The IBM SmartCamp for FinTech 2016 saw select fintech startups get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their innovations to a panel of VCs, enterprise CIOs in the fintech space, and an audience of 250+ people, many of whom are key influencers in the sector. The event, held in Mumbai on August 6, 2016, was organised by the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program in association with Edelweiss – one of India’s leading diversified financial services conglomerates. This event was part of an initiative by both companies to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the fintech domain in India.
The applications for the SmartCamp were announced on July 7, 2016. Within two weeks, there were over a 100 applications, nearly half of which were shortlisted. Of these, a dozen had the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel comprising VCs and IBM and Edelweiss leadership, who shared their feedback and inputs.
For this initiative, Edelweiss Group, through its private equity and venture capital arm, is seeking to invest in early-stage fintech startups with strong management teams and sustainable business models. All the finalists will get an opportunity to engage with Edelweiss as a client and a potential investor.
Additionally, they will all enjoy extensive media coverage, including the opportunity to share their stories on the YourStory platform.
After extensive deliberation, the panel chose the top three startups. However, all the finalists will also be able to leverage the exposure they got from being a part of the SmartCamp.
At the event, Seema Kumar, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem and Startups; Radhesh Kanumury, Country Lead – IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM India & SA; and Rajiv Rai, Chief Digital Officer at Edelweiss announced the names of the winners and awarded the certificates.
The Top 3:
Winner: Finwizard Technology Pvt Ltd (Fisdom)
Fisdom is a mobile- and web-based ‘guided choice’ platform that simplifies financial investing and makes financial advice more accessible, understandable, and quick. By leveraging technology, it aims to provide transparent, objective, and personalised advice. Fisdom makes it very easy to become an investor (it is ‘KYC’ compliant through Aadhaar eKYC), get personalised recommendations for a specific end goal, digitally transact, and manage one’s portfolio in a tax-optimised and cost-efficient manner.
First runner-up: WhizDM Innovations Private Limited
The company has launched a smartphone app, Money View, which uses machine learning technology to extract financial transactional data from SMSes sent by banks, and automatically organises the financial information, without any user input. The app helps users manage their finances effortlessly, by keeping track of expenses, paying bills on time, and growing their savings by making sound investments.
Second runner-up: Signzy Technologies Private Limited
Signzy aims to make digital regulatory processes simpler, secure, and more compliant. The products include Digital Know Your Customer (KYC) APIs and Digital Contracting. Signzy’s APIs help companies comply with the RBI’s KYC norms and AML/CFT guidelines in an automated and hassle-free way using artificial intelligence. The company is also running some pilots using blockchain technology, which will allow financial service companies to decentralise their regulatory processes and make them more secure. Signzy is also planning to implement smart contracts on financial assets, which may make use of blockchain/UPI or both.
The other finalists (in alphabetical order) were:
Avenues Payments India Private Limited
The company has two solutions. The B2C platform called RemitGuru.com offers round-the-clock access to both a mobile- and internet-based platform to send money from any bank account in the world to another account in any other country. Its specially-designed AML, KYC & compliance platform takes care of most of the processes and requirements in a single window in near real-time.
The B2B option is a white-labeled solution for banks across the world. If each bank were to build its own system, it would cost anywhere between half-a-million dollars to $1 million, if not more. This solution is available at a fraction of the capital cost with fully-loaded compliance, marketing, customer service and operations tools, which have been tried and tested for millions of transactions across multiple geographies and currencies.
DSYH solves the biggest pain point of reconciliation in the e-commerce seller ecosystem, and serves as a central pillar for reconciliation between marketplaces, logistics, payment gateways, and sellers. The company offers a single-window SaaS platform running on smart algorithms and ruleboxes showing live pre-shipping profitability to sellers, and also gives a master reconciliation report for all transactions happening in the e-commerce space.
ftcash enables businesses, merchants, or home-based entrepreneurs in India who own a feature phone or smartphone to receive online payments securely, conveniently, and cost-effectively. The platform is built upon the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts of the merchants to create a real-time payment solution. The company delivers a product ideally suited for SMEs, offline micro-merchants, and remote businesses currently underserved by traditional payment mechanisms. They are converting cash to digital payments, thereby creating unique transaction history, which didn’t exist earlier. ftcash will provide pre-approved advances/loans, which can be disbursed at the click of a button, and which can be uniquely paid back from the merchants’ daily transactions, like a daily EMI.
Lendbox has created a P2P lending network and a credit marketplace that addresses the underserved borrowers and India’s investment-hungry retail investors who are seeking new avenues to invest and create wealth. Lendbox has created a proprietary data analytics engine that takes into account over 200 data points of each borrower, from his financials to his online behaviour or his residential status, among others, and forms an initial opinion on the borrower’s character profile before the experienced risk assessment team gives the final go-ahead. A good borrower can get a loan sitting at home within days rather than having to deal with bureaucratic financial institutions that take days and mounds of paperwork to process a loan.
Musk has built an intelligent platform that manages the entire lifecycle of supply chain finance programme on an end-to-end basis. The cloud-based platform automates the entire discounting process, through corporate / bank ERP integration and digital supplier onboarding, to significantly cut down the cost of operations. Use of machine learning algorithms and advanced credit scoring models that analyse buyer-supplier transaction data on a 24×7 basis help lending partners accurately identify risks of collusion and supplier default. Such technology-driven cost reduction and improved fraud detection makes the company’s supply chain programmes scalable and effective.
ORO Wealth is a provider of automated wealth-management tools that enable retail investors and financial intermediaries to easily access high-quality, unbiased advice, and investment support. ORO is focussed on the $270 billion Indian financial assets industry, which is expected to grow at 31 percent per annum. ORO’s tools also have the potential to go global and target the $294 trillion global financial assets industry.
Rubique is an online marketplace for financial products offering a wide range of loan products and end-to-end loan fulfillment to individuals and MSMEs. Rubique has introduced a tech-led lending solution, which is unique in terms of its matchmaking algorithm and direct integration with financial institutions’ lending systems. With this technology solution, the model is focused on disbursement rather than mere lead generation, allowing customers to get the best deal in the quickest possible time, while lowering the cost for customer acquisition for the financial institution.
The company’s software Khemeia, is a fully automated extraction, semantic tagging, and conversion solution, creating content injectable into analytics platforms. This means a full set of company accounts can be processed in 30 minutes, as against the four hours a manual operation would take.
The judges on the panel were Sanjay Mehta, an angel investor; Anil Joshi, Managing Partner – Unicorn India Ventures; Chetan Naik, Vice President – Enterprise and Commercial Business IBM; Harish Mehta, Founder – Onward Group; Padmaja Ruparel, President – Indian Angel Network (IAN); Pranav Parikh, Managing Partner & Head – Edelweiss Private Equity & Venture Capital Funds; Anshu Kapoor, Executive Vice President – Edelweiss; Kalpana Maniar, President & Group CIO – Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd; Smita Aggarwal, Director – Omydyar India Advisors and Arihant Patni, MD – Patni Financial Advisors.