A robust growth trajectory, abundant funding and a potential to cater to the underserved demographic are among the key growth drivers that have aided FinTech startups’ journey to the top. The accelerated adoption of cashless transactions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the demand for FinTech solutions.
According to a KPMG report, Indian FinTech startups roped in nearly $1.7 billion in funding in the first six months of 2020, despite the ongoing pandemic. As the startup ecosystem continues to buzz with new pitches, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore’s startup incubator, NSRCEL, is all set to take 10 early-stage enterprises under its wing and help them explore new opportunities.
During the programme, the 10 startups will get access to domain specific support from mentors, industry experts and investors. NSRCEL will facilitate networking opportunities and peer-learning sessions for them so that they can explore synergies within and beyond the programme.
NSRCEL has partnered with ICICI Securities for its maiden cohort, as part of the latter’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Once the 9-month programme ends, the startups will be eligible for a grant from ICICI Securities.
Shaping the future of FinTech
Launched in 2000, NSRCEL has been working to bring entrepreneurs, academicians and industry experts together to create an impact on the startup ecosystem. With the support of government agencies, corporates and institutional partners, NSRCEL offers budding entrepreneurs useful resources required for operating a venture. Since its inception, NSRCEL has supported more than 580 ventures and engaged over 115,600 entrepreneurs. It is among the few incubators in India that have a programme especially tailored for social entrepreneurs.
But what got NSRCEL to choose FinTech as an area of focus? “FinTech is now being integrated into mainstream offerings, since the onset of Covid-19 and the consequent push for a digital economy. The areas which are seeing major traction are insurance, cross-border payments/lending, and cluster financing. Indian FinTech is going to change the way the world looks at us just like what Indian BPOs did three decades back,” says Dr Venkatesh Panchapagesan, Chairperson, NSRCEL.
What’s in it for startups
The selected ventures are early-stage startups working in fields like trading, lending, payments, wealth advisory, insurance tech, accounting and financial management, billing software and auxiliary sector logistics. The startups who made the cut are:
- Hylo Challenger Private Limited
- Jarvis Invest
- PHI Commerce Pvt Ltd
The programme’s structure is aligned with the requirements of the participating ventures after consultation with domain experts, mentors and investors. “Each venture would share an objective and its key results, and we would track their progress and help them through our network. Over 40 mentors have come forward to help support these ventures. We also have given grants to these ventures to aid their growth,” says Venkatesh.
Talking about what sets apart NSRCEL’s programme from other similar initiatives, he says, “We are setting ourselves to be a one-stop shop for these ventures through our network of faculty members, alumni, students, mentors and investors. We will expose the entrepreneurs to several ‘how to’ sessions, test their knowledge on policies, connect them with potential customers and investors, inspire them with other entrepreneur experiences, and fund them.”