This week’s Finovate Global takes a look at developments in the Indian fintech industry. Leading off is news that Indian neobank Niyo has secured $100 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Accel and Lightrock India and also featured investment from Beams Fintech Fund, Prime Venture Partners, and JS Capital, among others. Niyo, founded in 2015 by Vinay Bagri and Virender Bisht, will use the capital to support product innovation, marketing, and branding, as well as increasing its distribution footprint and adding talent.
“We have always strived to offer tangible value and a delightful experience to our customers,” Bagri said in a statement. “In the process we are transforming the way India banks.” Co-founder Bisht highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the pace of digitization of financial services in the country. “We are seeing massive tailwinds for digital products since COVID,” he noted.
Niyo collaborates with banks to offer digital savings accounts and other banking services. The neobank serves four million customers via its banking and wealth management operations and says that it is adding customers to its platform at a rate of 10,000 new users a day. With more than $3 billion in transactions, Niyo claims it is the biggest consumer-based neo-banking platform in India.
Earlier this month Niyo introduced the country’s first, fully digital salary account. Over the next three months, the company plans to offer additional banking products including personal loans, credit cards, and integrated forex.
The soaring interest in cryptocurrencies is another trend that has accelerated in recent years. To help more institutions take advantage of the opportunities in digital assets, Indian crypto exchange WazirX has unveiled new tools to help institutions build cryptocurrency exchanges.
“We can relate to you when you say – Building a crypto exchange is difficult,” WazirX co-founder and COO Siddharth Menon wrote on the company’s blog earlier this week. “While we have learned it the hard way, we want to simplify it for you.”
WazirX’s BUIDL with WazirX program will enable organizations to build their own crypto exchanges leveraging WazirX. The program includes tools, support, guidance, access to angel and VC investors, and more. The exchanges built via WazirX’s new offering will feature access to 300+ of the highest liquidity markets, and the ability to leverage WazirX’s custody and exchange infrastructure for cryptocurrency withdrawals and deposits.
“To be the world leader, we believe that India should build more for Web3,” Menon added. “This is a billion-dollar opportunity, and that is why we at WazirX are here to support you.”
Founded in 2017, and recognized as India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX enables cryptocurrency traders and investors based in India to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and many other digital assets. The company was acquired by international cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem Binance in 2019. Nischal Shetty is CEO.
From neobanks to cryptocurrencies to embedded finance, we now turn to news that Google Pay users in India are now able to apply for and receive personal loans in their bank accounts via the Google Pay app. Loans of up to $1,332 (100,000 rupees) are available and can be repaid over a period of as many as 36 months.
The new service is being offered in partnership with India-based digital finance company DMI Finance, who also will determine eligibility for the financing. The loans will be processed in “near real-time” and are geared toward supporting financial inclusion by helping Indian consumers access short-term credit.
“Our teams have worked closely together to bring transparent and seamless credit to millions of Google Pay users,” DMI Finance co-founder and joint Managing Director Shivashish Chatterjee said. “We look forward to scaling this new partnership in the years to come and make the promise of financial inclusion a reality for many millions more.”
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Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Accounting app Binderr partnered with Latvian open banking platform Nordigen.
- Fairo teamed up with open banking solution provider Salt Edge to help freelancers in Romania better manage their banking needs.
- Germany-based insurtech insureQ announced a collaboration with French payments company Qonto.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Iraqi fintech ZainCash announced a partnership with Temenos.
- Cedar Management Consulting helped Islamic Bank of Oman launch new, digital-only offering.
- Arab News reported that investment in Egyptian fintechs grew by 3x last year.
Central and Southern Asia
- Pakistan-based fintech NayaPay secured $13 million in funding to support its messaging and payments app.
- Indian neobank and banking platform Fi surpassed the one million accounts milestone this week.
- Indian B2B buy now pay later company Actyv.ai raised $5 million in pre-Series A funding.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Plurall, a digital neobank based in Colombia and catering to the region’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, went live this week.
- Mexican corporate credit and expense management company delt.ai locked in $25 million in blockchain-based debt financing.
- Brazil-based neobank Neon achieved unicorn status after raising $300 million in Series D funding.
- Singapore-based finech M-DAQ announces plans to acquire B2B cross-border payments company Wallex.
- Visa and Vietnamese fintech VNPAY partnered with accelerate digital payment adoption in Vietnam.
- PayMongo, a payment gateway based in the Philippines, locked in $31 million in Series B funding.
- Bank of Kigali, the largest bank in Rwanda, went live with core banking technology from Temenos.
- South African financial services company Nedbank teamed up with ACI Worldwide.
- Kenya-based B2B platform MarketForce secured $40 million in Series A funding.
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