Global banking and financial services provider JP Morgan has collaborated with IIMA-CIIE to set up a Financial Inclusion Lab worth $9.5 Mn, aimed at identifying and bringing to scale early-stage Indian fintech startups.
As part of the collaboration, the startups will enable access and usage of appropriate financial products and services –such as savings, credit and insurance –for lower and middle income (LMI) households segment who earn $2 to $10 a day.
The Financial Inclusion Lab is part of the centre for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship (CIIE) of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s (IIMA) Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), launched in May to incubate and support startups.
J.P. Morgan will provide up to $7 Mn over the next four years towards this initiative. This would be the largest philanthropic commitment made by JP Morgan. The US-based Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are also supporting the Lab as part of their overall commitment to BII, JP Morgan today said in a statement.
According to Kalpana Morparia, CEO (South and South East Asia) of JP Morgan, company’s Financial Solutions Lab model is being introduced outside of the US for the first time.
Morparia said, “Our initiative aims to identify and nurture fintech startups to generate innovative ideas which will help make financial products and services more accessible to this critical mass of Indians.”
CIIE chief operating office Priyanka Chopra said,“The Financial Inclusion Lab is a critical component of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative continuum, and will be built upon CIIE’s decade-long experience of running incubators, accelerators and impact funds to provide inclusion focused tech entrepreneurs.”
The initiative will also glean insights from international financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave. Recent research conducted by CIIE and MicroSave reveal that LMI households have erratic financial inflows and many in the LMI segment struggle to adopt digital platforms for their financial needs.
“Over 80% of the addressable LMI market, or 470 Mn people, are not integrated into the economic mainstream. Early stage fintechs, when provided with the right mentoring, insights and capital support, can have a huge and positive impact on the lives of many people,” said MicroSave Associate Director Anil Gupta.
The Lab will host a series of accelerator programs to identify solutions for specific financial challenges, and leading ideas will be supported with start-up capital, market access, technical assistance, mentoring and sector expertise.
Over the years, this initiative, managed by the US-based Center for Financial Services Innovation, has supported participating fintechs to reach over 2.5 Mn Americans and have seen their users grow 20 times since joining the program.
Fintech entrepreneurs are now being invited to apply to join the Lab.