Four FinTech Start-Ups That Are Championing Financial Inclusion In India

India
By:: 
Mythili Mamidanna

Sixty percent of Indians are unbanked and ninety percent of small businesses have no links to formal financial institutions.  Yet a staggering 80% of Indians own mobile phones, and 32% will own a smartphone by 2017. The Indian Government is prioritizing financial inclusion through schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar enrollment, and payment bank licenses, and fintech entrepreneurs are emerging around the country. 

This presents a huge opportunity for FinTech companies in India (ventures using technology to redefine existing financial systems and make them more effective) that leverage these technologies to promote financial inclusion.

Check out four innovative FinTech social ventures that are championing financial inclusion in India. 

Shiksha Finance  

1. Shiksha Finance

India has a student population of over 400 million, of which only 260 million is enrolled in schools. In India, education is seen as the key to unlocking new opportunities for the next generation.

While the urban elite have easy access to loans to study abroad, the poor are hardly able to fund their children’s schooling, leading to an increasing number of out-of-school children in the country. Shiksha Finance seeks to bridge the ever-widening inequality gap by offering student education loans to middle and lower-income parents to finance their children’s’ fees from nursery to high school. They also provide financing to educational institutions.

Started by two charted accountants, VL Ramakrishnan and Jacob Abraham, Shiksha Finance hopes to enrich India’s human skills, focusing on the bottom of the pyramid, by creating access to relevant products and services and thereby assuring quality education for all.

Shiksha Finance’s work has helped improve education infrastructure and reduce school dropout rates. To date, they have visited close to 2000 schools and are present in six locations in the state of Tamil Nadu. Shiksha has disbursed loans to 108 schools.  From a team of 2 to 20 in a year, this social enterprise also invested in people, process and technology in its growth journey. This has enabled them to disburse Rs 1150 lakhs (USD 1.73 million) with over 180 customers. 

ProfitBooks India

2. ProfitBooks 

Millions of small businesses in India don’t use formal accounting tools. Even today, over 40% of small businesses use pen and paper or manual modes of recording transactions. About 90% of SMEs have employee size of less than 10 and don’t require a full time accounting person.

Mohnish and Harshal Katre felt a strong need to offer them cost effective, simple solution of recording transactions and equipping them to grow further.

Hence, they founded ProfitBooks - a simplified cloud accounting software designed for the average non-accountant business owner and for accountants in small organizations. It offers tools to create invoices, record business expenses, track inventory and calculate taxes, thus saving businesses 240 hours each year.

ProfitBooks currently serves over 1000 customers in India, with 65% of customers being first time users of any formal accounting tool. The simplicity of ProfitBooks allows them to be disciplined and organised in business finances. ProfitBooks aims to serve 1 million SMEs by 2025. 

Kyash

3. Kyash

Since most of India pays only by cash, many online businesses are facing payment-related issues when expanding. Sandeep Koujalgi and Vinuth Madinur saw this as an opportunity to enable the majority of India to access newer products and services by paying via a neighborhood convenience store - something that they are already used to doing.

Kyash has been designed such that any business, no matter how small, can get a country-wide retail network to get its payments collected in an automated and reliable manner. This means instant access to a market of several hundred million. For customers, it is a reliable and safe way to pay - with buyer protection features. For their cash collection partners, Kyash becomes an additional source of income.

Kyash is extremely passionate about making payments accessible to the 200 million Indians who have internet access but are unable to pay online. Their vision is to build a country-wide infrastructure that business will come to rely on to transact with most of their customers. 

Catalyst Labs FinTech

4. EasyKrishi

EasyKrishi (formerly Catalyst Labs) is a mobile software platform that connects small-scale suppliers with agricultural bulk buyers, verifying the variety and grade of the product and assuring quality control to bulk buyers. By aggregating demand, EasyKrishi lowers procurement costs by decreasing the number of middlemen involved and solves cash flow issues for farmers.  

Farmers designate a leader that registers with EasyKrishi through their Aadhar (a unique individual identification number) number and inputs all goods to be sold. The goods are then placed on a digital market accessible to EasyKrishi’s network of buyers.

Interestingly, the founders of EasyKrishi found that farmers only tended to collaborate well when there is an economic activity due to barriers based on caste or political affiliation. Creating virtual groups helps breaks down the age old caste barriers to deliver economic advantage through aggregated demand.

By leveraging the Aadhar network, EasyKrishi also provides accountability to producers and more consistency to bulk buyers. So far, the social enterprise has connected with 4329 farmers and over 300 tonnes of commodity have been traded directly between farmer groups and bulk buyers, with farmers benefiting with an average 10-12% increase in selling prices.

These four FinTech social enterprises are part of the cohort of 10 start-ups that completed the ‘Vilcap FinTech India 2015’ accelerator programme run by Village Capital in partnership with DBS Foundation and PayPal.

