Financial technologies such as mobile wallets, online banking, or payment apps that change the way consumers and businesses manage their finances are on the rise, with an adoption rate of 64% worldwide and a massive 87% in India, according to Invest India.
In India there are over 2,100 fintechs, the companies that develop such technologies, two-thirds of them less than five years old, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon are the cities with the greatest concentrations of them.
One of those companies, Paytm, is worth over $10 billion according to CB Insights, while according to BCG/FICCI another seven are valued at over $1 billion each and 44 more are worth over $100 million.
Fintechs aren’t just for consumers: They help enterprises too, providing CIOs with solutions for cross border payments, digital lending, finance-specific conversational AI, payment gateways, PoS (point-of-sale) solutions, management apps, account automation, loan application and more.
Here are eight of the hottest Indian fintechs for CIOs to keep an eye on.
Year Founded: 2010
Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
What it does: Paytm offers full-stack payments and financial solutions to consumers, offline merchants, and online platforms. Its ‘Paytm for Business’ app is a payment platform for businesses and merchants, allowing them to track payments, maintain a ledger of payments and generate a unique QR code for the business. Oh, and it also offers Vaccine Finder, a tool for individuals to check the availability of vaccines in their area.
Competitors: Razorpay, FreeCharge, MobiKwik, PayPal
Why it’s a hot fintech: It is the highest-valued fintech company in India at $16 billion according to CB Insights. It is expected to head for an IPO in November 2021, with its parent company One97 Communications planning to issue fresh shares worth $1.6 billion, and perhaps as much as $3 billion.
Year Founded: 2013
Founder: Harshil Mathur, Shashank Kumar
What it does: A payment solution for businesses to make and receive payments via credit card, debit card, net banking, UPI, and popular wallets. Its banking arm RazorpayX helps businesses get access to fully functional current accounts, make payouts and automate payroll compliance.
Competitors: Paytm, BillDesk, Cashfree, FreeCharge, MobiKwik, PayPal
Why it’s a hot fintech: CB Insights valued Razorpay at $3 billion after it raised $160 million from Sequoia India and Singapore-based GIC in April 2021. Razorpay intends to use this funding to expand its business to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. It also intends to acquire a SaaS firm for merchant management. Razorpay plans to hire 650 employees this year, of which 350 will join engineering and product teams. In May, Twitter partnered with Razorpay to make available a feature called ‘Tip Jar’ that allows users to make payments by redirecting them to Razorpay’s platform.
Year Founded: 1998
Founder: Lokvir Kapoor; Rajul Garg; Tarun Upaday
What it does: Pine Labs provides PoS software solutions and caters to large, mid-sized, and small merchants. It has also launched PoS machines for offline merchants. Its cloud-based platform offers a wide range of payment acceptance and merchant commerce solutions including enterprise automation systems such as inventory management and customer relationship management.
Competitors: Paypoint, Mswipe
Why it’s a hot fintech: CB Insights valued Pine Labs at $3 billion. In May 2021, Pine Labs raised $285 million in funding, a month after it acquired Fave, a Southeast Asian consumer fintech platform. Earlier in the year it launched AllTap, an app for small merchants to immediately start accepting digital payments on their NFC-enabled smartphone without the need for any additional hardware.
Year Founded: 2014
Founder: Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan
What it does: Provides short-term working capital loans and company loans to MSMEs within 72 hours with minimum paperwork. Helps entrepreneurs to concentrate on their business by enabling capital funding accessible.
Competitors: MoneyTap, Capital Float, SMEcorner, U GRO capital
Why it’s a hot fintech: Lendingkart leverages robust in-house technology tools based on big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to evaluate creditworthiness. Lendingkart has launched a co-ending SaaS Platform called ‘Lendingkart 2gthr’ which enables banks and NBFCs to seamlessly onboard within 2 weeks and disburse unsecured loans to MSMEs across India. In December 2020, it announced the extension of its Zero Touch technology to its business partners and vendors, enabling automated invoice generation, real-time approval, and instant payout for its services.
Year Founded: 2015
Founder: Akash Sinha and Reeju Datta
What it does: Cashfree provides Indian businesses with services for payment collections, vendor and worker payouts, and instant loan disbursements.
Competitors: Razorpay, Billdesk, CCAvenue, and PayU
Why it’s a hot fintech: The company plans on expanding its operations across the country, beyond the existing offices. In November 2020 it raised $35 million in funding, and then in June 2021 the State Bank of India invested an undisclosed amount. Cashfree’s products are used in other countries including the US, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. It uses APIs to provide enterprise-friendly solutions including bank transfer services and payouts as a service for business bank accounts.
Year Founded: 2016
Founder: Ujjwal Jain
What it does: WealthDesk enables investment, either directly or through brokers, in portfolios of equities and exchange-tradable funds (ETFs) created by registered investment advisors.
Competitors: Groww, Zerodha
Why it’s a hot fintech: In June 2021, WealthDesk has closed an early $3.2 million funding round that it plans to use to hire more talent and invest in R&D. It aims to build a technology platform for asset and wealth management in addition to broking. WealthDesk has launched Optimiser, a comprehensive portfolio analytics and optimization tool in partnership with OpenQ by Quantech Capital. The tool will help investors optimize their portfolio in a process-oriented manner.
Year Founded: 2012
Founder: Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani, Aditya Sengupta, Harshad Sharma
What it does: Instamojo provides an online payment gateway solution to businesses. MojoCapital from Instamojo provides short term credit to MSMEs to fulfill everyday business-related financial requirements through a bite-sized micro credit facility. Its mojoXpress provides logistics solutions for the day-to-day delivery requirements of MSMEs.
Competitors: Razorpay, CCAvenue, BillDesk, PayPal
Why it’s a hot fintech: Recently, Instamojo launched its e-commerce stack to help businesses and DTC brands come online. In early 2020, Instamojo acquired GetMeAShop that develops platforms and solutions for businesses to sell their products online. Instamojo’s platform includes a Do it for Me (DIFM) feature where its tech team builds merchants’ websites.
Year Founded: 2011
Founder: Archit Gupta, Ankit Solanki, Srivatsan Chari
What it does: ClearTax helps business and individuals with tax compliance. TaxCloud from Cleartax helps chartered accounting firms and enterprises across India manage their practice. ClearTax GST software is ready-to-use GST-compliant billing and filing solution.
Competitors: Cygnet, Tally, CompuTax, Zerodha, Upstox, ETMoney
Why it’s a hot fintech: Cleartax raised $50 million in funding in 2019, and as of mid-2021 was in talks with Tiger Global to lead a $100 million funding round valuing the company at close to $1 billion. Its GST software is being used by 1,000 large enterprises in India.