When Malcolm Turnbull ascended to the leadership of Australia not so long ago he almost immediately started spruiking the benefits of being innovative and agile and not to be afraid of change. Disruptive innovation embodies the innovation economy better than anything. Think new services such as Uber and how it is disrupting the established Taxi and Cab Charge monopoly or the way AirBnB is redefining hotel accommodation. Turnbull would clearly like to see more Australian companies achieve what these US based companies have been able to achieve. In fact, on October 7 the Prime Minister helped launch a new app called OnMarket. OnMarket’s aim is to give average Joes a shot at a lucrative investment market, previously the exclusive domain of the super rich. Everyday investors can now purchase shares in an IPO at the same price as the major investment firms putting an end to the exclusive boys club mentality that has gripped the industry for the past 150 years.
The app could potentially start to disrupt the already established financial services sector. OnMarket’s founders believe there is huge scope to expand the popularity of their new technology which will inevitably put more pressure on brokers and investment advisors to justify the fees the
y charge. While it might seem strange to overseas onlookers for a Prime Minister to be behind the launch of an app, the technology fits nicely into his innovation economy values and his pro- start-up culture focus. For the Australian economy to thrive in the 21st century we will need to be dynamic, agile and adaptive and democratising capital raising ventures is a perfect start. How it works is powerfully simple with a company allocating a certain percentage of their shares to OnMarket you then send out an alert to users on their smartphones advising them of the IPO. Users know the IPO is live and can proceed to check it out and potentially invest. The app is free to download onto both Android and iPhone devices and after a sign up and registration process bidding is straightforward with a simple click of the “bid” button when you land upon an offering you find appealing. I hate to use the analogy but in many ways the swipe right on a company profile until you find one you like is akin to Tinder albeit for financial services. There is no shortage of small companies and start-ups registering their interest with the app and allocating a percentage of their shares to OnMarket. Currently the biggest challenge for OnMarket is convincing the larger companies, those belonging to that exclusive boys club of inner circle investors to begin to allocate some of their share offering to retail investors.
I predict within the next 5-6 years OnMarket and others like it (success inevitably breeds copycats) will be onto something. Retail investors have been an untapped resource for some time now in the Australian economy so it’s good to see new market players service their needs more effectively. If you would like to learn more about OnMarket feel free to visit their website:
If you are aware of anyone open to new opportunities, please feel free to contact Steven Lane at Abacus Human Capital on (07) 3135 9780.