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GreenHouse tenant Banqer expands to Australia
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Banqer, based in GreenHouse here in the Innovation Precinct is taking their financial literacy software to Australian schools.
The company was launched in early 2015 by then-24-year-old Kendall Flutey, an accountant turned developer. It teaches money skills to children aged between six and 12 by giving them their own fake bank account where they can transfer money, set up automatic payments and track their spending. The software is used by more than 20,000 students from 450 schools in New Zealand, along with a handful of teachers in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and South Africa.
Now, the startup is reaching a new growth phase and Flutey is taking her Christchurch-based company to Australia.
According to Flutey, Australia, with more than two million primary school students, was a $16 million a year market opportunity.
“Financial illiteracy is a global problem so we need to be a global solution,” she said.
“I’m a firm believer that when it comes to money, knowledge is power. Banqer’s aim is to arm young people with the skills they need to make smart and informed financial choices as adults.
“If we do that, we think we’ll make strong in-roads at reducing inequality, crippling debt, and poverty in New Zealand and around the world.”
Flutey founded her company with three others after a conversation with her 11-year-old brother in 2014.
He was asking her about financial and business concepts and she was impressed by how financially literate he was.
It turned out his teacher had created a virtual classroom economy using spreadsheets to help the children learn financial concepts.
Flutey approached the teacher about building a higher tech version, which became Banqer.
Students learn concepts of saving, investing, borrowing and purchasing and can spend their money in their classroom economy.
They can earn money through rewards for good behaviour and classroom jobs.
Banqer also won Wellington Startup Weekend in 2014 and took out the $20,000 Webstock BNZ Startup Alley prize in 2015.
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