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LenDenClub Alpha launches ‘The Bharat Fintech Program’ to invest in Rural Fintech Start-ups
Nation Now TV November 01, 2022
In a bid to encourage and support innovative start-ups in semi-urban and rural India, LenDenClub Alpha, a corporate venture capital (CVC) of LenDenClub, has launched ‘The Bharat Fintech Program’ in association with Startup Réseau. The objective is to provide an impetus to new-age budding entrepreneurs in the fintech space across India. The initiative will focus on mentoring, guiding and supporting these start-ups to accelerate their growth. A corpus of ₹2 crores for investment has been set up for this program.
LenDenClub Alpha is a corporate venture capital (CVC) fund of LenDenClub, India’s leading Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform.
Speaking on the launch, Bhavin Patel, co-founder and CEO of LenDenClub, said, “There is immense potential in rural India around innovation by start-ups. With the Bharat Fintech Program, we are on a mission to identify the most innovative businesses arising out of Bharat. We are talking about bringing the impact to the lives of 800 million who reside in 6 lakh villages across the geographical expanse of the country. We currently have a significant chunk of users coming from Tier 2 cities, semi urban and rural areas in our P2P business. We believe that we can expand the services offered by us with support of our investee companies. The ultimate aim is to improve rural livelihoods.”
Over 850 million people (65%) of the total population live in non-metro cities, often referred to as ‘Bharat’. By reaching the ground roots of the country to find talent and innovation, LenDenClub Alpha, as a platform, is uplifting start-ups that need it. The rural fintech program is one such way to mobilise start-ups from smaller towns and provide them with the same support that Tier 1 cities get. The program focuses on incubating and accelerating early-stage start-ups developing innovative solutions to benefit ‘Bharat’s’ underserved communities.
Rajat Sinha, Principal at LenDenClub Alpha, said, “Bharat Fintech Program is an attempt by LenDenClub to promote innovation and inclusivity. Most start-ups, especially from the non-metro cities and remote towns, do not have access to capital, the right support and guidance to develop a new product and launch it; we aim to address this issue through the program. And we hope that our investment corpus will contribute to nation-building by boosting the fintech start-up ecosystem. LenDenClub Alpha along with Artha Venture Fund and Unicorn India Ventures recently invested USD 1.5 million in the no-code platform, Hubbler. LenDenClub also plans to offer its expertise to these start-ups, and will help its investee start-ups through technological upgradation, driving customer acquisition, and building innovative products for masses, among other aids.”
LenDenClub Alpha will focus on fintech start-ups across domains such as payments 4.0, regtech, wealthtech, insurtech, digital lending, banking solutions and emerging technologies (AI/ML/IoT). Shortlisting of start-ups will be done by assessing their applications based on the entries. Location will not be a limitation in this case. All start-ups from across the country are encouraged to apply. LenDenClub Alpha, in association with Startup Reseau, will host nationwide activation sessions and hackathons to raise awareness about the initiative. They will be mentored and incubated for 3 months, with the end outcome being that a select few will be funded by the end of FY ’22.
Talking about the launch of the programme, Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Founder & CEO, Startup Réseau added, “This is a FinTech partnership that we are super excited about – as LenDenClub is seeking to invest their resources in enabling next-gen startups solving for the next mile/next hurdle in the fast growing Bharat FinTech ecosystem. It is a win-win for LenDenClub and startups from emerging startup hubs that get selected for the program. Founder/Leadership perspectives, Business Insights, Market Access and Investments are a great value add for startups. We look forward to the upcoming roadshows and startups applying to the program.”
To amplify the program’s reach, LenDenClub Alpha will run start-up engagement drives in states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Rajasthan, along with the capital of India i.e. Delhi.
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