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Asia’s one of the leading global investment bank Nomura hosted a demo day at their Powai campus. The eight startups were part of Nomura fintech accelerator programme called Voyager. During the demo, the graduating startups showcased a wide range of banking solutions including those for client on-boarding, business intelligence and market insights, enhanced risk and control and human resources management. To develop these solutions, the startups relied on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), anomaly detection, natural language processing (NLP), natural language generation (NLG) and chatbots.

At the demo day, R.K. Rangan, President and CEO of Nomura Services India said, “We have been pleased with the overwhelming number of applications as well as the quality of startups under the CMIB-focused Voyager initiative. Our deep engagement and partnership with startups has yielded highly promising solutions to address a number of banking industry pain points as well as create new opportunities.”

Voyager: Nomura Accelerator Programme    

Earlier this year, Nomura had launched a Nomura accelerator programme in India, called ‘Voyager – Nomura fintech partnership’. Eight startups were selected from over 150 global applicants. The shortlisted startups then collaborated with Nomura for over a 10-week period to develop PoC.

Speaking to Inc42, Nikhil Mehta, Executive Director at Nomura Services India stated,  “Recently, we have seen a rise in fintech accelerators in India. This does indicate that the industries have recognised and understood the importance of startups in the long-run. However, unlike the other fintech startup accelerators which focus on payment-gateways and retail, Nomura’s Voyager programme is largely focused on the capital market and investment banking (CMIB) segment. Also, our Voyager fintech programme is based on a partnership approach, where startups bring technologies and we bring our domain expertise to the table. We also help them in recognising the potential that their technologies have in the market. So, it’s more like co-creation and collaboration.”

Nomura had also partnered with PwC, Google, Amazon, IBN, and Let’s Talk Payments to help startups develop their PoC during the course of the programme. PwC is a strategic partner to help execute the entire programme, while Amazon, Google and IBM are the technology partners extending their technology advice to these startups. They also help these startups to scale up their technological solutions from an enterprise perspective, and provide free cloud services to them. Another programme partner, Let’s Talk Payments helped in creating awareness about the programme.

Attending the demo day, Yo Akatsuka, Senior Managing Director, Innovations, Nomura Holdings said, “Rapidly evolving technologies are transforming the way we operate, and this wave of technological disruption is poised to reshape the industry. Nomura is focused on nurturing innovation across the value-chain using new technologies to redesign and re-imagine our operating model. The Voyager initiative in India is a further sign of our commitment to drive financial innovation globally.”

Here Is A Brief Of The Eight Startups That Showcased Their Proof Of Concepts AT Demo Day

Datum Solutions: Datum Solutions specializes in enterprise content management, business process management and intelligent process automation, leveraging AI, ML and NLP.

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Recommender Labs: Recommender Labs employs ML algorithms with AI-based analytics, chatbots and games to generate personalized recommendations for FinTech, customer experience, human resources.

Senseforth: Senseforth is a human-like conversation platform built on AI and NLP. Senseforth mimics human cognitive abilities in reading, comprehending, interpreting and actionising user intent.

Simility: Simility provides banks, wallets, acquirers, issuers, etc. a data lake approach to fraud fighting,  combining ML models with rules and behavioural analytics to provide a high efficacy solution.

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Stride.ai: Stride.ai mimics human intelligence at scale and applies its proprietary AI and NLP platform on textual data to intelligently automate enterprise processes.

Surukam: Surukam is among India’s first AI-based legal startup which provides a solution to assist legal teams in contract extraction, knowledge management and collaboration.

Tookitaki: Tookitaki provides an ML platform to build and optimize workflows for financial institutions, primarily in operational risk and compliance.

vPhrase: vPhrase’s AI product Phrazor summarises data and gives key insights in a few bullet points ensuring companies spend less time in analysis and more time in making decisions.

Nomura’s N-Village To Extend Funding Support

Speaking about the future plans, Nikhil added, “Nomura will explore the scalability and adaptability of their PoCs at Nomura. If found suitable their solutions can be adopted at Nomura across the globe. Besides, investment and funding support is also being explored. We have recently established Nomura N-Village focusing on creating new businesses for Nomura through the following activities. With a corpus of $100 Mn, N-Village will extend its support to such startups in Japan and globally, if they fulfil Nomura’s requirements.”

With Mahindra, ICICI Bank, GSF, Reinsurer, Vizag Fintech Valley, Yes Bank, Barclay and others having either directly organising fintech acceleration programmes or extending their support, India’s fintech startup ecosystem is on the rise. Immensely benefitted by the cashless and digital India policies, many of the recent fintech startups have attracted not only global investors but have penetrated global markets too, with their solutions. Domains within the fintech sector are also being pinpointed by these accelerators. While Nomura’s Voyager accelerator programme is focusing on capital market and investment banking, the Vizag fintech valley accelerator along with ICICI bank and Mahindra Finance largely focus on blockchain-based startups.

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