At the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said that the tech-focussed venture capital fund will continue to double its investments in India’s tech startup ecosystem, particularly focussed on new-age credit and financial products.
The South Africa-based VC said in a Mint report that it will continue to support entrepreneurs with original ideas as opposed to existing business models in the financial services market.
At the WEF, Dijk lauded the quality of entrepreneurship and education in India. He further said that in the past, international business models used to be implemented in the country. However, now India is innovating and it is exporting new concepts and business model to the world, he added.
Amid the slow growth in the past year, Dijk is optimistic about the fintech landscape in India and believes that there is still room to explore in terms of backing a new generation of startups with innovative ideas in the credit and financial services market.
Further, citing an example of PayU, where the firm has invested $7 Mn (INR 50 Cr) in its lending business LazyPay, Dijk said, “Bringing funding and credit opportunities to more Indians has been a fresh focus for us. Our portfolio PayU has introduced short term credit for new kinds of customers and we will invest in new models of financing and credit access that private banks may not necessarily provide.”
The Indian fintech sector is seeing more and more startups leveraging technology to solve traditional banking problems and are coming up with new products and services that strike the right chord with Indian businesses and consumers. According to DataLabs by Inc42’s Indian Tech Startup Funding Report 2019, the fintech sector has seen the most number of startup funding deals in 2019, followed by enterprise tech, ecommerce and consumer services. The average funding amount and ticket size for fintech startups stood at $8.3 Mn and $25 Mn, respectively.
With $2.6 Bn in total funding, fintech startups recorded 125 deals in 2019. The funding amount is 71% higher than 2018 whereas the deal count plunged by 9% compared to the previous year with Delhi NCR taking the lead.
Compared to the other sub-sectors in fintech, the investor confidence towards lending tech startups continued to remain high in 2019 as well, the share of lending tech startups in the total fintech deal count was 46% or 58 deals, and for unique startups funded it was 45% or 48 deals.
In October 2019, the retail payments and POS startup Pine Labs was in talks with Naspers to raise an undisclosed amount at a valuation of $1.5 Bn, along with Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent.
Apart from eyeing on the fintech startups, Naspers previously has invested in various Indian tech-focused startups across various industry verticals, including food delivery platform Swiggy, edtech startup BYJU’s, social commerce startup Meesho and logistics platform ElasticRun and others. Naspers recently invested in Pune-based ElasticRun, an asset-light, app-driven, logistics and distribution startup.
In November 2018, in one of the most iconic exits in the Indian startup ecosystem, during the Walmart and Flipkart acquisition deal, Naspers made an exit by selling 13.76% of its share to Walmart. The firm almost made a $1.6 Bn from its stake in Flipkart. In April 2019, Naspers exited from homegrown travel company MakeMyTrip (MMT) in a share-swap deal with Chinese travel company Ctrip International.