Qantas, National Australia Bank, Westpac Invest in Data Republic
23rd May 2016
Australia's national flag carrier Qantas, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp have all taken stakes in a Sydney-based startup Data Republic. The three have invested a total of $10.5 million into the startup's recent Series A equity fundraising round.
The stakes were acquired via Qantas Loyalty, NAB Ventures and Reinventure Group.
Commenting on this, Qantas Loyalty Chief Executive Officer Lesley Grant said:
"Qantas has seen the benefit that customer-led innovation can provide to businesses and their customers and co-investing in Data Republic with NAB and Westpac provides a great opportunity for further innovation."
Jonathan Davey, Executive General Manager for NAB Labs said:
"The financial sector is at the very early stages of how effectively we all use data and banks are immature around the use of data that we have today. But the amount of data sharing will continue to increase. Therefore, investing in a platform that has the right legal and governance frameworks to be able to leverage those changes is important. We believe this investment will put us at the forefront of the whole data revolution."
Co-founder of Data Republic, Paul McCarney, said:
"Data Republic was created as a legal structure first. This was in place before we wrote a line of code. People trust their money with banks in the knowledge it will not get stolen but money is ultimately data until it gets into your wallet."
This is the first time in the 95-year history of Qantas that the airline is investing in a tech startup, as well as the first investment by NAB's venture capital fund, NAB Ventures, which got off the ground last year.
On the other hand, Data Republic and Westpac have already worked together on designing Westpac's security protocols. Also, Westpac is working with the Sydney-based startup to create the first 'data banking service'. With this, Westpac will be able to offer its corporate clients a secure and dedicated infrastructure, where they'll be able to securely separate and store their information.
The other co-founder of Data Republic, Danny Gilligan is also a co-founder of Westpac's venture capital fund, Reinventure Group.
Data Republic launched last year in November and is currently located in Stone & Chalk fintech club in Sydney.