Village Capital is an early stage investment fund and accelerator – with an aim to engage participating ventures with industry-leading mentors, sector-specific investors, and other leading FinTech companies (financial technology startups). In 2015, they conducted ‘FinTech India 2015’ accelerator program in partnership with DBS foundation and Paypal.
ProfitBooks was one of the 10 FinTech startups shortlisted for this 3 month program which was focused on ventures having intersection of financial inclusion and technology. It was a 3rd consecutive year when ProfitBooks earned a significant recognition. Earlier, ProfitBooks was regional finalists in Microsoft BizSpark in 2013 and had won Hot100 Startups award in 2014.
Throughout the program, the entrepreneurs received mentoring from industry experts and potential investors. At the end of the program, 10 ventures ranked each other in a unique process called peer-selection.
Here is a list of top FinTech companies in India that participated in this program:
1) Shiksha Finance
Shiksha Financial is an education lending company offering financing for low-income students and the educational institutions that provide education to those students.
Parents can obtain loans to help finance their children’s education. These loans range from Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 30,050 $150 – $450) and must be paid back in 6-10 months. Loans may be used for tuition payments, books, uniforms, or living arrangements. Repayment will be linked to an individual’s cash flow. Private schools can obtain secured loans against assets or unsecured loans for urgent needs. These loans can range from Rs. I Lakh – 73.5 Lakhs (—$1,500 – $110,000) and the life of the loan can range from 6 months to 5 years.
2) Catalyst Labs
Catalyst Labs is a mobile software platform to connect small-scale suppliers in aggregate with agricultural bulk buyers, verifying the variety and grade of the product and assuring quality control to bulk buyers. Catalyst Labs reduces the dead weight loss generated by India’s convoluted network of middlemen between farmers and the market.
Catalyst Labs has created a mobile app for farmers that gives them access to Catalyst Labs’ network of bulk buyers. This saves farmers the ability to negotiate directly with bulk buyers by aggregating small suppliers together to bypass India’s numerous middlemen. Farmers designate a leader that registers with Catalyst Labs through their Aadhar number and inputs all goods to be sold. The goods are then placed on a digital market accessible to Catalyst Labs’ network of buyers. Once a purchase has been made, Catalyst Labs verifies the quality of goods sold before they are delivered.
By linking individuals and businesses to the Aadhar network, Catalyst Labs also provides accountability to producers and more
consistency to bulk buyers.
ProfitBooks is a simplified cloud accounting software designed for the average non-accountant business owner and for accountants in small organizations. It offers tools to create beautiful invoices, record business expenses, track inventory and calculate taxes saving businesses 240 hours each year.
ProfitBooks is growing fast in India and it had 6000+ companies on its platform in Dec 2015. Apart from India, ProfitBooks is increasingly being used by businesses from emerging markets such as Middle East, Singapore, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Modern businesses like technology startups and eCommerce marketplace sellers prefer ProfitBooks for its simplicity and automation. They have recently integrated payment gateway to help their customers get paid faster.
Kyash is an online payment gateway enabling e-merchants to accept cash payments.
Kyash provides a payment gateway for eCommerce providers which allows their clients to collect cash up front before delivery. Consumers select Kyash as their form of payment at checkout and are given both an eight-digit code and a list of nearby outlets where they can pay in cash. When they go to a nearby location, usually a convenience store, they give their code to the cashier and pay the required amount. The online merchant is notified immediately via an API that the payment has been made and the order is processed.
GyanDhan is a student lending platform creating a unique approach and a new way of evaluating Students’ credit based on their potential.
GyanDhan evaluates credit-worthiness for talented students by using academic records, IQ scores, target institutions, and other factors in conjunction with traditional determinants of credit quality. In contrast traditional methods rely heavily on credit history and available collateral, which when used as the sole basis for lending decisions, disadvantages and undervalues young borrowers.
Once the process is complete, GyanDhan suggests the optimal terms for each student on their platform, allowing institutional and individual investors to review and bid for students they want to fund. Further, to address the financial institutions’ concern of willful defaults by internationally mobile students, GyanDhan has developed a structure for cross-border credit reporting of loans.
StoreKey is a bulk buying program that aggregates the demand of kirana stores (small retailers), bringing them better prices and regular deals, with a long term focus on digitizing these stores.
experience in finance.
StoreKey provides a mobile application where kirana store owners can aggregate their procurement orders with other local retailers, creating greater shipping efficiencies and market power for smaller stores when negotiating with fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) wholesalers.
Hummingbill is a Gmail extension that sends automated reminders, increasing on time-collection rates over 25% for services companies and product suppliers/distributors.
The Gmail extension modifies users Gmail Inbox so there is a “Accounts Receivable” and “Accounts Payable” dashboard within their email. This interface fits into their existing workflow and replaces the excel spreadsheet they would otherwise use to manage their Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.
ftcash is a mobile app that allows smafl cash-based merchants to gain access to digital payments systems.
Ftcash has created a digital payments platform that is easy to use, targeting merchants who are still offline. The iOS and Android friendly apps allow payments for both customers and merchants. Through the app, a customer can find a merchant, make an order, and once the order is processed, enter credit or debit card information into the app to make the payment.
Furthermore, the product allows for customers to find merchants specific to their needs whether that is grocery goods, catering needs, or one of many other possibilities. The merchant can also pay bills through the platform, offer incentives like coupons and rewards to loyal customers, and advertise their service.
FineTrain is a credit-enabling platform for small businesses, providing lenders with bulk leads supported with accurate business data, which helps lower their due diligence costs.
FineTrain provides a transparent lending platform that allows SMBs and financial institutions to connect. Upon registration, SMBs provide income patterns, past credit history, compliance readiness, and business vintage. Eligibility is then assessed using data-driven analytics specific to the SMB’s particular industry.
If they are eligible for a loan, FineTrain selects the right funding partner among banks or non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). FineTrain underwrites a part of the risk by way of a non fund based instrument to provide credit enhancement on the loans it is recommending to lenders.
AirtimeUp provides a simple and 2G native application where the village-level retailer can top-up mobile phones or Direct to Home (DTH) accounts of the end users in 60 seconds or less. The AirtimeUp platform has integrated with a renowned carrier aggregator which provides 100% coverage to all mobile operators in India.
The village-level retailer
recharges balances in a web-based application called “AirtimeUp Wallet” as needed and uses the balance to disburse minutes to the end user’s mobile phone or DTH accounts instantly.