Westpac NZ's Venture Capital Fund Leads $1.4M Investment in Akahu

Published 8 months ago

Westpac NZ’s venture capital fund, Red Bird Ventures, has directed a $1.4 million investment round into Akahu, a leading fintech firm in New Zealand. The investment was made in conjunction with K1W1 and NZ7 Investments.

Westpac, Akahu Join Forces to Enhance Open Banking

The partnership between Westpac and Akahu aims to bolster the bank’s design and implementation of open banking solutions. Akahu is renowned for its open finance connectivity in New Zealand, which simplifies the link between banks and third parties. This allows consumers to explore new payment alternatives and manage their account data access.

Mark Colley, Senior Manager of Red Bird Ventures, expressed the bank’s eagerness to utilize Akahu’s expertise in open banking to create novel banking experiences for its clients.

Akahu’s Role in Open Banking Evolution

Akahu has shown consistent innovation, positioning it for potential growth as industry dedication and consumer data right legislation bring open banking to New Zealand. Red Bird Ventures first invested in Akahu in December 2020, and this second round of investment further demonstrates their support.

Ben Lynch, Founder and CEO of Akahu, voiced his company’s enthusiasm about the increasing momentum of open banking. He noted the importance of collaboration with banks to realize the benefits of open banking for customers.

About Red Bird Ventures and Akahu

Red Bird Ventures, Westpac NZ’s corporate venture capital fund, invests in growth companies that align with Westpac NZ’s core services or cater to the wider financial sector. Along with investment, Red Bird also enables commercial partnerships with Westpac NZ to add further revenue to its portfolio companies.

Akahu, on the other hand, provides open finance infrastructure for New Zealand. It offers a simple way for people to connect their financial accounts to trusted third party products. Having been in the market since early 2021, Akahu provides open banking API services to a broad range of clients, including government, corporate, and fintech customers. Akahu supports the development of a Consumer Data Right in New Zealand and plans to evolve into the regulatory regime when it is rolled out.