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WLTH’s brothers: Saving oceans with loans

The first strategy that contributed to the growth of our business was our improved current digital offering to enhance customer experience. 

Brodie Haupt, the CEO and co-founder of WLTH

Brodie and Drew Haupt, the visionary sibling co-founders behind WLTH, have orchestrated a ground-breaking transformation within Australia’s digital lending landscape.

Since its inception in 2019, WLTH has been a disruptive force, reshaping traditional banking norms by infusing innovation and sustainability at its core. With a shared vision of redefining financial services, the Haupt brothers, alongside partners Darren Hodgkin and John Kerr, embarked on a transformative journey that has left an indelible mark on the industry.

WLTH stands as a beacon of change, a digital neo-platform transcending conventional banking boundaries. Its mission? To rejuvenate Australia’s financial services arena while remaining steadfast in its commitment to technological advancement and sustainability. A remarkable pledge by WLTH involves the restoration of 50m2 of precious Australian coastline for every settled loan, a milestone achieved through over 550 loans. Further cementing its pioneering status, WLTH made history by crafting the first-ever Australian Visa card primarily composed of reclaimed ocean plastic.

Brodie, a seasoned professional adept in Software Architecture, Statistical Data Analysis, Lending, Business Strategy, and Executive Mentoring, boasts an impressive track record of cultivating and nurturing various enterprises within the financial sector. His current focus centers on expanding and elevating WLTH’s global footprint in payments and banking.

Meanwhile, Drew’s unwavering dedication is channeled towards bolstering Australian SMEs. As the proprietor of multiple businesses, he intimately understands the frustrations stemming from limited financial and banking support. This personal experience fuels his unrelenting commitment to drive lasting change in this domain.

Inception of a vision

While some may find it a bit strange for a fintech company to be involved in dealing with the plastic pollution crisis and trying to save the oceans, it’s a genuine concern and passion for us. 

“Drew and I, inspired by our wealth management experiences and a shared vision, found ourselves immersed in a landscape marred by broken business processes, Brodie said.

“It became clear that the potential for growth extended beyond financial success; it lay in the profound impact of reshaping client support. This realization ignited our journey, propelling us to establish various enterprises at the dynamic intersection of finance and technology. Our collective wisdom culminated in the birth of WLTH, a revolutionary digital lending and payments platform, in 2019.”

Driven by an unwavering commitment to sustainability, WLTH emerged as a catalyst for change. Strategic partnerships with Parley for the Oceans and the Australia SailGP team transformed their endeavors into a higher purpose.

“With each loan settlement, we embraced the responsibility of empowering and assisting the Parley team in cleaning 50m2 of coastline, a tangible manifestation of our dedication to environmental restoration. Our innovation extended to the unveiling of Australia’s inaugural Visa card crafted predominantly from repurposed ocean plastic. This card isn’t just a financial tool; it embodies our resolute ambition.”

“Our affinity for the oceans traces back to our childhood, spent on the beach forging an unbreakable bond with the sea. These early connections nurtured a deep commitment to conservation. While it may seem unconventional for a fintech enterprise to champion oceanic causes, our passion is unyielding, driven by the urgent reality of the global plastic pollution crisis.”

“As torchbearers of change, our mission is clear – to amplify awareness and lead with tangible solutions in the fight against plastic pollution. Our journey with WLTH goes beyond business; it’s a testament to the power of purpose-driven innovation.”

Elevating Sustainability at the Core

“One pivotal strategy that propelled our business growth was an unwavering commitment to enhancing the digital customer experience. Our dedicated in-house development team bore fruit with a cutting-edge customer portal.

“This intuitive interface empowered clients to seamlessly access and manage their loan details, stay updated, and more. Our belief is that any advancement along the customer journey drives higher retention, encourages repeat business, and attracts new prospects, ultimately amplifying overall profitability.”

“A transformative shift was underscored by our strategic pivot towards broker channels. The addition of over 530 accredited brokers to our panel marked a deliberate expansion. We actively engage in principal broker personal development events and create tailored occasions, solidifying the WLTH brand among respected professionals pivotal in guiding customers through their home loan journey. Collaborative partnerships with broker aggregators further fortify our efforts in this arena.”

