Australian regtech startup AssuranceLab takes hold in the US
For most businesses, a visit to the auditor is about as daunting as a trip to the dentist. Even the savviest business minds find the process of proving regulatory compliance across different markets and geographies as painful as a root canal.
But one Australian regtech startup is redefining the audit process, making it quicker and easier. Sydney-based AssuranceLab’s platform, Pillar, manages multiple standards with advanced automation to enable more scalable, collaborative and user-friendly audits.
Compliance has increasingly become an essential part of business for companies looking to earn and maintain trust among their customers as global regulations in data protection become increasingly enforced. That means simpler audit systems like Pillar are increasingly valued.
AssuanceLab’s Co-Founder and Co-CEO Nick Lew Ton says his team took an agile development approach. They worked with clients to test and streamline the cloud-based tool’s features to take the burden out of audits.
Today, the Australian company works with over 200 high-growth software companies in over 13 countries on their global compliance needs, including SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, ESG, and more.
The Land of Opportunity: launching a regtech in the US
In 2022, AssuranceLab launched in the US, targeting technology companies like e-commerce technology leader Rokt and employee experience platform Culture Amp. In under a year, AssuranceLab has grown its total client base to 15% US, outpacing its growth in Australia in 2023.
Lew Ton says the key to the regtech’s success in the US is a strategic partnership with Drata, a San Diego-based compliance automation platform.
Drata is a market leader in compliance sector. It reached a $2 billion valuation after less than 2 years in the market. The strategic partnership has put AssuranceLab as an auditor of choice among Drata’s customers.
“Our product and service offerings perfectly complement each other and means we are a one stop shop for our customers,” he explained. “Our independence protects the integrity and trust our clients need between the audit and compliance processes.”
Auditing and compliance are 2 sides of the one coin. Drata’s continuous automation-led compliance platform provides clients with a good governance structure to maintain policies and procedures up to date. This ensures a smooth transition to AssuranceLab’s audit platform Pillar that will independently review and ensure they meet regulatory frameworks.
Austrade Landing Pads a launchpad for success
AssuranceLab has worked with Austrade and industry associations FinTech Australia and the Regtech Association throughout its export journey.
This has included accessing information on export markets and participating in industry events, like Singapore FinTech Festival and Intersekt, which included meetings with potential clients and partners from around the world.
“Austrade has provided tremendous support in relation to our export endeavours. They’ve provided us with the opportunity to participate in a number of programs tailored to businesses like ours to help us learn what is required to go global,” said Lew Ton.
In May 2022, AssuranceLab’s co-founders took part in Austrade’s Landing Pads program in New York. The New York Fintech Landing Pad is delivered in partnership with the US incubator WEVE Acceleration.
Lew Ton said the knowledge, connections and confidence his team gained during Landing Pad programs in New York and San Francisco made for a winning combo that set AssuranceLab up for success in the US market.
“In New York, the mentor sessions and roundtable events with fintech experts, serial entrepreneurs and others allowed us to dive into and test our business models, value proposition and approach to US market entry,” he explained.
“The Landing Pads program got our boots on the ground. We benefited from introductions that accelerated relationship-building with customers and potential investors. [It also gave us a] comprehensive understanding of the US market, including market regulations, cultural differences, and business development strategies.”