Fintech Industry Reaches Maturity

It’s been roughly a decade since fintech has taken off as the innovation sector that we know today. The fledging startups garnered skeptical interest at best by the long-established players with much to prove. But 2019 and 2020 seems to have seen the market mature and may indicate it will become an important part of the finance industry.

2019 saw a huge shift towards more prudent startup investment, especially in fintech. Investment in early-stage fintech startups dropped off drastically but investment in growth-stage companies increased. Almost half of all investments made in 2019 were mega-rounds, $100 million or more, which all went to later-stage companies.

The shift from early-stage high-risk fast-growth companies to more developed and profitable companies shows people now view the market as more of a long term investment as opposed to a high-risk, high-reward gamble. 2020’s acquisitions of Plaid by Visa and Radius Bank by LendingClub add to the legitimacy of the market as a whole.

LendingClub is one of the oldest and biggest fintech companies and also the first to buy a traditional bank. By doing so, LendingClub will be able to offer traditional banking products like checking accounts. They will also be able to save $40 million dollars in banking fees a year.

Both LendingClub and Plaid are proving that fintech’s innovations fill a need and far from a gamble, partnerships and investments might even be vital to stay competitive. Plaid’s acquisition brings to light potential future partners or buyers of the 66 fintech unicorns that have a combined value of over $250 billion dollars.

The maturity of the market will soon greatly accelerate the financial industry as we’ll likely see more partnerships between fintech companies and the legacy players.  

Photo by ePaisa – enabling commerce

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Fintech Lending is the Future

Traditional banks still hold the majority of the market when it comes to consumer and business loans but global Fintech or “alternative loans” are quickly gaining ground.

Global Fintech lending is currently worth over 267 billion and growing, over 181 billion in 2017. The demand is growing and a lot of that is thanks to the lean nature of Fintech lending platforms. They do away with much of the bulk that is built into big established financial institutions. For instance, Fintech platforms pair borrowers and lenders through powerful algorithms that analyze user data and assess hundreds of risk factors. This means risk assessments are more accurate and can be reached in minutes, not days. That lean nature also means they can charge more favorable rates to borrowers compared to the more traditional lender.

This appeals to tech savvy business owners in developed nations like the US, but what is driving a lot of Fintech lending is actually in emerging markets. According to World Bank, an estimated 1.7 billion people in the world still don’t have access to traditional banking. That means millions of business owners and would-be entrepreneurs in important emerging markets like India, Bangladesh, and Mexico don’t have access to traditional credit. The need is obviously real and reflected in the growth of the industry.

The financial opportunity in lending to millions of businesses is great, but this movement proves to me that we are truly a global market. The ability to have an idea and create an entire business around it is no longer exclusive to developed nations. The fact that many more people will have the opportunity to grow their dreams resonates with my own entrepreneurial spirit. I believe we’ll be seeing more innovative ideas from the unlikeliest of places and I can’t wait.

(Photo by William Iven on Unsplash)

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Will Dark Kitchens Dominate the Food Industry?

Will Dark Kitchens Dominate the Food Industry?

Restaurants notoriously operate on thin margins and the initial costs to start a restaurant are immense. Over 60% of restaurants fail in the first few years which makes starting a restaurant seem like an impossible task. Dark kitchens are changing that.

Virtual kitchens, ghost kitchens, or dark kitchens all refer to the same thing, a kitchen that makes food exclusively for delivery. The concept sounds simple but has only been made mainstream because of the rise of mobile app ordering.

Dark kitchens eliminate most of the staff and don’t rely on customers eating quickly for others to be seated. Orders come in, food goes out, and that efficiency is what is significantly reduces operating costs and drive increased profits.

Originally, dark kitchens were relegated to converted shipping containers with little structure, hence the dark moniker. Today, entire companies like Cloud Kitchen and Kitchen United are built on renting out fully stocked kitchens for people to use temporarily at a fraction of the cost. This has enabled much more growth as entrepreneurs can try out concepts without any of the commitment.

The dark kitchen concept has proven so successful that established restaurants are investing in dark kitchens to streamline their delivery services as well as increase their delivery range. Huge chains like Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s are also committed to the idea, using dark kitchens in high delivery areas as well as ways to introduce their food to a new market without the high startup cost of opening traditional restaurants.

Critics of this rising movement fear that cheap delivery may become detrimental to the workforce as well as the greater economy. In order to be competitive, dark kitchens rely heavily on gig workers. The gig economy has long been criticized for the unfair treatment of workers.

Some experts also are concerned that dark kitchens will create a race to the bottom, trying to become the cheapest option at great cost to the economy. Eventually, delivery options might become cheap enough to make home cooking obsolete. This will have huge ripple effects across the food industry as a whole even leaving the supermarket industry vulnerable.

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Happy Deepavali!

Happy Deepavali!

Diwali a hectic, happy and joyful time of the year which in-essence is becoming more hectic as each year passes by.

The essence of the festival remains and the culmination of the late night parties, playing teen patti, catching up with old friends, socializing,  lavish evenings all cumulate to the final day where chanting of prayers to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi bringing everyone spent in cheating of the mantras bringing the family together and creating in essence everyone around as one especially with the force of the mantras which by some brilliance brings the prayers of centuries and inculcate within us the power of voice making everything you don on Diwali auspicious and lucky.

