Australian regtech reveals ‘low and fast’ strategy for a rapid global rollout
Canberra-based Castlepoint Systems has created a world first in regtech. The company built a standalone tool that can be deployed across any organisation to help audit and protect records, and manage compliance. Castlepoint executives developed a ‘low and fast’ global rollout strategy that involved:
- establishing ‘beachhead’ clients in scores of countries – not just financial hubs
- collaborating with professional services companies who take Castlepoint into client networks
- working with Austrade to gain exposure and connect to mentoring networks.
By mid-2021, Castlepoint was expanding around the world and had a A$10 million pipeline of work. The company’s success reflects a soaring demand for Australian regtech solutions across international markets and industries.
To find out about how Austrade can help Australian techs companies go global, please contact Austrade.
Castlepoint creates a world-first regtech tool
Australian entrepreneurs are pioneers in global regulation technology, or regtech. This is a fast-growing tech sector. It enables organisations to ensure their information and systems are compliant and secure.
‘In 2018, my co-founder Gavin and I worked on a project that required an audit of 4.5 million documents,’ says Rachel Greaves, CEO Castlepoint Systems. ‘With existing technology that would have taken 18 months. We created a tool that executed the task in 30 days.’
The new document-audit tool, called Data Castle®, was amazingly versatile.
‘Our automated regtech worked with any document format in any language in any regulatory system,’ says Greaves. ‘As far as we knew, we had a “world first” on our hands. We had to capitalise on that. We couldn’t wait for imitators and challengers – we wanted to move fast into global markets.’
A global ‘low and fast’ rollout strategy
The challenges were huge. Greaves estimated there were above 200 million regulated entities around the world that could benefit from the new compliance and discovery tool. That was a large addressable market. Yet Castlepoint was a young startup with a handful of employees.
‘Our strategy was “low and fast”,’ says Greaves. ‘As a first step, we engaged with universities, utilities, large manufacturers and the financial sector. The type of organisation didn’t matter. What we wanted was a beachhead client in each new market. Once we’d proved ourselves, referrals would sell our technology.’
The strategy was a phenomenal success. By early 2021, Castlepoint had dozens of implementations around the world. As the company expands globally, Greaves suggests tactics to help other tech companies with similar ambitions.
Tactic 1: Align with professional services
One approach was to work closely with professional services companies, including several of the ‘Big 4’. These companies took Castlepoint technologies into client sites to help execute audits. And they have become powerful global advocates, because Castlepoint saves them time and money.
‘With professional services alliances, we can rapidly build our network of loyal customers,’ says Greaves. ‘Our client-acquisition costs are negligible. This is because professional services partners introduce our technology where they know it is already needed.’
Tactic 2: Bundle regtech into a suite of services
Another tactic is to work with strategic technology partners. In this model, Castlepoint works with other leading vendors, such as blockchain services, to supply a whole integrated product.
‘Castlepoint can access and extract data from any system and make it available to another tool,’ says Greaves. ‘Working together, we can solve client problems that no single solution can address.’
Tactic 3: Work with Austrade around the world
Austrade contacts also help. This includes helping executives to raise the profile of the company by speaking at regtech events in multiple locations.
‘Austrade has helped us raise our profile around the world,’ says Greaves. ‘Today, Austrade is providing the information and contacts we need to keep growing beyond our beachheads in overseas markets.’
A TradeStart advisor based in Canberra helped connect Castlepoint to potential sources of finance. These included Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) and various programs administered via business.gov.au.
Advice for Australian techs with global ambitions
Today, Castlepoint has a A$10 million pipeline of work and is currently hiring more staff.
‘If you are a disrupter, you have to move fast,’ says Rachael. ‘Aggressive pricing is critical. We have a product that we sell for a fraction of the cost of services we are displacing. This means we can provide this world-beating innovation to even the smallest clients.’
Greaves makes the point that if your technology is unique, you have to go global quickly.
‘If you invent a brand new paradigm, it has to tick all of the boxes – no ifs or buts. It needs to have zero integration or compatibility issues, no impact on data integrity, and no impact on users or governance teams. And of course, it has to deliver a clear and fast return on investment for clients.
‘Get these right, and you can become a global tech very fast indeed.’
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency.
We deliver quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. We do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network.
To discover how we can help you and your business, visit austrade.gov.au or contact us on 13 28 78 (within Australia).
About FinTech Australia
FinTech Australia is a member-driven organisation that is building an ecosystem of Australian fintechs to advance the global economy and culture. We are here to build a strong community, foster connections while supporting innovation and regulation that our members require. Above all else, we are here to be the voice of the Australian fintech community