Start-Up: Othera



Othera’s blockchain technology increases profits for originators and asset managers by automating loan origination processes and reimagining the structuring and sale of asset backed securities. Originators can now digitise and fractionalise loans; and create and sell structured digital assets faster and for less cost when compared with traditional securitization methods.


Year launched: 2015

 

Management team:

        CEO & founder - John Pellew

        CTO - Andrew Maxwell

 

Number of employees: 28

How did the idea for the business originate?

The idea for Othera came out of the ashes of an earlier business that had failed as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.

‍John Pellew had established an equipment leasing company only nine months before the GFC. “We went from a company with one man at a desk to 32 staff and 2 offices, and past our break-even point within nine months. When the GFC brought the finance markets to a halt in 2008, it also caused the leasing market to dry up overnight as there were no leasing companies to place deals with.


John started to explore why this happened and realised that there was a distinct lack of transparency and liquidity across the financial markets, in particular in lending and debt markets.

This lead John to explore what could be done in the future to change the industry and to avoid a crisis of this type occurring again in the future.

 

Around the same time, a Swedish friend of John’s “was talking about this thing called Bitcoin,” which John didn’t find particularly interesting at the time, however; he was interested in the technology, in particular distributed encrypted ledgers that store data and an immutable audit trail of every transaction or event.

 

After reading a white paper on the blockchain platform Ethereum Project, John began designing the framework for loan origination software platform with verified data that was transparent, could be easily audited and not be disputed in a court of law. As John has said, “All this extra capability that they built into the underlying technology for blockchain was the solution to my problem.”

 

Since then, John has been leveraging blockchain technology to achieve his vision for greater transparency and liquidity in loan origination and debt markets. 



 

Do you have customers yet? If not, how far into your business lifecycle are you?

 

Othera has two live loan origination clients and we are currently at scoping or build phase with another four clients

  • A listed European asset management company
  • A multinational and well respected bank
  • A large non-bank U.S. residential mortgage lender
  • A European digital lender
  • A listed Japanese financial services company

We have a number of other financial services companies who we are in discussions with in the U.S., Australia, Europe and the U.K.

 

How have you funded your growth to date?

 

We have funded growth through equity funding from private investors and a VC. This has occured over a number of capital raises.

What would a successful 2018 look like for you?

 

        Deployment of our platform into the environments of two of our clients who can then go live and start originating loans and trading digital assets on our platform.

        Close three signed contracts with large financial services organisations who are currently in our sales pipeline.

        Continue to scale our team, with a particular focus on growing our development team by 50%

 

Outside of your own business, which start up do you admire the most and why?

 

We admire what Atlassian has achieved over the last 10+ years. As another Australian company, they have really dominated their vertical and successfully expanded into global markets, becoming a leader in their industry. They have also shown incredible restraint and business acumen in that they’re not trying to build everything and solve all problems.  When a tool doesn’t get the traction it needs, they appear to make swift decisions, rather than flog a dead horse for the sake of sunk costs. Their attitude to shipping product fast is also fantastic, and goes towards explaining why they can deliver continuous innovation and value to their users.

Anyone interested in speaking with the Othera team can meet them at FinTech Connect in booth P47, 5-6th December at the ExCeL LondonView the Floorplan, or register now as a free visitor!

To see who else is exhibiting at Fintech Connect, click here.

 

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