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Emerging fintech start-ups from India that are making a mark


By Sadhana Chathurvedula for Live Mint

The transaction value for the Indian fintech sector is estimated to be approximately $33 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $73 billion in 2020

Bengaluru: The Indian fintech software market is forecast to touch $2.4 billion by 2020 from the current $1.2 billion, according to software industry body Nasscom. The transaction value for the Indian fintech sector is estimated to be approximately $33 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $73 billion in 2020, growing at a five-year compound annual rate of 22%, according to a report on fintech by KPMG. Growth in smartphones and consumers’ willingness to transact online have spawned a large number of start-ups, all trying to take advantage of this opportunity. Here are 10 emerging fintech start-ups from India that are making a mark:

Active.Ai (Active Intelligence Pte Ltd)

Founded: 2016

Funding: $500,000 from Kalaari Capital

About: Active.Ai is a platform that offers chat bots for large banks to interact with their customers in the format that they’re most comfortable with. The more customers interact with the application, the more the artificial intelligence behind it learns about them and offers personalized advice and service, increasing engagement and loyalty of the customers. The use cases range from getting the balance in the account to transferring money to friends and paying bills. The bot can be integrated via various channels, including Wechat, LINE, Kakao Talk, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo and Siri.

fonePaisa (fonePaisa Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2014

About: fonePaisa offers multiple payments solutions. For an individual, it offers a wallet that aggregates the most popular payment options, including other wallets, enabling them to carry out transactions at various retailers and pay their utilities’ bills. For merchants, it offers a payment gateway to accept payments, and also offers them software to create loyalty programmes, targeted marketing campaign, and shows merchants a consolidated reporting and monitoring dashboard. fonePaisa also offers businesses accounts receivable software that automates matching payments to invoices, eliminates manual processes and reduces costs.

Hummingbill (Hummingbill Technologies India Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2015

About: Hummingbill makes accounts receivable software for small businesses to help them automate receivables. One of the biggest problems for small businesses is that they do not receive their payments on time, often due to clerical errors or logistics issues. Hummingbill hopes to help them overcome this with a simple tool for financial officers and accountants. Its software works as a plugin for Gmail which enables businesses to create invoices and track them. It also allows one to automate payment reminders and track the collection performance of sales representatives and account managers. (Shreem Datatech Solutions Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2015

About: This start-up offers a cloud-based money management software for individuals as well as financial advisers. Individuals can add their bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance accounts and get actionable advice from experts. For advisers, this works like a customer relationship management software where they can create and manage tasks, offers SMS and e-mail reminders about client and prospect meetings and a dashboard where they can manage all their client data in one place. It also helps them get more visibility in a marketplace it offers and acquire new clients.

SayPay Technologies Inc

Founded: 2013

About: SayPay Technologies is a biometric authentication provider that works on identifying customers uniquely based on biometrics like sound (with facial recognition on the way). SayPay Technologies users speak a one-time code instead of a password, and the start-up claims, this is much more secure than the one-time-passwords that are in use. An entire transaction can be completed in seven seconds. The start-up, which has filed a patent for this technology, has partnered with two banks and is looking to partner with more. It says it can be extended to most financial transactions, including consumer bill payments, e-commerce, payment gateway integration, step-up authentication, P2P (peer-to-peer) transfers and corporate payment approvals. It works with feature phones as well as smartphones.

Scripbox ( India Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2012

Funding: Undisclosed amount from Omidyar ventures and $2.5 million in Series A from Accel Partners.

About: Scripbox offers an online mutual funds investment platform for individuals. When they sign up, individuals can decide how much they want to invest— be it monthly or long-term—in equities, debt fund and tax-savings fund or equity linked savings scheme. The funds presented to the user are chosen by algorithms and have no manual intervention. Scripbox doesn’t charge users but makes money by getting a distributor commission from asset management companies. However, it doesn’t have any tie-ups with them and takes the commission they hand out.

Senseforth (Senseforth Technologies Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2012

About: Senseforth offers an artificial intelligence platform that can offer all the services a bank has over chat. The platform, called A.ware, has been benchmarked against various industry standards, and the start-up claims it performs better in most respects. Senseforth has at least 12 different bots that can perform functions as varied evaluating risks facing businesses and provides alerts to avoid adverse impact, helping businesses comply with regulations, standards and governance-related issues, one that surfaces a business’ products and services where needed, as well as structuring personalized portfolios to your customers and advises on investment opportunities. It works with clients such as HDFC Bank Ltd and T-Mobile International AG.

Tauro Wealth (Tauro Investment Advisors Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2015

Funding: Undisclosed amount of seed funding from Tracxn Labs

About: Tauro Wealth is a robo advisory start-up targeting individuals who are confused and intimidated by the stock markets and makes it simple for them to invest in a stock portfolio. It offers individuals a primer on understanding what stock investing is about and makes them aware of the risks involved. Tauro Wealth generates portfolios using proprietary algorithms to minimize manual intervention and remove human errors and personal biases. Tauro Wealth’s investment portfolios are built to achieve a mix of passive and active investment strategies.

ToneTag (Naffa Innovations Pvt Ltd)

Founded: 2013

Funding: $1 million from Reliance Capital Ltd

About: ToneTag provides an app that can enable contactless payments on any device—even a feature phone—bringing an Apple Pay like experience to millions of Indians, without having to add any infrastructure. This it does by using sound waves to enable proximity-based payments. ToneTag talks to a merchant’s point-of-sale system using encrypted sound waves, and will work even with background noise. The system works even without mobile Internet. ToneTag offers a patent-pending software development kit that can be integrated into applications that would either accept payments based on tone, or based on near-field communication depending on the merchant.

Unocoin (Unocoin Technologies Pvt. Ltd)

Founded: 2013

Funding: $250,000 from the Digital Currency Group

About: Unocoin operates a Bitcoin wallet that Indian users can use to sign up and buy or sell bitcoins. Unocoin has partnered with various bitcoin related companies around the world such as BTCjam, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace using bitcoins, and Purse, which helps translate Amazon gift card balances to bitcoin and rupees. It has also partnered with wallet provider MobiKwik and lets its users transact on MobiKwik with the help of bitcoins. It launched a point-of-sale app for merchants to accept money through bitcoins.

First appeared at LiveMint

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