have funded their account have enabled autopilot, with 53% of these holding an investment portfolio, 18% investing in stocks and 28% having a combination of both.
Market Cap: $7.8m
This company provides the T-Linx Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, which connects various software and hardware, and serves banks, merchants, and consumers, in the form of cloud services.
With the reopening of China post COVID pandemic, the company says the T-Linx system, as an infrastructure of payment processing for cooperating banks, “is expected to gain positive influences in terms of increase in transaction volume and number of implementation/adoption.”
“FTC believes that T-Linx system, providing seamless inter-connectivity and intelligent digital processing, will continue to attract industry demand in and meet the need of both the banking and enterprise sector,” the company said.
While there were no material changes to business activities in the March quarter, FTC won some project tenders including to provide equipment procurement of integrated payment platform of Huangshi Rural Commercial Bank in Hubei Province, China, to provide for a procurement project of QR code scanning cloud broadcaster (cloud speaker) of Zhijiang Rural Commercial Bank, Hubei Province, China; and winning the tender of bank card business marketing project of Baotou Rural Commercial Bank, Inner Mongolia, China.
Market Cap: $3.61m
Non-bank lender Propell is targeting Australia’s 2.4 million SMEs who the company says are frustrated with traditional banks’ slow and difficult lending processes and paperwork.
The platform is serving a potentially large addressable market as Australia’s small businesses account for 97% of the country’s enterprises.
The company saw receipts from customers were up 627% on the PCP for the March quarter, and total operating costs were down 42% on the PCP as the company looked to streamline and reduce its cost base without any loss of operating capability – in order to achieve profitability sooner.
And following the successful completion of its broker trial program in Q2 FY23, PHL grew its broker referral network in Q3 FY23, signing agreements with numerous broker firms during the period.
Looking forward, Propell aims to increase its current wholesale facility limit of $7.5m to facilitate customer lending and revenue growth and is considering expanding its suite of lending products to complement its unsecured loan products.
Market Cap: $2.64m
WAY2VAT is a fintech company that provides a fully automated end to end VAT/GST reclaim solution.
During the March quarter, W2V saw annual revenue growth of 142%, with transaction volume up 42%, cash receipts up 44% and revenue margin increasing 10 ppts.
The company said this was due to the increasing ratio of foreign travel and expense claims in the total submissions which attract a higher commission rate for Way2VAT as opposed to domestic accounts payable, and higher-margin DevoluIVA revenues.
They also announced that cornerstone investor Thorney Investment Group, the private investment group of rich-lister Alex Waislitz, which also manages Thorney Technologies (ASX:TEK), had become a major contributor to its latest $3.54 million capital raise.
The company said Thorney Investment Group had committed to subscribe for $1 million worth of shares under the entitlement offer.
The funds are expected to increase focus on sales execution and revenue growth on VAT reclaim for travel expenses and accounts payable product suite and Smart Spend Debit MasterCard.
“With recent capital raise activity and increasing levels of growth compared to prior corresponding periods, Way2VAT is in a position to expedite its path to profitability,” founder and CEO Amos Simantov said.
“Our increasing revenue margin and reduced lag times between clients completing transactions, tax authorities processing claims, and Way2VAT receiving refunds and commissions shows that travel, business and government activity is returning to more normal post-Covid levels.”
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Halo Technologies, Peppermint Innovation and Fatfish Group are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.