Fintech: An Industry with Promise

There is no doubt about the fact that a plethora of fintech startups have come up, especially during the pandemic. Newspapers flash headlines like, “X Startup raises USD$10 million in seed round” on a regular basis.

The pandemic was thought to be a hindrance for the initiation of startups, however, it proved to be a facilitator as the digitalisation of processes made it significantly easier to launch a startup. Moreover, as most processes were transitioned to the online medium owing to the government’s efforts in minimising cash transactions, a push was given to fintech. Even as other industries continued to accumulate hefty losses, fintech continued to shine. Finance is a field that has long garnered attention of the masses being an industry with monetary as well as developmental promises. In this piece, we observe the future projections of growth in the field. 

The fintech market is certainly booming and according to a Boston Consulting Group report that was released in March 2021, Indian fintech firms are estimated to reach a valuation of US$150-160 billion by the year 2025. This means that their valuation would triple in merely five years. This feat is anticipated due to the encouragement of the Indian Government and the creation of a conducive environment for the evolution of startups (in general) in India. Demonetisation, too, acted as an accelerator for the incidence of fintech startups.

The Indian ecosystem comprises segments like payments, lending, WealthTech (Wealth Technology), InsurTech (Insurance Technology), and RegTech (Regulation Technology). Steering their growth are firms that aim to eliminate the asymmetry of information by utilizing technology (AI and ML). 

The Indian Government facilitates the growth of startups in all segments without discrimination.

In addition to schemes like Startup India and Make in India, the government has also facilitated the easy availability of other programs. The Virtual Incubation Program (AWS Activate), the National Design Business Incubator (National Institute of Design), the Startup Agribusiness Incubation Program (National Agriculture Development Programme) are a few examples.

India is also the prime destination for UPI payments, as stated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The amounts of digital payments have been witnessing exponential growth from INR 2 lakh crore (in 2019), to INR 4 lakh crore (in 2020), to a whopping INR 6 lakh crore (so far in 2021). This displays a promising adoption of fintech systems by the Indian population.

There are 21 unicorns in India and one-third of them are fintech firms. Since 2016, investments into fintech firms have crossed US$10 billion.

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Investors too, are hopeful about the growth of the industry. IIFL Finance, has created a dedicated INR 100 crore early-stage fund to invest in the nation’s fintech startups. Not only this, but the IIFL Group plans to provide mentoring, collaboration, and other forms of support to blooming fintech startups.

We observe that fintech has been continuously booming, seeing virtually no end to this growth and thus, proving to be a budding domain witnessing a heavy flow of investments from domestic as well as foreign investors. Paytm, CoinDCX, Freecharge, are only a few names that have proved fintech’s potential and the list doesn’t seem to reach an end anytime soon.

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