Nine Indian fintech startups will soon be graduating from catalyst 2.0, the third edition of fintech accelerator organised by Societe Generale Global Solutions Centre. Societe Generale Global Solutions Centre is a subsidiary of Societe Generale, the European financial services group.
The accelerator programme was launched in 2016 with a view to engaging with India’s vibrant startup ecosystem and co-creates solutions to real-business challenges and needs. The programme is comprehensive and takes close to 10 weeks. Societe Generale invites deserving fintech startups, and together they form a team that experiments, engineers creativity, and redraws Societe Generale’s operating landscape.
In 2016, two cycles of catalyst were completed with very promising solutions co-created with the fintech startups. In cycles, the startups and the Societe Generale team came together and demonstrated collaboration and co-creation to arrive at prototypes.
Catalyst provides useful experience to startups, a ride on a digital-future treadmill by testing their existing solutions or products with real business scenarios. Notable highlights from the previous catalyst cycles include interaction with a wide network of in-house business mentors with the effect of widening the reach of all promising solutions and products across the group entities.
This year’s startups have developed viable products in several fields including virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, e-wallet and machine learning. These products focus on the needs of international bankers, investment bankers and retail customers of the financial services group worldwide.
Talking to The Economics Times of India, Ratnaprabha Manickavachagam, head of innovations, Societe Generale Global Solutions Centre, says that the group has discovered opportunities to introduce new experiences and business models for its customers in the international banking and car-leasing areas. He continues to say that the financial services business should protect its client data and interact with regulators efficiently where there are good use cases to apply deep technology. The mission of catalyst 2.0 is to aid startups on areas of deep technology that can automate, disrupt and simplify the most complex banking processes and help financial institutions engage better with their target clients.
Earlier this year, The Economic Times reported that Nomura, a global investment bank, had launched its accelerator programme focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence, anomaly detection, machine learning, and pattern recognition to develop solutions for investment banking and capital markets.
Corporates such as Yes Bank and Axis Bank have previously launched fintech accelerators to adopt technology in the areas such as tax planning and lending. However, global financial institutions like Nomura and Societe Generale are seeking to integrate deep technology into financial solutions.
Yes Bank hopes to reach first-time borrowers who seek short term loans through startups such as AnyTimeLoan, a peer-to-peer lending startup, and RedCarpet, a student micro-lending startup. It hopes to bring down the cost of labour associated with relationship managers by employing technology in its broking and securities business.
On its part, Axis Bank intends to incorporate solutions around operational efficiency, lending and tax planning developed by its first cohort of startups; Pally, Gieom. and FintechLabs.