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Awarding disruptive fintech startups

Find out who won the B2B challenge at the IBM SmartCamp FinTech 2016. By Pooja Paryani

Thanks to industry and government support, the startup space in India is witnessing a boom. And the fintech segment is not far behind. According to a 2016 KPMG and NASSCOM report, the Indian fintech software market is forecasted to double to USD 2.4 billion by 2020 (it is currently USD 1.2 billion). The rise in digital connectedness and users’ mobile first approach has created huge opportunities for startups looking to disrupt the traditional financial setup.

Helping them in this endeavour is the IBM SmartCamp FinTech 2016, organised by the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program in association with Edelweiss, with CIO Angel Network as the CIO partner and Bonne Vie as the media partner. The smart camp aimed to provide opportunities to fintech startups that are less than five years old to present in front of the VCs and CIOs, and connect with potential investors and partners. IBM also promises to give the startups Cloud credits worth $24,000/year on Softlayer and Bluemix. As part of this year’s initiative, IBM received 105 applications, which were shortlisted down to 12 finalists on the basis of product innovation, business potential, ability to scale, team composition, product maturity and customer traction. The finalists had to pitch their ideas and business innovations to the judges, who included top notch CIOs and angel investors from BFSI sectors. This year, the event was held on August 6, at St Regis Hotel in Mumbai.

“It’s our constant endeavour to bring innovative platforms and offerings for the developer community and technology enthusiast,” says Chetan Naik, Vice President, Sales Leader, IBM India. “This will encourage them to create next generation applications to deliver unique experience. We offer cloud technology, business expertise and industry knowledge to empower the growing developers and entrepreneurs in the country. I congratulate the winning team and wish them all the best for their future endeavour.”

Edelweiss, which had partnered with IBM, said the event was was an opportunity to discover and leverage new ideas in the fintech space. “Through the IBM SmartCamp for FinTech initiative Edelweiss was looking for investment opportunities as well as new technologies that we could leverage in our business,” says Head Business Solutions and IT at Edelweiss Capital Ltd. “We evaluated the startups at different levels to see what worked best for us. The shortlisted teams were very well curated and there was an interesting mix of wealth management and payment ideas. Very few of the finalists were bootstrapped, so I liked that they were not completely new in the market and had customer traction, which shows their viability in the market. Edelweiss is hoping to further engage with a few of the shortlisted companies.”

Rajiv Rai, Chief Digital Officer, Edelweiss Financial Services, added, “The competition we are facing is cutthroat, so we are actively transforming our businesses into digital by doing cognitive analysis of data and the new technologies being showcased at such events. The fintech business is growing and we might ourselves become a fintech company in the next three to five years. Money is not just a physical commodity; and the future is going to be API plugins, enabling online customer service and digital transformation. So such events helps us make connections for the way forward.”

The winner of the IBM SmartCamp FinTech 2016, was Finwizard Technology Pvt Ltd, founded by Ramganesh Iyer, Subramanya SV, and Anand Dalmia. The company has a personal finance app called Fisdom that provides wealth management advice to those earning between Rs 5 to 50 lakh, as they don’t usually have access to this kind of advice.

The first runner up was WhizDm, started by Sanjay Aggarwal and Puneet Aggarwal. They have an expense tracking and money management app called Money View that claims to automatically pre-categorise and understand transactions made with over one million merchants.  The second runner up was Signzy a SaaS company founded by Ankit Ratan and Arpit Ratan, that has a digital contracting and verification management system that uses identity verification and biometric signatures.

 

Radesh Kanumury, Country Lead, Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM, explains the thought behind IBM SmartCamp FinTech.

Rajiv Rai, Chief Digital Officer, Edelweiss Financial Services, speaks about his company's involvement in the fintech startup space.

Seema Kumar, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem and Startups, IBM, addresses the details of the selection process.

Prakash Dharmani, Global CIO, Essel Propack Ltd, Bharat Banka, senior management consultant and angel investor, Rajiv Rai, CDO, Edelweiss Financial Services, Rahul Mahajan, VP - IT, K Raheja Corp, and Sunil Chandirmani, angel investor and Founder/CEO, NYKA Advisory Services, taking in the pitches from the finalists.

Chaitanya Wagh, Group Head – IT, JM Financial Institutional Securities Limited, and KRC Murty, VP, Head of End User Production Services - CTO, Deutsche Bank Ag India, at the event.

Selvan Mohan, AVP IT IndiaNivesh Securities Pvt Ltd, Sanjay Mehta, angel investor and part of CIO Angel Network, and Atul Sashittal, Head IT Angel Broking, evaluate the entrepreneurs  making their pitches.

Sampath Iyengar, entrepreneur and social media evangelist, Anil Chhikara, principal, Jaarvis Accelerator, Mithilesh Singh, Director - Technology Audit Legal, Audit and Controls, IDFC Bank Limited, and Sanjivan Shirke, Senior VP - IT, UTI Asset Management Company Ltd, consider the startups vying for the prize.

Rajiv Rai awards Ankit Ratan and Arpit Ratan, founders of the second runner up Signzy.

Rajiv Rai and Seema Kumar with Sanjay Aggarwal, co-founder of the first runner up WhizDm.

Rajiv Rai and Seema Kumar felicitate Anand Dalmia and Ramganesh Iyer, co-founders of the winning startup Finwizard Technology Pvt Ltd.

All the winners pose with the judges, CIOs and angel investors from BFSI sectors, and members of the partner organisations.

 

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