Impressed with the growth of India’s fintech space, Tilman Ehrbeck, managing partner at Flourish Ventures, said that the venture capital firm is looking to invest in sectors such as neo-banking, gig economy, embedded finance and insure-tech.
Since its spin-off from Omidyar Network, the investment firm founded eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, Flourish Ventures has so far invested in around 13 startups working in utility and fintech sectors. Flourish Ventures also manages a $300 Mn fund which invests in fintech startups, out of which the company has already invested around $60 Mn in startups globally.
Speaking about the future investments in, Ehrbeck said that the investments in 2020 will depend on market conditions and opportunities. In 2019, Flourish Ventures, invested in two fintech startups in India — neobank Yelo and lending startup Shubhloans.
The Indian Opportunities
In 2019, Flourish Ventures also made follow-on investments in its portfolio companies — ZestMoney, Indifi, Kaleidofin, and Toffee. Interestingly, Flourish Ventures had invested in these startups along with its parent company, Omidyar Network.
Talking about future plans of investing alongside Omidyar Network, Ehrbeck said that he expects the same in future. “If the opportunities are great, now that we are two funds and we are doubling down on India, we might do more, but if the opportunities are less exciting, we might do less,” he was quoted as saying by Livemint. In 2019, the duo had invested around $16 Mn in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Highlighting that India is an exciting market for the company, Ehrbeck said that there are a lot of innovations, which are relevant to the rest of the world, that are coming from India. “Also, there are other frontier themes that we see in other parts of the world where India can help in proving that this new theme is working,” he added.
In India, fintech startups working in the lending domain have shown a lot of potential in the past and Ehrbeck believes that this concept of lending money on the basis of just technology has been a massive hit. “India really created a powerful environment in which the digitisation of finance can happen. All the digitisation efforts in India created these new data sources which ease out the process of lending,” he said.
According to Ehrbeck, the success of Flourish Ventures’s portfolio startups such as ZestMoney, Indifi and Toffee, has helped it to gain confidence in these business models. “We now invest in these startups in other markets like in Latin America and in Africa,” Ehrbeck added.
On the other hand, Ehrbeck said that Flourish Ventures is also looking for entrepreneurs, who are replicating successful working models in India. Besides fintech space, Flourish Ventures is also going to focus on the gig economy, Ehrbeck said.