Meet 5 women entrepreneurs addressing unique pain points in the fintech space
The digital world has changed the way we dealt with bills and finances. Over the years, the spurt in digital payments has led to the growth of several fintech startups, including Paytm, BillDesk, and PhonePe.
The promising growth also reflects the country’s readiness towards digital finance. In fact, Invest India has shared that India has the highest fintech adoption rate and the overall transaction rate is likely to jump to $140 billion in 2023.
More entrepreneurs are now innovating to ease this transition.
Here are five women entrepreneurs, who have made a dent by starting up in niche areas within the fintech space.
Based in Gurugram and Hong Kong, Smriti Tomar’s startup InvestoAsia leverages blockchain technology to help retail investors to easily invest in international markets, especially in China and South Korea.
The platform facilitates saving, investing, lending, borrowing, and spending. It has features like international market exposure, automatic rebalancing, recurring deposits, and tax efficiency along with DIY financial tools to help self-direct personalised investment strategy.
Smriti has said InvestoAsia is a “financial lifestyle product” that aims to redefine personal finance with the power of other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
It levels the playing field in investment, usually restricted to High Networth Investors (HNIs).
A graduate in technology from NIT Bhopal, Smriti was always interested in finance. Prior to starting up, she worked at Citibank’s Banamex. She is certified by IBM and The Hong Kong University as a blockchain developer.
Drawing from experience studying abroad and managing finance through an interest-free overdraft bank in the UK, Henna Jain Tatia and her brother, Jaijash Tatia, started StuCred to address the financial needs of college students in India.
Launching the app in October 2018, they aim to help college students have access to formal financial inclusion and flexibility through a line of credit.
College students can use the app to avail instant and real-time loans without any human interaction. After a one-time identity and college authentication, students can borrow money at any time of the day on the app. They can borrow between Rs 500 and Rs 30,000 at zero percent interest rate, and repay within 30 days.
Based in Chennai, the startup claims to have registered more than 25,000 users so far.
Swati Lad’s fintech startup CreditMate provides solutions for lenders to improve their collection efficiency using technology, intelligence, and a network of collection partners.
With over 23 years of experience in digital marketing, Swati founded CreditMate four years ago with three other co-founders: Jonathan Bill, Ashish Doshi, and Aditya Singh.
Initially a two-wheeler lending aggregator, they pivoted to a collections’ software business one year ago.
Today, it operates as a cloud-based collections platform that enables lenders of all sizes across India, online or offline.
Based in Mumbai, the fintech startup registers an annual run rate revenue of $2 million. Notably, the B2B platform has Paytm as its strategic partner.
Pune-based startup Healthfin, which was founded by Sonia Basu and Parvaiz Hussain, offers financial assistance to patients who are under-insured or do not have medical insurance to go ahead with medical procedures.
To reduce the financial burden of hospitalisation, it has arranged for instant patient loans at hospitals through partnerships with various lending institutions.
Starting with just two hospitals in 2016, the health finance startup is currently operating across six major cities, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Delhi.
Their services are available at Global Hospitals, Apollo, Fortis, Wockhardt, Ruby Hall Clinic, and Sahyadri Group of Hospitals, among others.
In 2018, the startup raised $500,000 in its pre-Series A round from Axilor, Sprout Venture Partners, and HNI investors.
Khushboo Maheshwari felt the urge to start up during the second year of her MBA course at Harvard Business School (HBS).
After gaining experience by working with the CXO team of InMobi, she joined N/Core, an incubator for non-profit startups. There, she saw the financial stress faced by millions of Indians who work hard to earn a livelihood.
Along with Co-founder Agam Goyal, Khushboo founded online lending platform Kaarva to solve financial problems of tech-savvy, low-and-middle income and employed people.
With its services available round the clock, it offers earned income in addition to affordable loans and tools to save money.
The Bengaluru-based startup received a grant of Rs 20 lakh as part of accelerator programme Financial Inclusion Lab. In January 2019, it raised seed funding from renowned entrepreneurs in the Indian startup ecosystem, including InMobi’s Naveen Tewari and Yulu’s Amit Gupta, among others.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)