Fintech in India: neobanks, crypto exchanges and Google Pay loans

This week Finovate Global looks at developments in the Indian fintech industry. First, the news that Indian neobank Niyo has secured $100 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Accel and Lightrock India and also featured investments from Beams Fintech Fund, Prime Venture Partners and JS Capital, among others. Niyo, founded in 2015 by Vinay Bagri and Virender Bisht, will use the capital to support product innovation, marketing and branding, as well as grow its distribution footprint and add talent.

“We have always strived to deliver tangible value and an enjoyable experience for our customers,” Bagri said in a statement. “In the process, we are transforming the way Indian banks.” Co-founder Bisht highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the pace of digitization of financial services in the country. “We’re seeing massive tailwinds for digital products since COVID,” he noted.

Niyo works with banks to offer digital savings accounts and other banking services. The neobank serves four million customers through its banking and wealth management operations and says it is adding customers to its platform at the rate of 10,000 new users per day. With over $3 billion in transactions, Niyo claims it is the largest consumer-based neo-banking platform in India.

Earlier this month, Niyo introduced the country’s first all-digital salary account. Over the next three months, the company plans to offer additional banking products, including personal loans, credit cards and integrated currencies.

The growing interest in cryptocurrencies is another trend that has accelerated in recent years. To help more institutions take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital assets, Indian crypto exchange WazirX has unveiled new tools to help institutions create cryptocurrency exchanges.

“We can relate to you when you say – Building a crypto exchange is hard,” WazirX co-founder and COO Siddharth Menon wrote on the company’s blog earlier this week. “Although we learned it the hard way, we want to make it simple for you.”

by WazirX BUILD with WazirX will allow organizations to create their own crypto exchanges by leveraging WazirX. The program includes tools, support, guidance, access to angel and VC investors, and more. Exchanges built through WazirX’s new offering will provide access to over 300 of the most liquid markets and the ability to leverage WazirX’s custody and exchange infrastructure for cryptocurrency withdrawals and deposits.

“To be the global leader, we believe India should build more for Web3,” Menon added. “This is a billion dollar opportunity, and that’s why we at WazirX are here to support you.”

Founded in 2017 and recognized as India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX enables India-based cryptocurrency traders and investors to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and many other digital assets. The company was acquired by international cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain ecosystem Binance in 2019. Nischal Shetty serves as CEO.

From neobanks to cryptocurrencies to integrated finance, we now turn to the news that Google Pay users in India can now request and receive personal loans to their bank accounts through the Google Pay app. Loans of up to $1,332 (100,000 rupees) are available and can be repaid over a period of up to 36 months.

The new service is offered in partnership with India-based digital finance company DMI Finance, which will also determine eligibility for funding. The loans will be processed in “near real time” and aim to support financial inclusion by helping Indian consumers access short-term credit.

“Our teams have worked closely together to bring seamless, transparent credit to millions of Google Pay users,” said Shivashish Chatterjee, co-founder and co-CEO of DMI Finance. “We look forward to growing this new partnership in the years to come and making the promise of financial inclusion a reality for many millions more.”

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