Perth-based startup Moneycatcha has developed patented blockchain-based technology that solves one of the biggest challenges facing organisations: siloed and distributed data that lacks trust and transparency. The company is able to connect and retrieve information from multiple source systems to create a dynamically updated, single source of truth which enables a new level of analysis and accuracy, as opposed to current day disparate, legacy systems.
Moneycatcha has developed two products which focus on the financial services area. The Homechain platform reduces the end to end loan processing time from 42 days to 90 minutes. Regchain has a risk and compliance tool with a unique way of aggregating and securing data on any asset or product.
We spoke to the CEO and Founder of Moneycatcha Ruth Hatherley about blockchain tech, the highs and lows of starting a business, and plans for the future.
What inspired you to start a business?
I spent more than two decades in the financial services sector and saw first-hand the struggles prospective home buyers had to endure when trying to purchase a home. I thought surely there could be a better way to do things and the idea for Moneycatcha was born. I poured in my entire life savings to start the company.
Our first product Homechain is a loan origination platform that enables a full, complete digital workflow from submission right through to settlement - all inside one platform. It's a very unique product in the market and doesn't exist in the world in any other form.
Blockchain is a buzzword at the moment leaving many confused, how would you describe it?
If you think about a document, only one version can exist in a the blockchain environment. It is impossible to create multiple versions of that one document because of its unique encryption capabilities. Information cannot be overwritten which guarantees transparency and trust in data and business rules are embedded into the blockchain which means the data isn’t stored unless the ecosystem has consented to it.
What are some of the highs of setting up your own business?
We’re really blessed. We have had such great support from our partners and customers.
Being able to work with wonderful clients like HSBC Australia, and partners such as KPMG, Stone & Chalk and the Regtech Association - some of the best brains in the business, technology and finance world - has been amazing.
It’s taken a lot of hard work to get recognised in the market (and won’t rest on our laurels) but I have to say that it’s really rewarding when people approach you or contact you to give credit and recognition for what we’ve achieved in the market.
What lessons have you learnt through the downs of running your own business?
One of the biggest lessons for me is about resilience. Without going into too many details, in the early days of Moneycatcha, we decided to apply for a federal government grant. This was a resource-intensive undertaking and not a simple, straightforward task.
When we learned that we weren’t successful we were gutted. If we didn’t quickly pick ourselves up and soldier on, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Moneycatcha has gone through two rounds of funding and is today valued at $50 million and growing. We are so fortunate to have investors knocking on our door and will engage with them when we’re ready.
Could you share something about your funding journey, like how was your first pitch to investors?
Learning how to raise capital was just another “first” for me in this journey. I have been in sales roles before and I felt I could draw on that experience. Fortunately I also have a finance background so I knew the essential attributes of what makes a solid financial foundation of a company in things like cashflow, yield, budgeting etc.
But pitching consistently was something I’d never experienced. Having to retell your story and illustrate your progress and aspirations publicly is something you definitely need to get comfortable with as a start-up founder.
Having very strong core values and company vision meant we’ve been consistent with our investors and been able to deliver. In three years I’ve completed two rounds of investment at the total amount of $2.5 million and it’s absolutely accelerated our results because we’ve been patient, timing our raises methodically so we could engage with the right investors who aligned with our vision and goals.
Who assisted you with the technical expertise?
We have one of the best technology experts in the country – our Chief Technology Officer John Heaton. He has worked with some of the biggest IT companies in the world, such as Oracle, and is a recognised expert in his field.
What is it like being a woman and leader in the tech industry?
I imagine it’s like being a leader in any industry – challenging and rewarding all at once! Gender has never been a focus for me in terms of my career and I am so blessed that my team at Moneycatcha is extremely experienced and engaged in our vision and I have an amazing support network.
It’s actually a great time for anyone to start their own company, especially when you have the opportunity to set the tone of how you engage your team, colleagues and industry. I believe by focusing on solving a problem to make a real difference and engaging the right people, I have been able to achieve success as a non-technically trained CEO of a tech company.
Do you have a mentor?
A number of people on my Board and in my Exec Team have contributed significantly since very early on in the Moneycatcha journey – particularly around strategic decisions. I rely often on sanity checking my thinking and seeking feedback from a diverse range of people to help me ensure I consider a number of angles before I make decisions.
Do you have any plans to expand the company internationally?
Absolutely. We know our offerings are world-class and can solve problems in many other jurisdictions around the world. More importantly, our clients share the same view and are asking the same question! Being a technology partner of industry giants such as Google and Red Hat has allowed us to build our solution with scale capability. So we definitely plan to kick things off overseas in 2019 and we’re busy laying the groundwork for that.