The Financial Inclusion Lab, a part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), has selected 11 fintech innovators for its first intake to the lab, where they will receive mentorship and guidance.
The $9.5 Mn-worth initiative will support the selected startups for 12 months with capital, strategic guidance, and market access to help them build and test their products.
Easyplan: Headquartered in Mumbai, Easyplan was founded in 2017 by Sanjay Gandhi and Manisha Pandita. It has built an app for the millennials that provides a separate a goal-based savings bank account aimed at assisting them to save money through simple and effective ways.
ExpressMojo – Delhi-based ExpressMojo was founded in 2016 by Akshay Gautam and Dipankar Sarkar. The startup has built a platform where small fleet owners and individual drivers can connect directly with the customers.
Finlok– Established in 2017, the financial platform Finlok connects people on social network where they can also borrow money from their friends and community while providing people with ways to save money. The platform was founded by Tanuj Sinha and Atish Potdar.
GramCover – Noida-based GramCover is an insurtech marketplace for rural India, which was founded by Jatin Singh and Rishabh Garg. The platform works with insurers to create affordable and easy-to-understand insurance products.
Jai Kisan: Jai Kisan was founded in 2017 by Arjun Ahluwalia and Adriel Maniego. It is an ecommerce platform that uses multiple data points to create a credit scoring for small farmers — enabling them an access to low-cost capital to purchase agri-input and types of equipment.
Kaarva: Based in Bengaluru, Kaarva offers instant small credit through its pay-what-you-like model to salaried professionals to meet their short term financial needs. It was founded by Khushboo Maheshwari and Agam Goyal.
MunshiG: Based in Udaipur, MunshiG is a platform for small grocery stores that uses AI-based technologies to understand the behaviors of their customers, which is helpful in managing inventory and bookkeeping.
Navaana Tech: The platform uses voice-assisted and image-based friendly digital interfaces to improve the quality of life for individuals with low levels of literacy.
WonderLend Hubs: WonderLend Hubs is focused on harnessing the power of big data, machine decisioning and human innovation, to make affordable finance easily accessible to the people. It is a digital platform that uses financial and social data to create credit profiles resulting in shortened turnaround times and lower rejection rates for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and individual borrowers who lack sufficient credit history.
XtraCap: Delhi-based Xtracap Fintech which is registered under the domain of Bridge2capital uses GST (Goods & Services Tax) data to assess the credit risk of small businesses, providing them access to short-term liquidity against supplier invoices.
The startups will be trained to use technologies such as automation, underwriting and machine learning (ML) to assist them in their innovation that aids financial conditions of the people, especially from the lower and middle-income group.
It is learnt that the initiative has drawn insights from Lucknow-based financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave, which has concluded that over 40% of the Indian population have not used technology-enabled financial services.
To bridge this gap, the first batch of the lab will be focusing on providing awareness, access to suitable products, and non-intuitive user interfaces to people through tech-enabled innovation, aimed at helping them adapt fintech services.
For a country like India, where many are still contemplating on whether one should use fintech services — mainly fears of losing money and personal data due to lack of education — such initiatives are an important step towards getting people to understand the benefits of a tech-enabled financial ecosystem.
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