The rise of Fintech and fresh opportunities

Backed by the Government of India, the new ‘Digital India’ mission and demonetization has created demand for a series of fresh fintech services such as next gen payments, P2P lending, bank in a box, roboadvisory, blockchain, financial inclusion as well as security and biometrics. It is further prompted by substantial proliferation of smartphones in the country, driving the need for new payments interfaces, mobile wallets and garnering attention from major brands such as VISA and Apple.

India has fast become the world leader in Fintech R&D and consumption. Identifying this promise early on, swissnex India began with trend scouting and research from 2015 by  collaborating with key knowledge partners. Learnings from market characteristics and trends to understand how Swiss innovation could benefit within the Indian fintech space was published as a Fintech industry report in 2016. This was followed by conceptualising and driving our first Fintech Startup Tour in 2017 at Bangalore and Mumbai, the identified hubs of thriving fintech and startup ecosystems in India to which we expanded our network.

This enabled tailoring of our program to relevant and high-level interactions, including meeting successful Indian fintech startups such as Zestmoney, Signzy and Razorpay, and engaging with accelerator and incubator spaces in Mumbai such as Zone Startups India at the iconic Bombay Stock Exchange tower and RISE Mumbai. swissnex India enabled the Swiss fintech innovators to access innovation offices of all three levels of banks that exist in India – State Bank of India (fully government owned and largest bank of India), Citibank (private international bank), Axis, HDFC and Yes bank (private Indian bank), with a comprehensive overview from six banks, three Indian fintech startups, six VC firms and five exclusive networking evenings for valuable takeaways from the startup tour.

Here’s what our Swiss delegates have to say on how this effort in unearthing emerging markets and expanding to relevant key players is unveiling the promising course of fintech in India –

As a venture capital investor, I am impressed with the untapped potential of India. 95% of the startups that we finance in Switzerland dont think of India as a target market. This is true across all industries, be it Fintech, Agritech, high-tech, Medtech etc. swissnex India is helping with bridging this gap in a pragmatic way. It is remarkable how Indian startups understand the need of mass markets and develop appropriate, scalable solutions. Swiss Startups usually focus on sophisticated products based on lots of intellectual property (IP), be it patents of trade secrets. Combining both strengths would be a dream!

Mike Hobmeier, Chief Investment Officer at Investiere