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The 70-year old Aluva-based Federal Bank has started a $3.78 Mn (INR 25 Cr.) startup fund that will exclusively look at small-ticket projects.The startup will need funding up to $15K (INR 10 lakh).

The fund will start with the states of Gujarat and Kerala. “We are starting with Gujarat and Kerala and we will scale it. In addition to our strong base in Kerala, Gujarat because these are  a growing market for us and we believe there is an opportunity. We are setting up our IFSC office in Gujarat and we will have some senior management there.”, said Srinivasan, MD and CEO of Federal Bank.

This announcement comes as major development in the startup space in country.

With an aim to promote entrepreneurial ideas, the fund will be investing in almost all the vertical and will not remain limited to agri-related technology, healthcare, logistics.

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He further added that the fund’s initial corpus would be scalable, depending on the experience.

The project was recently approved by the bank’s board. The bank has already partnered with MobME and Startup Village to launch innovative applications in the financial sector.

Federal bank has also launched a host of mobile applications, including the Fedbook, an electronic passbook and Scan and Pay, an app that makes payments by doing a QR scan. The bank currently allows customers to open accounts digitally using the ‘selfie’ application. The bank has said that 60% of new customers last month came from this avenue.

Through its association with Startup Village for the FinTech Accelerator Programme, the bank is planning to launch digital applications regularly. It has also created a digital vertical to come up with solutions for improving customer convenience.

The Startup Village is a technology business incubator based out of Kochi which is jointly funded by the public and the private sector. Its promoters are the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Technopark Trivandrum and MobME Wireless which is behind the Chillr app.

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