You may also like

Gamechangers
Mumbai's 22 million people produce 10,000 tonnes of waste each day. But one social enterprise (SE) has an eco-friendly waste management solution and is giving dignity to waste collectors. Meet Sampun(e)arth . “There is no such thing as 'away'. When we throw something away, it must go somewhere”- Annie Leonard...
India
Gamechangers
创新包罗万象,从助力听障儿童体现价值的解决方案到将蕈类变成家园的科技,以下将展示十二家最具社会创新的创投企业。 为促进社会影响,DBS 基金会提出每年为创造积极的社会影响的高潜力社会企业颁发社会企业补助。 我们很高兴为大家介绍 2016 年的获选企业。12 家鼓舞人心的变革先锋应运而生,着力打造更佳亚洲。 磁石世纪(北京)投资管理有限公司 | 中国 早期干预是帮助听障儿童掌握学校所需的基本语言表达能力的关键。磁石世纪(北京)投资管理有限公司为这些孩子的父母提供言语康复训练和材料,助力听障儿童体现价值,并引起更多人关注。 GIVE.asia | 新加坡 GIVE.asia 是社会捐献平台,利用技术为社会谋福利。借助数据技术,他们帮助公益组织和慈善机构降低筹款成本,同时简化捐赠程序。 Givo | 香港 Givo 是一款移动应用程序,致力于简化捐赠程序,同时帮助慈善机构与捐助者实现良好沟通。任何人都可以为自己关注的事业创建定制社交媒体新闻,并分享给朋友和家人,让慈善真正群体化。 Greensole | 印度 Greensole 在为大众提供人性化足部保护方面成效斐然,同时海致力于减少不必要的垃圾掩埋。他们与边缘化的社区合作变废为宝,将废弃鞋转变为环保鞋,助力印度贫困偏远地区改善生活品质和工作环境。 Homage | 新加坡 Homage 为护工和老年人提供匹配平台,重新定义了社会工作的社会性。同时,这种双向对等市场也为家庭成员和护工提供良好的沟通平台。 LongGood (龍骨王有限公司) |中国台湾 LongGood 通过游戏化设计和可佩戴设备帮助患者实现快乐治疗、安心康复。他们的虚拟康复系统十分逼真,出院的病人可在舒适的家中完成“远程康复”。 Mycotech | 印度尼西亚 印度尼西亚每年产生 1.2 亿多吨的农业废物。Mycotech 的创新技术把蕈类变成客厅,将农业废物转化为环保、无化学成分的建材。 Pionovasion | 中国 自然灾害期间,偏远农村地区的居民生活往往受灾最为严重。Pionovasion 开发出价格实惠的智能太阳能设备(如太阳能充电器和太阳能灶),提供清洁电力,在黑暗的日子为人们点亮光明。 Re-Materials | 印度 印度贫民窟的许多临时住所不能抵挡恶劣天气,并面临随时崩塌的危险。价格实惠的 Re-Material 制成的屋顶,把贫民窟和村庄变成安全的庇护所,为发展中的印度提供居住地。 Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh | 新加坡 Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh 帮助刑释人员重获新生。在自己的餐馆为他们提供工作,帮助他们重新融入社会。创始人 Jabez Tan 本身也是一名刑释人员,致力于为员工提供全方位支持,包括免费住房、培训课程和医疗保险。 WateROAM | 新加坡 WaterROAM 采用耐用、实惠的滤水器,在数秒内提供急需的安全饮用水,解决东南亚社区农村和灾区的用水问题。他们的 ROAMfilter 设计简单,无需电力即可运行,能快速有效地服务大型社区。 Zaya Learning Labs | 印度 Zaya Learning Labs 为互联网普及率低和缺乏高素质教师的社区打造世界级教育环境。他们的混合学习模式价格实惠,以每月不到 1 美元的费用解决了印度下一代的教育问题。 DBS 基金会简介: DBS 基金会 专注表彰优秀社会企业,旨在建立更具包容性的亚洲。该基金会立足于 DBS 银行,满足亚洲不断发展的社会需要,扩大影响力。 借助我们的社会企业资助计划,社会企业可以测试产品的可行性或者试验原始模型,改善现有流程或添加关键能力,以实现可持续发展,或扩大现有业务,产生更大的社会影响。了解更多 2015 年获选企业详情。
Gamechangers
Climate change is real and it’s accelerating. Five social enterprises are responding to planet earth’s SOS with revolutionary eco-friendly solutions to tackle waste and help save the earth. From homes made of mushrooms to ink made of air pollution, here are some of Asia For Good’s favourite innovations from across...

Like what you see? Sign up for our newsletter. SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Top Hits

Live Consciously
Shopping for dad can be a real struggle. But don’t worry, because we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite sustainable gifts for Father’s Day that are bound to please the best dad in the world – your dad. No ties please. [Photo Credit: LSTN ] ZEBRA WOOD SATELITE SPEAKER...
Gamechangers
[This article is also avaliable in: Traditional Chinese (TW) | Traditional Chinese (HK) | Simplified Chinese (CN)] To accelerate social impact, the DBS Foundation gives out Social Enterprise Grants each year to high-potential social ventures that are creating positive social impact. We are pleased to introduce our Grant Awardees for...
Gamechangers
From edible water bottles to a wearable on-demand masseuse, check out these five cool social innovations that are not only helping make our lives easier but also tackling global issues in new and creative ways 1. Eco-friendly mosquito traps that combat Zika and Dengue fever [Image Courtesy: Biotrap ] Biotraps...