2014 was is a quite Diwali for me more due to the health of my father but nevertheless it was a enjoyable Diwali spending each possible moment with him and building a relationship and bond which gets more stronger with his failing health.

With love and prayers in my heart wishing Everyone a very Happy Deepavali!!

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Incubators to the rescue of start-ups

Incubators to the rescue of start-ups

Saturday, 16 November 2013 – 1:59pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Here’s some positive news for startups looking at hand-holding and initial support. At a time when startups are mushrooming in every direction, some crying themselves hoarse about lack of financing and guidance, the number of incubators in the country is also seeing positive growth.

Growing parallel with startups are incubators looking at offering them mentorship, capital, seed funding, tech and infrastructure support, and every other thing under the sun that is necessary to for them to rise to a certain level. This is welcoming in a city like Bangalore, where roughly 1000-1200 new ideas are born every year, across segments like cloud, clean tech, healthcare, microfinance etc.

“We provide the entire gamut of services needed while starting out including legal, engineering, infrastructure and funding support,” says Akash OP Aurora, chief visionary, IdeaTree, an incubator that started off last year.

IdeaTree has till date incubated about nine startups in various domains including a cricketportal and a travel portal. According to Aurora, their plan is to incubate 50 startups or ideas in a year.

“We usually incubate for a period of 12-18 months, by which time the startup should become independent and able to raise capital by itself,” says Aurora.

Budding entrepreneurs say incubation is one of the chief parameters of success while staring out. Adithya Pasupaleti, an engineer who is planning to start out his own firm, says “without hand-holding, it is near impossible to surge through the initial months when we are trying to put things together.”

According to Aruj Garg, who has started Bhukkad, a food venture supplying primarily to college students, getting the initial capital is also a big hassle. “I worked before starting out, and used Rs 25,000 from my savings.”

A US based incubator, Science Inc, recently set up its India office in Koramangala. The firm has till date incubated about 20 startups in the US. Though the India office mainly deals with providing tech support, the firm could be looking at incubating ideas in India as well, when opportunities come by.

“In the US we focus on developing new businesses, and providing entrepreneurs with operational strategy and capital. The Bangalore office started just six months ago,” says Vinay Agarwal from Science.

The importance of networking
Women comprise nearly 20% of the workforce in the tech sector in India. But women, techies feel, will take another 200 years to reach the 50% mark.  At a technology forum, women entrepreneurs and techies felt there do exist biases in the workplace, and to deal with them means “proving your technological competence continuously.” The key factor contributing towards more girls entering software and tech domains is the lucrative job offers and career charts dished out by leading firms. “Specially at the entry level there are exciting jobs that await women,” says Pearl Uppal, founder of 5ideas.in, a seed fund startup. But to climb the corporate ladder means a whole dose of networking. “Women need to network and talk to people around to get ahead,” says Anisha Singh, founder of a couponing company mydala.com.

Original Article by DNA Newspaper at: http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-incubators-to-the-rescue-of-start-ups-1920096 inc

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ePaisa – the Winner of TechCrunch India 2013

ePaisa – the Winner of TechCrunch India 2013

Of 750 companies that applied for our we have just 2 winners who will be at TechCrunch Delhi

After two days and incredible pitches from 750 companies TechCrunch Disrupt Bangalore 2013 announced ePaisa as one of the two winner. This year’s presentations included Semusi, Racknole, Vuukle, FluidMotion, GitGrow, 135 tech labs, Eyeballme, Social Hues, Careograf and 750 more – all amazing startups. But ePaisa and BrizzTV were declared as winners.

Today in at Taj, Bangalore the presenters took the stage to present their startup to this year’s panel of  judges who made the ultimate decision as to which of these promising companies would be the overall winner. The  panel of esteemed judges included Alok Mittal (Cannan Partners), Varsha Tagare (Qualcomm Ventures), Sharad Sharma (Orbit Change), Mahesh Murthy (Seed Fund), Nieren Shah (Norwest Venture Partners, (Dev Khare (Light Speed Ventures), Pearl Uppal (5ideas.in), Prashanth Prakash (Accel Partners), Sanjay Shah (Indian Angel Network), Karthik Reddy (Blume Ventures).

After a considerable time debating – the judges made their choice.

The judges report it was a tough decision, but it ultimately came down to the two companies.

So without any further ado, meet  TechCrunch Bangalore 2013 winner ePaisa.

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2010 – The year that changed everything!

2010 – The year that changed everything!

It came from nowhere and built up like a hurricane, manifested itself with immaculate force like nothing ever had in the past.

Changed my perception’s into reality & everything around it, humbled every belief of my supremacy and taught me that life, luck, power, money, businesses and most importantly relationships are Cyclical and only thing that stands the test of all the cycles is personal values, true beliefs, real friends (if you have 3 you are lucky), family (parents & younger brother) and most importantly inner strength, personal motivation and the will to fight.

Putting what Year 2010 means to me in simple words would be undermining its supremacy and the effect it will have to define my legacy and its learning’s that changed my perspective on friendship’s, relationships, life, material possession and most importantly to have built an uncanny the ability to filter noise.

Human strength to fight against all odds is usually read and heard about in books – I am living it.

To recognize what’s important and to know, who you are especially when everything you thought make you who you are vanishes into thin Air!

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