financial inclusion lab

Financial Inclusion Lab, the initiative of IIM-Ahmedabad supported by JPMorgan and other investors has selected eleven fintech startups to be mentored and accelerated.

The startups will be provided help in understanding the technology-based strategies including automation, machine learning and underwriting to increase financial health of lower and middle-class people in India.

“Fintech presents a unique opportunity to promote the financial health of India’s underserved households who struggle to adopt digital platforms for their financial needs,” said Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South and South East Asia, JPMorgan.

The initiative has analyzed insights from Lucknow-based financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave before planning the program. The report by the firm concluded that more than 40 per cent of people in India has never used technology-driven financial services throughout their entire lives.

“Technology-based innovations offer tremendous opportunities to create solutions that enhance the financial resilience of underserved communities,” said Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, CIIE “We look forward to working with these start-ups to de-risk their journeys towards sustainability and commercial viability.”

JPMorgan and IIM Ahmedabad’s centre for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship have collaborated to set up a $9.5 million fund through Financial Inclusion Lab programme. The $9.5 Mn-worth initiative will support the selected startups for over a year with strategic guidance and market access to help them build and test their products.

11 Startups that was selected by the Financial Inclusion Lab

1Easyplan

Easyplan was founded by Sanjay Gandhi and Manisha Pandita in 2017. The Mumbai-based startup operates a platform to help Indians to save money. Easyplan offers an app-based solution for the millennials to help them open a goal-based savings account aimed at saving money through innovative ways.

Website

2ExpressMOJO

ExpressMOJO is a free online classified platform enabling small fleet owners to search from a database of trusted transporters and brokers all over India. Founded by Dipankar Sarkar and Akshay Gautam, the New Delhi-based startup. Upon signing up, fleet owners can view verified contact details of 1000s of transporters/commission agents and rate/review them based on their service levels, operational expertise and payment cycles.

Website

3Finlok

Finlok was founded by Tanuj Sinha and Atish Potdar in 2017. The Pune-based startup provides a hassle-free lending solution to the underbanked class by leveraging the data points gathered from social networks in assessing the credit score. Finlok is a peer to peer financial platform that helps users save and access credit within their social networks/communities.

Website

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4GramCover

Founded by Rishabh Garg and Jatin Singh, GramCover works with various insurance agencies and firms to create affordable, simple and easy-to-understand solutions for the insurance sector and use technology to deliver them to the rural population of India. The startup has already raised INR 6.7 crores of funding from Omnivore Capital.

Website

5Jai Kisan

Jai Kisan provides a tech platform that helps farmers borrow money at a low interest rate to cover their agricultural needs. Founded by Adriel Maniego and Arjun Ahluwalia in 2017, the Pune based startup operates an e-commerce platform that utilizes several data points to create a credit score for small farmers.

Website

6Kaarva

Khusboo Maheshwari and Agam Goyal founded Kaarva this year. This Bengaluru-based startup provides an instant credit of up to INR 5,000 to low-income salaried individuals. It works on a pay-what-you-like model and helps poor section meet their financial needs for short-term uses.

Website

7MunshiG

MunshiG is a Udaipur-based bookkeeping tool for unrecognized retail store owners (Kirana Shops). The startup provides an affordable yet intuitive AI-powered tool to bridge the gap between Kirana shop owners and technology. Let me tell you that Kirana shops are vastly unorganized in the country waiting to be reformed.

Website

8Navaana Tech

Navaana Tech utilizes voice-assistance and image-based friendly digital interfaces to improve the quality of life for low-income and illiterate individuals. India’s literacy rate is 74 per cent. In a developing country like ours, startups like Navaana Tech can bring about some unexpected changes by helping the section with low literacy standards.

Website

9SureClaim

Founded by Anuj Jindal and Varun Kansal last year, this Bengaluru-based startup provides an intelligent platform that assists its users to find and process insurance claims on the go.  SureClaim is building online DIY insurance claim tools to help the customers buy insurances without the need to visit an agent or an expert.

Website

10WonderLend Hubs

WonderLend Hubs is a digital platform that uses social and financial data to create a credit score for MSMEs and individual borrowers. This helps to create a quick credit profile and lower rejection rates of users who lack sufficient credit history. The Mumbai-based startup was founded by Ramakrishnan Ramdas and Rajesh Iyer in 2016.

Website

11XtraCap

XtraCap is a New Delhi-based fintech startup that uses GST data to assess the credit profile of small businesses. The startup provides small businesses and retail shop owners access to short-term liquidity against supplier invoices.

Website

What’s the Future of Selected Startups

To bridge the gap between the poor and the economically sound population in India, the first batch of the startups will be focusing to provide awareness and access to financial products to the rural population. The startups will be mentored to build non-intuitive user interfaces using technical innovation which will help underprivileged understand and adapt fintech services.

For a country like ours, where many are still uncomfortable paying using their debit cards and millions not knowing how to write a cheque, such initiatives can educate and empower the underprivileged class. Financial Inclusion Lab will bring about a change and help people understand the benefits of the tech-enabled financial ecosystem for sure.

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