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40 Under 40

Emerging Industry and Creative Thinker winners talk success

40 Under 40

Fintech company OurMoneyMarket CEO Adam Sutherland says the business has experienced rapid month-on-month growth, while Cofounder of beverage startup Team Unico Brendan Carter has been pushing the company towards sustainable practises. Last week, the pair were named Emerging Industries and Creative Thinker winners at InDaily’s 40 Under 40 Awards for their work in the finance and hospitality sectors respectively.

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Emerging Industries winner awarded by Piper Alderman

OurMoneyMarket (OMM) Founder and CEO Adam Sutherland launched the company in 2017 with the funds on his credit card and capital he’d made on the stock market.

On Thursday, he was named Emerging Industries winner for his fast-growing business in InDaily‘s 40 Under 40 for 2020. See the full list of winners here.

Sutherland said in the past year OMM had grown about 38 per cent month-on-month and had recently closed a funding facility of about $115-million.

He said he felt compelled to enter the awards after the business had “transformed enormously”.

“The timing felt right to connect with likeminded individuals who were all looking to better the state of SA,” Sutherland said.

He founded the startup as an online personal loans product, after having worked at NAB across agribusiness, diversified financial institutions and capital market divisions.

Sutherland said during his time with the financial institution he’d learned how to structure and execute funding solutions for some of Australia's largest and most progressive non-banks. 

Initially MOO was a registered Managed Investment Scheme set up to raise funds in amounts as small as $50.

It matched people who wanted to borrow money with people who wanted to lend money, enabling borrowers lower rates and investors access to unsecured consumer loans.

“As we started to build the lending side of the business it became apparent that many Australian investors didn't have the risk appetite for this type of investing,” Sutherland said.

“With a limited investor network and no track record of performance on the loans, it was difficult to attract institutional investor appetite to fund our loan book growth.

"To overcome this, I drew on my securitisation experience and established Australia's first structured marketplace lending securitisation private placement program.

“We have now been successfully funding and then placing pools of loans with investors for two years.

"I was then able to draw on the success of this private placement program to arrange OMM's first revolving warehouse funding arrangement, raising $9.0m in debt funding.”

In the last three years the financial technology company has expanded to include a range of tailored point of sale finance solutions.

Sutherland said the company had also since funded $85 million in consumer loans and worked with more than 600 business nationwide.

“We’ve had large growth in the last couple of months. As you get bigger and get more vendors on then there is increased inquiries because they can see the value that you’re adding to their competitors’ businesses,” Sutherland said.

“It becomes a bit more self-fulfilling in the way that it works.

“It’s been so much work to get it to this point and there is so much more we need to do in terms of product innovation and adding value to our vendor partners and how we can help convert more leads for them and increase more sales and how we can improve the customer experience of their customers.”

He said the company was also looking to become an ASX-listed company but would not say when.

“It’s something we have our eyes on, but I’ll hold on giving a date. We’re monitoring the market and obviously fintech is a booming industry so if the timing is right it’s something we’ll look to pursue.”

Creative Thinker winner awarded by KWP!

Team Unico Cofounder Brendan Carter said the business had also experienced double-digit growth year-on-year.

Carter is one of the leading forces behind Team Unico, a collection of South Australian beverage producers based in the Northern Adelaide Hills.

He last week took home InDaily’s Creative Thinker award for his work driving sustainable practises in the beverage industry in a bid to protect the earth and create new ways to use native botanical ingredients.

The award was the latest in a slew of achievements for Team Unico, which include the 2019 SA Premier's Sustainability Award and 2014 Young Gun of Wine People’s Choice Award.

Unico products include winery Unico Zelo, social winery cooperative Harvest Social Cantina Wines and spirit distillery Applewood Distillery.

Carter cofounded Team Unico in 2012 at 21 years old after returning to Australia from abroad.

On home soil, he noted Australian culture lacked strong definition and sought to create wine and spirits with sustainable practises which were unique to the Australian landscape and climate and would ensure future production.                                   

He said he wanted to produce products which not only supported the local agricultural industry but tasted like the country.

The result was the development of native-infused spirits.

In 2012 Carter started Applewood distillery, bringing to life a unique selection of Australian native botanicals spirits.

Team Unico’s approach to wine has been with a focus on creating a sense of place and developing beverages which require minimal intervention and the use of fewer natural resources.

“If we don't start growing what the land can naturally give us, and reduce our reliance on only planting solely what the market wants, then we're not going to have much Australia left to grow anything on,” Carter said.

He said all business decisions were made with careful consideration of the impact they would have within the next 50 years.

“We aren't motivated by short term profitability and view ourselves as farmers rather that 'hunters,” he said.

“We foster growth at the grass-roots level, continually re-investing in a nature-designed system that breeds inherent resilience in our business model.

“We are directly invested in the growth of the South Australian environment - as it grows in sustainability, so does our company.”

Carter got his start as a professional winemaker with Australian producers including S.C. Pannell, Jacob's Creek and G.D. Vajra.

Keep in touch with South Australia’s talented young leaders by joining South Australia’s 40 Under 40 on LinkedIn.

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