The Financial Inclusion Lab is an accelerator programme at CIIE.CO’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative, supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, J. P. Morgan, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, MetLife Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and run in collaboration with MSC Consulting. The lab identifies and supports startups that enhance the financial health of lower-income communities with mentoring, market research, access to networks, capital and other support to build and scale their solutions.
Over the last three years, the lab has supported 27 startups in three cohorts that have cumulatively served over 20 million customers, and raised over $15 million in funding since their participation in the lab. For its fourth cohort, the Lab has selected nine innovative startups building inclusive fintech solutions for the low-and-middle-income segments. These startups are working on credit, savings, insurance, health and related technology-driven financial solutions that benefit underserved segments such as low-income workers, micro-businesses, gig workers, fisherfolk and millenials.
Credochain enables flow-based lending for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by capturing and analysing the underlying business transactions and cash flows. It does so by using GST in a completely automated manner for faster and better credit decision-making.
Credochain has built cluster-specific underwriting models to enable unsecured credit for underserved MSMEs. Uniquely positioned to originate credit for smaller units in industrial clusters, they can enable innovations such as co-lending and invoice financing to these enterprises that are typically based in smaller cities.
Team: Vaibhav Anand, Shivani Sharma
Fello is a game-based savings and investment platform for the Gen-Z and young millenials of India to save, play and earn returns that would be greater than a traditional savings bank account. The company aims to merge the world of gaming and finance to build better personal financial profiles and security for the end-users.
For every Rupee saved and invested through Fello, users earn game tokens that can be redeemed to play fun inhouse games to win amazing rewards and prizes. The core hypothesis of the product is that gaming will lead to a broader fold of the audience to be more inclined towards better financial instruments and have healthy financial profiles.
Team: Manish Maryada, Shourya Lala
Flux by Finarkein is a low-code/no-code data analytics platform that works seamlessly with upcoming open digital ecosystems such as account aggregator, OCEN, NDHM and traditional data sources. Flux helps businesses to consume and publish data as information users/providers and also build plug and play pipelines from blended data sources, while keeping customer consent at the forefront.
Registered as a TSP with Sahamati and one of the early movers in the upcoming open digital ecosystems, Finarkein will enable businesses to rapidly build various use cases across insurance, credit, savings and wealth management. The platform especially seeks to help financial services providers leverage data to cater to multiple segments within the Bharat segment.
Team: Nikhil Kurhe, Dheeraj Kumar
Fundfina provides micro and small enterprises access to affordable credit through its embedded finance platform that leverages a proprietary cash flow-based credit assessment model TrueScore™. Loans to retailers of enterprise networks like payment and wallet firms, point of sale providers, digital accounting firms etc. are funded by financial institutions that benefit from low-opex high volume loans. Fundfina manages the entire lending process digitally from origination to contract signing to collections.
Using TrueScore™, the company has achieved widening the financial inclusion network for retailers who do not have a credit bureau footprint. TrueScore™ utilises the transactional data of retailers that get stored in the servers of enterprise networks for predicting volatility in transactions over the next 90 days. To date, all financial institutions registered with Fundfina have opted for using TrueScore™ to lend through Fundfina’s platform.
Team: Nishant Bhaskar, Rahul Tripathy, Abhijit Naik, Bikram Bajaj
Daily Salary is building an attendance-linked ‘Salary Wallet’ for company employees. The Salary Wallet gives salaried workers immediate access to their earned salary. Every workday, Daily Salary credits the day’s salary into the worker’s Salary Wallet.
Daily Salary partners with companies to provide Salary Wallets to their employees. As the solution is based on accrued salary, Daily salary enables instant credit even for workers without a credit history. Workers can withdraw up to 50 percent% of their earned salary from their Salary Wallet anytime they want.
Team: Eral Ravi, Aashutosh Chaudhary, Shantanu Singh
Kosh is building India’s first digital and agent-less micro-finance institution (MFI). Replacing agents with a mobile app empowers the borrower to apply for a loan directly while also removing inefficiencies at the field officer level. They’ve created proprietary underwriting models that make it possible to filter out groups that are most likely to default and built the system to be inherently scalable and operationally efficient.
They are already operational in six North Indian states and have disbursed more than 1,200 loans so far. Kosh aims to be the first pan-India MFI.
Team: Aayush Goel, Sahil Bansal
MyPaisaa is India’s first 100 percent digital chit fund that is registered with the Registrar of Chits. It provides an app for the entire user journey and enables an industry-leading 2 minutes onboarding and 24-hour payout of net chit values.
With a strong focus on enhanced customer experience across various income segments and tech-enabled transparent and efficient operations, the solution can transform the perception and growth metrics of the chit fund industry by reaching out to wider geographies and improving the potential for add-on products and services.
Team: Veera Praveen Reddy, Ravindranath Kamma, Harish Chandra Lodhwal, Mounika Lingayagari, Aravind Chandrasekharan
Numer8 envisions sustainable and profitable fisheries. Its product, Ofish, provides fisherfolks with advisory services powered by satellite and internet of things (IoT) data, traceability-enabled market linkages and access to formal financial services. This triad of services helps digitise operations and increase the predictability of income for all participants in the chain.
Fisheries impact 4 million people in India, many of whom are in the low-income segment. Ofish aims to be the gateway to financial and other services for this significantly underserved market.
Team: Devleena Bhattacharjee, Nandhini Karthikeyan
SureClaim is a healthcare navigation platform that is helping families and doctors to locate hospitals that can meet the medical needs and financial constraints of the patients. The startup extends its online engagement with users offline through its hospital assistance desks to facilitate the admission and discharge process.
The company started as an insurance claim assistance platform. It has now expanded to providing hospitalisation assistance for non-insurance patients also. SureClaim’s solutions significantly reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses for low and medium-income patients by offering them treatment options within their budget.
Team: Anuj Jindal, Varun Kansal
About BII & the Financial Inclusion Lab
Launched in 2018 by IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE.CO, the Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) helps tech entrepreneurs across the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up stage to develop inclusive solutions. The initiative includes research fellowships, sprints, incubation, accelerators, seed fund and other support programmes to create an end-to-end enabling ecosystem that brings inclusive and for-profit businesses to life.
The Financial Inclusion Lab, a key component of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, offers customised and differentiated support to each startup, which includes prototype capital, mentoring by distinguished practitioners and sector experts, partnering opportunities with financial and other organisations, curated training by faculty members and experts from IIM Ahmedabad, access to scale-up capital via the Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund, cloud credits, legal, marketing, and other ancillary services. MSC Consulting, an international financial inclusion consultancy firm, provides startups with high-touch consulting and insights into the low and middle-income segments.