Date: 8th-9thFebruary, 2018
Location:The Lalit, Jaipur
Attendance: 39 participants representing 15 organizations
The ï¿½Fintech for the Last Mileï¿½ Incubator Launch roundtable discussion was organized to highlight Catalystï¿½s vision to build ï¿½last mile finance ecosystemsï¿½ and to initiate discussions with the five startups shortlisted for the Catalyst Incubator Program:
PayNearby enables existing corner shops to become digital financial service hubs, thereby creating the worldï¿½s largest hyperlocal fintech network.
Fingpay is a payment and collection solution that enables merchants to accept digital payments from customers who do not have either a card, wallet, or mobile.
Merapaper provides a micro-ERP to digitize the customer lifecycle, billing, and payments for small B2C merchants.
PayBeeï¿½s solution automates and digitizes B2B collections in the distributor-retailer value chain.
Kaleidofin is a platform that provides tailored financial services to the mass market including populations who are un/under-banked and have significant variability in their income.
The shortlisted fintech champions, selected from amongst the 51 applications for the Incubator Program, are building transformative solutions focused on last mile customers, and committed to the challenge of scaling up their initiatives in Jaipur over the next six months.
The two-day, closed-door event witnessed participation from key stakeholders in the fintech ecosystem, including senior government officials, experts in venture capital and entrepreneurship, and banks and other financial institutions, in addition to the shortlisted startups.
The Welcome Address by Ms. Sharon Buteau, Executive Director at IFMR Lead, introduced the vision and goals of the Catalyst Incubator Program. A particular highlight of the event was the session by Mr. A.P Hota, ex-MD and CEO NPCI, who in his kind encouragement to startups, shared invaluable nuggets of wisdom from his experience in design and implementation of payment systems in India.
Day one of the event was brought to a close with an exciting drinks reception sponsored by AU Bank.
As an important local stakeholder, the event served as an important forum in exploring local linkages and synergies between AU Bank, the shortlisted startups, and Catalyst.
- Highlighting ongoing work and learnings from the Digital Payment Lab in Jaipur
- Connecting startups with key experts and stakeholders in the ecosystem
- Discuss a 6-month work plan for each startup, identify linkages,and areas of mutual collaboration.
Startup Showcase: Each of the shortlisted startups presented their pitch deck of transformative ideas, identified pain points and critical challenges faced by the consumer, and shared their detailed work plan for the next 6 months. Each startup was applauded for their vision and unique journey. This session also served as a well-received starting point for exploration of synergies for mutual growth amongst the shortlisted startups.
Venture DNA Profiling Session
with Chief Mentor, Mr. Rakesh Mishra:
Mr. Mishra has over two decades of experience across industries, technology platforms, and geographies, and specializes in objective-setting, incubator operations, and Demo Day readiness program building sessions. His unique expertise lies in helping startups develop distinct, high impact narration of their solutions as stories to engage potential investors and corporates.
His Venture DNA Profiling session introduced startups to a DNA profiling methodology which identified their positioning; a key step in helping them close the gap with where they aim to be in 6 months, and build for sustainability.
This introductory session to the methodology was followed by dedicated, closed-door, one-to-one sessions of the DNA profiling exercise for each startup.
Roadmap to Demo Day:
Sessions with venture capital veterans, Mr. Prabhakhar Reddy, investor at Accel Partners, and Mr. Sanjay Swamy, Managing Director of Prime Ventures, set the expectations in terms of parameters and metrics key
to the next round of funding and provided a roadmap to the Demo Day at the end of the incubation cycle.
Field Visits – Learnings and Partnerships:
Catalyst organized field visits to relevant sites and localities for each startup.
These visits not only facilitated a deeper understanding of specific markets but also provided a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue with senior government officers at the Department of IT and Communication, Government of Rajasthan.
Paynearby received a letter of recommendation from DoITC, along with additional free devices to scale up in Jaipur. Fingpay successfully pitched for digital payment projects from GoR, including integrating Aadhaar pay in eMitra portal and self-service kiosks.
Merapaper explored potential collaborations on payment solutions with Paybee and Paynearby.
Kaliedofin interacted with SEWA on ground, and visited Bhatta Basti to better understand market potential.
The visits set the pace for gathering learning and insights on the ground at the Digital Payment Lab in Jaipur, and also served to provide inspiration in the journey to aid and empower the last mile customer.