Financial Inclusion Lab announces fifth cohort of startups developing innovations for the under-served

The Financial Inclusion Lab is an acceleration program of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative of CIIE.CO, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JP Morgan, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and executed in collaboration with MSC Consulting. The lab identifies and supports startups that improve the financial health of low-income communities through mentorship, market research, access to networks, capital, and other supports to build and scale their solutions.

Over the past three years, the lab has supported 33 startups across four cohorts that have served a total of more than 20 million clients and raised more than $ 50 million in funding since their participation in the lab. For its fifth cohort, the Lab selected nine startups building inclusive solutions for low and middle income segments. These startups work on credit, savings, insurance, health, market access and associated technology-driven financial solutions that benefit underserved segments such as farmers, artisans, temporary workers. , micro-entrepreneurs and mobile phone users.

Startup Details

Credit Haat: A A technology platform that brings together multiple lenders (fintechs and NBFCs) that can serve users of all categories, and an assisted operations model to help users complete the loan application process. The platform helps users obtain loans from $ 6.50 to $ 13,000, with features that enable low and middle income segments of India to access formal credit, especially in small towns. . The platform has over 500,000 registered users, the majority of whom are not in the top 6 cities.

CreditHaat operates in a B2B fashion by allowing partners to integrate its “service” (technology, operations and lender relationships), to offer credit to their users / employees. One of these implementations is to offer CreditHaat as a platform for agents (sahayaks) to generate income by helping people within their social networks get loans.

Team: Tanuj Sinha, Awdhesh Tiwary

Qonect: One digital health platform that provides services like instant medical loans, digital health cards for instant drug and medical bill discounts, electronic lab test reports, insurance claims assistance and other health-related services.

The Manipur-based startup is currently dealing with an underserved region of northeast India, which has one of the weakest health insurance penetrations in the country. Most of the e-pharmacy and medical loan players have a negligible presence in this region.

Team: Lian Thangvung, Binod Mutum

FLYK: FLYK has developed the concept of Combined Liability Network which is used with alternative data to provide individual short term loans to its members. Such a mechanism links a member’s credit services to the credibility and repayment behavior of its global network. Additionally, FLYK’s mobile app guarantees a fully digital loan journey and has completed over 1,200 credit cycles in the past year.

By combining alternatives with data on share capital, FLYK is able to offer larger loans at lower interest rates. Its community-based approach to credit underwriting inherently increases the number of points of contact with customers, which improves product knowledge, increases FLYK’s reach and dramatically reduces acquisition costs and defaults.

Team: Apratim Ganguli, Prafful Jagtap, Akshay Patil

MissCallPay: A Voice-based UPI payment interface using multifunction phone without the presence of hardware terminals such as POS or QR code, internet or proximity to merchant / recipient. Currently, half a billion Indians use multifunction phones. They can only talk or listen, so it becomes difficult for them to read the instructions when making payments.

Using the MissCallPay app, a user can transact in 12 local languages ​​without proximity by placing a missed call on a merchant-specific virtual phone number and then receiving a reminder to enter the amount and PIN UPI. Previously, the startup was a winner of the NPCI Grand Challenge for payments by phone.

Team: Mitesh Thakker, Harshil Shah

Mool: The middle income segment with an annual income of Rs 2 to 5 lakh does not have access to the right financial products or information about the right financial products that can increase their wealth and suffers from expensive unsecured lending practices.

Mool is a multilingual application that provides savings and investment, credit and insurance solutions to the low and middle income segment. Mool distributes the incoming funds into different baskets such as savings accounts, liquid funds, insurance and long-term investments according to the needs and requirements of each user. They have kirana store pickup points and built-in financial education content to increase awareness of financial health and wellness. Currently, Mool has 350 approved users and has partnered with various banks to provide these financial services.

Team: Abhinav Nayar, Karan Bharadwaj

Microfinance.ai: Microfinance.ai is developing a digital platform for preferred local language users to benefit from digital financial services via their mobile and help micro-lenders. They aim to digitize the overall operations of MFIs that are currently working with lower profit margins, lack the resources to invest in technology, and are primarily driven by a huge workforce.

The startup plans to have a loan application based on the local language and voice user interface for micro-borrowers and a web platform for micro-lenders that allows them to manage the borrower profile, add alternative data for underwriting, integrating the credit score and also providing analysis on the loan. by default via their AI.

Team: Kapil Patil, Swati Sinha

Arboreum: Arboreum enables access to affordable formal credit for underserved credit markets using the structure and data of supply chain networks.

Currently targeting small and marginal farmers, Arboreum offers a scalable, anchored funding model through its credit union-as-a-service model leveraging the concepts of social responsibility and microfinance.

Team: Gaurav Singhal, Vishal Hemrajani

Grey matter: Greymatter provides affordable finance and access to quality agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers, through the panchayat-level community finance and trade model.

Greymatter works with suppliers of agricultural inputs and networks of small farmers. It acts through the village councils (panchayat) on an innovative trade and finance model to provide smallholder farmers with access to affordable credit and quality agricultural inputs. This enables beneficiaries to receive quality agricultural input products and services that are otherwise not available to them due to the fragmentation of demand in rural areas.

Team: Neetesh Singh Thakur

Yes ! Poho: One Digital platform based on social engagement where content, social interaction and personalization converge to deliver products based on individual tastes and preferences, with the aim of enabling increased incomes and better socio-economic conditions for craftsmen.

The startup gives artisans links to the market and information that allows them to better understand customer preferences and demand. For customers, it offers unique features like personalization, virtual trials, and assisted shopping that build trust and improve the overall experience at significantly lower prices.

Team: Raghuram Kuchibhatla, Meenakshi Dubey

About BII and the Financial Inclusion Lab

Launched in 2018 by CIIE.CO of IIM Ahmedabad, the Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) helps tech entrepreneurs through the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up phase to develop inclusive solutions. The initiative includes fellowships, sprints, incubations, accelerators, seed funds and other support programs to create a conducive end-to-end ecosystem that brings inclusive, for-profit businesses to life. .

The Financial Inclusion Lab, a key part of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, offers personalized and differentiated support to each startup, which includes prototype capital, mentorship by distinguished practitioners and industry experts, opportunities for partnership with financial and other organizations, training hosted by faculty members and experts from IIM Ahmedabad, access to scale-up capital through the Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund, cloud credits, legal services, marketing and other ancillary services. MSC Consulting, an international financial inclusion consultancy, provides startups with high-quality advice and insight into low and middle income segments.


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