Five graduates from the inaugural Startupbootcamp (SBC) financial technology (fintech) accelerator in Mumbai, India, have won pilot schemes with bank sponsors RBL and ICICI Bank after demonstrating a range of identity, blockchain, loan, loyalty and financial management systems.
The SBC demo day was held at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai, India, on June 2 where 11 start-ups, selected from 300 initial entrants, showcased their ideas and technologies to more than 400 guests comprising of investors, bankers, venture capitalists and so on.
Prominent names at the event included Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed and IDG Ventures, plus PwC, AZB & Partners and Capital First.
The State Bank of India (SBI) also supports the SBC FinTech Mumbai accelerator which is intended to speed up the delivery of new technologies, ideas and helpful software, apps and services to financial service providers.
Each of the 11 finalists from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East underwent a three-month support program prior to the demo day on June 2, consisting of personalized mentoring, workshops and other early stage fintech guidance designed to bring good, investable ideas to the financial services marketplace.
The five fintech start-ups that won backing from Indian banks are:
- Bitgram: A customer trust "super identity" protocol for corporates, which uses blockchain technology to try to ensure data integrity for people and processes. It secured pilots with ICICI Bank and RBl bank.
- Canopi: This technology start-up is focused on disrupting the way small businesses raise working capital loans using their unpaid invoices. It partnered with RBL Bank at the SBC FinTech Mumbai Demo Day.
- Doboz: A retention-marketing platform that says it enables merchants and companies to create their own custom currency and loyalty program via gift cards, promo codes, reward points and referrals. It won the support of ICICI Bank and RBl bank.
- mTrakr: A personal finance management (PFM) app that helps people manage, save and perhaps grow their money by monitoring users' finances and expenses and suggesting saving and investments impressed ICICI Bank.
- Rupie: Provides micro loans to the urban "unbanked" that lack a traditional bank account. The service relies entirely on mobile phones. Its platform will be piloted by RBL Bank.
Commenting on the event in a statement, Adrian Johnson, managing director of SBC FinTech Mumbai, praised "the enthusiasm, drive and focus we've seen from our inaugural cohort of start-ups."
Startupbootcamp FinTech is an accelerator that started in 2014. It now has programs in London, Singapore, New York, Mexico City and Mumbai with a range of global and local partners and investors supporting the network.
Many other such accelerators exist around the world to try to support fintech innovation and investment for those start-up companies willing to cede a stake. Many banks have their own investment arms too such as Santander InnoVentures or run their own such programs in conjunction with organizers.
The Barclays Accelerator program, for instance, is run by the Techstars organization and Citi has its Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I). The Innovate Finance supported Level39 facility in Canary Wharf, London, is also a prominent global fintech supporter and there are numerous global regulatory "sandboxes" where fintechs can try out ideas in a secure test environment in the U.K., Dubai; Abu Dhabi; and there is the Singapore-backed pan-Asian sandbox.