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First State Super commits $250m to fintech

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has personally launched a $250 million partnership between First State Super and venture capital firm H2 Ventures, describing the opportunity created by fintech as "gigantic".

Speaking at Sydney fintech hub Stone & Chalk yesterday, Prime Minister Turnbull said the $250 million partnership between First State Super and H2 Ventures "recognises there has been an insufficient appetite to date for this type of risk in Australia".

"But that is changing. There is $2 trillion in superannuation assets. As we start to see more investors in innovative ventures we will see the fruits of that," Mr Turnbull said.

"We’ve seen this year an explosion in venture capital funding, with more than $400 million raised so far.

"That's expected to rise to $600 million by the end of this financial year. That's the highest amount raised in seven years and more than triple the amount raised only four years ago," Mr Turnbull said.

First State Super chief investment officer Richard Brandweiner said there are second and third-order ramifications when his $54 billion fund deploys capital.

"It’s those implications – the implications to productivity growth and to economic growth – that are actually going to make a bigger difference to the long-term returns that our members receive over the rest of their lives," Mr Brandweiner said.

"We’ve been working with Ben and Toby [Heap from H2 Ventures] and looking at them very closely for a number of months now.

"We’ve very keen to announce that we’re supporting them in a partnership which is about advice, research, collaboration to really build the fintech space in Australia, which really could be hugely significant in this country," Mr Brandweiner said.

First State Super's investment in H2 Ventures follows a similar $120 million investment in Blackbird Ventures in September 2014.


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