Partnering for the next generation of banking

It’s an exciting time for 1835i as ANZ continues to invest in partnerships to drive better customer engagement and bring best of breed solutions to customers.

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This focus aligns directly with our mission to create and invest in businesses that drive value for ANZ, our customers and our partners. We do that through building, investing and partnering with those that are transforming financial services and that help:

  • People saving for, buying, owning and selling their homes
  • Entrepreneurs starting, running and growing small and medium size businesses
  • Companies moving capital, goods and services around the world 
  • Transforming businesses through data, analytics and digital technologies.

“Partnerships are absolutely at the core of what we do. In addition to building and investing, partnering is a key part of how we look at our business.”

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Our Creation Lab partners with founders at different stages of their journey to design, build and launch new digital ventures. Prior to 2022 we launched three businesses to market, OneTwo Home Loans (a challenger lender that has simplified home loans), Propps (a digital real estate offer management platform) and The LandingPad (a real estate platform that has simplified home buying).

Our fourth spinout company, DataCo Technologies, launched in April this year. The DataCo Collaboration Platform is a pioneering new technology platform to address how organisations safely test and realise the value of collaborating on data.

It addresses some key problems for enterprises seeking to collaborate safely and securely and utilise data in a way which benefits consumers. We are looking forward to seeing what this new platform can deliver.

Our ambition is to connect founders who have great ideas to more than just funding and through Ventures we invest in leading emerging growth fintechs. So far we have 12 companies in our portfolio including AirWallex, Lendi, Slyp and Valiant and our team is always on the lookout for opportunities that align with our mandate.

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What sits in the middle of our Creation Lab and Ventures unit is partnerships. This is absolutely at the core of what we do. In addition to building and investing, partnering is a key part of how we look at our business. We aim to connect our portfolio companies with ANZ, with each other and with others in the broader ecosystem.


Adding value

Our mission is to support the bank and its purpose to help communities and people thrive and we see engagement as critical to that. At 1835i we meet regularly with ANZ leaders to better understand how we can help them with their current needs.

We always ask what can we do for ANZ tomorrow in terms of delivering new products or solutions or new capabilities that bank employees think would add value?

Over half of our portfolio companies are already successfully working or are in conversation with the bank on problems and opportunities.

In addition, we want to look a little further over the horizon. We want to anticipate what’s coming in the financial services sector and capitalise on those opportunities. We anticipate some potentially large disruptions because the world is changing dramatically every single day.

To do that we must follow the money. We follow the global investment capital into specific sectors. We look at which companies are driving innovation through investment capital and then we filter for what is applicable to ANZ’s strategic direction.


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Ron Spector

So not only are we working with these companies to deliver products and services to our customers, in some cases we ourselves are the customer. And in some cases we may acquire the whole company.

Integrating loyalty

We invested a little over a year ago in Cashrewards, which is the leading cashback company in Australia. Then a few months ago we completed an acquisition of the company. Cashrewards is now 100 per cent owned by one of the funds that we manage on behalf of ANZ.

Cashrewards credits members a percentage of what they spend when shopping, which can then be withdrawn as cash direct to their bank account.

The company partners with more than 1,700 merchants including Apple, Myer, Liquorland, Adidas, Bonds, Target, and The Iconic.

We're excited about this because it's the chance to integrate loyalty and cashback optimisation into the customer experience around ANZ’s Australia Retail business.

We're in the process of going through this opportunity and articulating the strategic relationship outside of the commercial cash program we began last year, now called Cashrewards Max. The idea is to see how we can extend it and utilise the platform for other things.

It's a pretty exciting proposition. Cashrewards is a growing company in a sector that has massive growth opportunities and we're very excited to have them in the family.

And it’s a great example of 1835i’s versatile approach and how we use different methods of investment to deliver results for ANZ and its customers.


Ron Spector is managing director of ANZ’s external venture capital and innovation partner 1835i


The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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