“Fueling our growth were targeted acquisitions and synergistic alliances. An impending acquisition of another mortgage enterprise enriches our strategic portfolio, while a promising tech partnership paves the way for future digital enhancements.”

“Additionally, we carved a distinct niche, positioning ourselves as a premier digital non-bank lender, renowned for expertise in SMSF lending, offering rapid approvals within 48 hours. This distinct identity is woven with purpose, steering us toward combating marine plastic pollution tarnishing Australia’s pristine coasts. Our digital presence, spanning social media campaigns, content dissemination, and targeted advertising, harmoniously echoes these resolute strengths, yielding positive outcomes and reinforcing our unique position in the industry.”

Realizing a niche and forging bonds

At the heart of WLTH’s growth is an unwavering commitment to enhancing the digital customer experience. This commitment materialized through an intuitive customer portal developed in-house, a strategic move that drives higher retention, encourages repeat business, and entices new prospects.

Brodie highlighted, “Our true differentiator from other digital lenders and neobanks lies in our core purpose and commitment to sustainability. Unlike those who engage in superficial greenwashing, we authentically participate in clean-up voyages to make a genuine impact.” He emphasized, “We don’t just stand by; we take tangible action to create change.” He added, “To involve our customers, we introduced a Visa card made from recycled ocean plastic. This isn’t mere symbolism; it’s a tangible step towards raising awareness about environmental conservation.”

WLTH’s growth trajectory encompasses strategic acquisitions and alliances, strengthening its market presence. A notable example is the planned acquisition of another mortgage business and a promising tech partnership poised to enhance WLTH’s digital offerings.

Brodie commented, “We leverage various social media platforms to showcase our initiatives, using video content to provide an authentic view of our activities.” He emphasized transparency, particularly in an era where businesses are scrutinized for misrepresenting their sustainability efforts.

Challenges as catalysts for innovation

That’s one of the most challenging parts of having a purpose-led business, ensuring you always stay true to those core values you and your team have set up.

The Haupt brothers’ journey has been a testament to resilience and unwavering commitment. A standout challenge was the creation of the WLTH Card, entirely free of virgin plastic.

Reflecting on the challenges encountered during the WLTH Card’s development, Brodie shared, “Ensuring that the WLTH Card remained entirely free of virgin plastic was a significant hurdle. We had to brainstorm alternatives for conventional materials that could potentially contain plastic.” He continued, “Fortunately, our partners shared our commitment, facilitating the discovery of suppliers and solutions aligned with our goal.”

Through this experience, Brodie emphasized the importance of staying true to values and demonstrating resilience. He noted, “Resilience is essential for successful innovation. Launching a purpose-driven company requires unwavering adherence to core values, whether it’s orchestrating clean-up expeditions or creating innovative products.”

Navigating the challenges of upholding purpose in business, Brodie stressed, “Leading a purpose-driven enterprise demands maintaining foundational values set by you and your team.” He clarified, “Our dedication stems not only from genuine concern for the impact we make but also from a desire for stakeholders to recognize our sincerity. It’s about truly embodying these values, not just adopting them for appearances.”

Guiding aspiring entrepreneurs

Brodie’s advice extends to aspiring female entrepreneurs. He emphasized self-assurance in skills and vision. “Believe in your ability to thrive as an entrepreneur. Self-confidence is a valuable asset when overcoming challenges.”

He encouraged entrepreneurs to anchor their ventures in passions and interests, as demonstrated by WLTH’s sustainability focus. “Craft a clear vision and purpose from the start. Ours was rooted in sustainability before anything else. It’s about embodying values, not just projecting them.”

Brodie emphasized building a robust support network, suggesting connections with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs. “Networking imparts insights, encouragement, and growth opportunities. Australia offers events tailored for women-led startups, fostering connections with peers and potential investors.”

Addressing funding, he advised exploring options like angel investors, venture capital, loans, or grants. He concluded, “Confidently present your business concept to potential investors.”

In the ever-evolving landscape of finance and technology, Brodie and Drew Haupt exemplify how purpose-driven innovation, sustainability, and unwavering commitment can redefine an industry and drive positive change.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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