Axis Bank the third largest private sector bank in India opened to start-ups in order to work on innovative solutions in Fin-tech (Finance Technology) through its flagship Accelerator program. The start-ups worked from the Thought Factory, which is Axis Bank’s co-innovation Lab, located in the city of Bangalore. The program was a great opportunity where Axis Bank selected start-ups with innovative ideas around Fin-tech and provided them 90 days to work on that solution along with all the necessary resources like workspace, development tools and even mentors who are experts from some of the big companies like Amazon and Visa to name a few.
For the first batch of the accelerator program called Think Tank, 6 potential start-ups were chosen out of the 108 applicants based on innovative ideas presented by them. The Think Tank comprises of Sharad Sharma (iSpirit), Manish Chokhani (Enam), Vishal Gondal (Founder, GoQii) and Shankar Narayan (Singapore based serial entrepreneur) along with Axis Bank Senior Management. The selected start-ups were given a structured mentorship program and access to Axis Bank’s Thought Factory office space along with other resources.
The accelerator program involved two parallel tracks:
- 3 months long classroom styled workshops, focusing on Customer, Product, and Traction. Zone Start-ups, the Program Managers of the Bank’s Accelerator, facilitated this track. Zone Start-ups organized various sessions, meeting with eco-system gurus and investors.
- A tactical Proof-Of- Concept with Axis Bank was enabled by Thought Factory team. The POC aided a live validation of start-up’s product idea and its market acceptance.
Below we have some details on the start-ups from the Thought Factory accelerator program.
S2Pay – Enabling Offline Mobile Payments
Business Area – Payments
S2Pay forms a layer over payments app, and enables the end consumer to make secure payments from their mobile app, even when the consumer is offline. The technology is especially useful in remote areas where internet data is still an availability; making digital payments a reality for everyone.
Pally – AI Stack based Chatbot for Investment Advisory
Business Area – Investments
Pally has created a chatbot that on the input of an image of salary slip creates an investment portfolio which maximizes tax saving for the end customer. The plan is customized for each customer; his details and desired saving plans are queried by an intelligent chat by the bot.
Perpule – Self checkout on mobile app
Business Area – Payments
Perpule's app let end customers scan the shopped products from their mobile app, and pay from within the app once the list is complete. Perpule integrates with retailer's campaigns, thus automatically applies discounts/offers on the go. Perpule wants to do away the check-out queues, and make shopping fun.
Fin-techLabs – Analytics in lending
Business Area: Lending
Fin-tech labs analytical models can be used in digital lending space. With their analytics they want to digitize lending completely, making it quick, easy but safe and focused.
Paymatrix – Credit in rental space
Business Area: Real Estate, Payments, Credit Cards, Liabilities
Paymatrix is trying to solve the problem of credit involved in Indian rental market via enabling payments to land lords via credit cards. They also help landlords in rent/property management. Paymatrix is trying to reduce the commotion in field on Indian rentals and instill transparency & organization.
All the start-ups have already seen the various benefits of this accelerator program, for example, Perpule won the semi-final round of Next Money Fin-techFinals ‘17, and raised a seed funding of $650K from Kalaari Capital, while S2Pay and Gieom onboarded multiple new clients, Fin-techLabs & Paymatrix expanded their services portfolio while Pally evolved in its product idea and expanded its team. On 21stJuly, Axis Bank celebrated the Graduation Day of the first cohort start-ups that was attended by Axis Bank’s management, investors and representatives of various enterprises.
Axis Bank is also working with some of the other start-ups like Active AI to build an intelligent ChatBot to address the customer queries and with Uncanny Vision to build an AI based video-surveillance.
Over the past year, Thought Factory has been a major Fin-tech ecosystem enabler in Bangalore, hosting multiple events, workshops, international visitors and other corporate clients; thereby enhancing industry-start-up collaboration. The team behind Thought Factory program is already working on recruiting the next batch of potential startups for the accelerator program.