• Featured
  • Sep 5, 2021
  • 4 min read

New era in Indian fintech 🙌

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What’s brewing hot?

Cryptic Chinese — after beating up its tech giants and other businesses for trying to list on foreign exchanges, China is now opening up a new stock exchange in Beijing. Deets weren’t disclosed but Xi’s government says the exchange will focus on local SMEs, and we’re guessing he’s talking about local producers, manufacturers, and other service providers with a patriotic flair. FYI, China already has 2 other major exchanges, in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Nuggets from the IPO markets — couple listings kicked off in September — Ami Organics, a pharmaceutical API manufacturer, running three or so production facilities in Gujarat, saw its bid getting full by ~3x. Meanwhile, Vijaya Diagnostics, which runs pathology labs in South India failed to pull in a lot of enthusiasm, with barely 50% of shares being bid against. Still got a day more, but the buzz that we’d seen peak in August seems to be fizzling out a bit, or maybe the kids aren’t much into boring companies.

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New era in Indian fintech begins  🙌

What should you know — yesterday, 8 Indian banks rolled out a pilot program that creates a foundational system that will allow all citizens to carry their banking, financial, and transaction history with them, digitally.

Some hand-holding — imagine walking into a bank for a loan, or buying insurance online, and instead of producing a million documents, you can simply use an ID (like UPI, or login via a secure terminal), and all your info can be imported via 1 click, giving the bank or the insurer, or the lender ALL the info they need to understand your financial standing....

Now the digital applications around lending, financial management, financial analytics, and other stuff that can be powered using this data are limitless. HDFC, Kotak, ICICI, Axis, SBI, IndusInd, IDFC, and Federal are onboard now, with others to follow.

How big can this be — in 5 years, UPI is processing more than $60 billion in volumes a month, with 230+ banks onboard, which brought tremendous innovation downstream. Data portability compounds those possibilities.

What next — more banks are expected to join over the next few months. Expect a flurry of projects being built and funded here.


Wrapping up the week in Ventureland 💵

A startup building spiritual apps for India, ingeniously called AppsForBharat, wrapped up a $10 million Series A round from Elevation Capital, Sequoia and other notable angels.

AppsForBharat’s most successful app right now is SriMandir, a spiritual content platform with hymns, communities, podcasts, and other vernacular spiritual content, with over over a million downloads, and 500K monthly active users.

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Then, a big seed raise 🤑

Wealth management startup, Dezerv raised a sizable $7 million in seed funding from Elevation Capital, Matrix Partners and Kunal Shah among other angel investors. Dezerv basically offers personalized portfolio management services to high net worth individuals, trying to plug gaps left by DIY solutions and tipster stock investing culture.


Anti big tech wildfire is now spreading 🥱

What happened — after South Korea broke Apple and Google’s app store models, other countries and regions are arming up to challenge the big tech giants.

An antitrust suit was filed last night in India against Apple, by a small Indian non-profit, Together We Fight For Society, claiming that Apple’s 30% in-app payment processing fee is not only unfair, but draconian and responsible for thwarting innovation from small developers in India.

Then another one on the same day, another domino fell in Japan, when Apple decided to scrap its in-app payment mechanism to settle a 5 year dispute with Japan’s market regulator. Companies like Netflix, Spotify and Kindle will now be able to use alternative payment mechanisms starting next week, not paying Apple any fee.

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Bottomline — about time Apple and Google get some lawyers on retainers if they’re serious about defending the $25 billion or so they earn in fees from the app store.


Closing out — NFT mania meets Stonks mania 🤝

Redditors took over the internet after discovering meme-favorite stock GameStop is building a blockchain enabled gaming platform. GameStop, which has been promising a online gaming transition, is apparently hiring out a team, as usual, the news was unearthed by some anon citizen-detective stumbling upon some freaking links.

Why care — we’re just as confused with NFTs, but the idea that these “unique” graphic “creatures” could show up on mainstream media, movies, comics, digital graphic novels, online games, is leading mainstream optimism.


What else are we snackin’ 🍿

🔒 Adding jobs - Amazon will hire 8,000 more people in India across technology, customer service, management, and ops over the next 12 months.

💰 Big pot - Adani Green raised $750 million to execute on its agenda of 25GW in clean energy assets by 2025.


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