Notwithstanding the recent headwinds from Covid-19, India’s largely consistent economic growth for more than a decade has precipitated an unprecedented expansion of financial services in the country. With rising disposable incomes, more and more Indians are accessing banking, insurance and mutual funds, among others.

The advent and penetration of the internet has further simplified these daily financial tasks. However, in an era of inter-connected world of devices with cyber technology at its core, lack of awareness as well as the prevalence of ill-designed or inadequate security systems is always a challenge.

With 160 crore bank account holders, 32.8 crore life insurance and 47.2 crore health insurance policyholders, 2.78 crore registered investors with stock exchanges and 9.26 crore mutual fund accounts, India has a mammoth financial sector.

The sheer scale generating gigantic volumes of data on a continuous basis renders the sector vulnerable to frauds. As such, a large scale cyber security enlightenment drive is the need of the hour.

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Recent data breaches illustrate the risks

Although banks are considered as one of the world's most secure and sophisticated enterprises, banks are becoming a popular target for new-age hackers. Only last year, the RBI had to direct the banks to secure their customer data after reports of 1.3 million credit and debit card data of Indians found to be on sale on the dark net came out.

In another instance back in 2016, 32 lakh debit cards had to be recalled by several banks including State-run SBI on account of data breach. According to the latest RBI report, card and internet frauds, more than doubled to Rs 195 crore in 2019-20 from the previous year. Then last year, Aegon had to investigate a data breach involving 10,000 customers. Then this year, Religare is reported to have faced data leakage of 5 million customers and employees.

The modus operandi of a hacker

In recent times, unscrupulous hackers have evolved ingenious ways using unique and complex arrays of cyber-attacks to get past the ordinary security systems. The hackers are attempting to get hold of sensitive financial information of individuals, either from banking servers or an individual’s personal devices.

Infiltration of smartphonesOne of the ways of extracting a person’s financial information is by infiltrating his smartphone with malicious applications. When a user wishes to use an app requiring access credentials, a data-theft overlay mimicking the desired app user interface gets displayed tricking the user to think that he is clicking on the genuine app.

The unsuspecting user goes on to record the details of his access credentials which now get transferred to the hacker who now also has the app under his control.

Deploying banking Trojans

Going a step further, hackers also embed these fake applications with banking Trojans, such as bank bots’ cabarets pink slips intending to attack banks and stock brokerage firms with an eye on making hacking operations easier. These malware lock users using an Active Directory attack further bolting it up with many login attempts. These bots and Trojans are focused on stealing money from the bank accounts.

PhishingPhishing is another type of attack which involves the hacker sending an email to the victim claiming to be a trusted sender (like a bank or online shop), or by way of setting up fake websites claiming to be genuine.

A banking Trojan is attached to this email. Once the victim downloads it and opens it, the Trojan activates and steals information.

Retargeting real information from dark web using fake pages

Another method entails hackers first buying real account information in bulk quantities from the dark web and then retargeting those accounts using phishing emails. In such a phishing email, disguised hackers request victim to follow some simple procedures on a web page, which has been deliberately set up by hackers for stealing login information and other important credentials.

Macro malware

Hackers also employ what is known as macro malware which is developed using programs like VB Script programming language used for MS-Word and MS-Excel. Legitimate-looking files are usually sent via phishing email which comprises of malware-infected attachments such as CV by job seekers and cover letter reports in the form of MS Word files.

Even as several advanced antivirus programs claim to detect macro viruses, hackers are trying to stay ahead of the game. Now, malware can comfortably hide within a system for a long time that gives hackers ample time to infect the system of users.

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What is the way out?

First, financial institutions must identify micro malware during the initial phase itself with a view to pre-emptively block it. And for individuals, to protect your information and make India’s financial sector secure, some tips are as follows: never open or download any attachments on your device without knowing the context, Invest in a genuine and licensed antivirus software on all your devices, never click suspicious links within an email that claims to contain genuine intimation and abstain from sharing your personal details on social media.

Therefore, in order to mitigate financial risks and to rule out any breach, concerted steps are needed at both macro and micro levels. Banks and financial institutions must invest strategically towards improving cyber security with a view to protect customers as well secure the larger financial architecture of the country. More importantly, ordinary users need to be made aware of these risks.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

Route Mobile, a cloud communications service provider, on Tuesday said it had garnered Rs 180 crore from 15 anchor investors ahead of its initial share-sale offer that opens for public subscription on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs, Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund, SBI Life Insurance, Kuwait Investment Authority, Vantage Equity Fund, Axis Mutual Fund, Macquarie, and SBI Mutual Fund are among the anchor investors, according to information available with stock exchanges.

Route Mobile has finalised allocation of 51,42,856 shares at Rs 350 apiece to 15 anchor investors. Based on the price, the total proceeds would be to the tune of Rs 180 crore, it added.

The company proposes to raise Rs 600 crore through the initial public offer (IPO), which comprises fresh issue of shares worth Rs 240 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of Rs 360 crore by promoters Y Sandipkumar Gupta and Rajdipkumar Gupta.

A price band of Rs 345-350 apiece per share has been fixed for the IPO that will open on September 9 and conclude on September 11.

The company proposes to utilise the net proceeds towards funding for repayment or pre-payment, in full or part, of certain borrowings of the company; acquisitions and other strategic initiatives; purchase of office premises in Mumbai; and general corporate purposes.IPO

Image Source: Shutterstock

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The company received approval from markets regulator Sebi in December 2019 to float IPO.

The cloud communications service provider had initially filed for its IPO in January 2018. Later it refiled its document in October 2019. According to market sources, the company failed to bring its IPO even after receiving approval in 2018 because of unfavourable market conditions.

ICICI Securities, Axis Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services, and IDBI Capital Markets & Securities are the managers to the issue.

Route Mobile does not have a direct comparable listed peer in India. It will become the second firm in the larger mobile communication services after Affle India.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

Even as the coronavirus pandemic caused investors to become risk-averse, Indian startups continued to raise funding. However, the deal sizes shrank, pointing to the fact that investors put in less money in more startups to spread their risks.

Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, and Mumbai retained their top spots in terms of the number of deals and funding raised. YourStory Research data revealed that the number of funding deals closed by Mumbai-based startups jumped about 20 percent to 79 in the first six months of 2020, up from 66 deals in H1 2019.

According to data accessed by YourStory, 69 deals were closed by Mumbai-based startups since the nationwide lockdown, announced at the end of March.

funding, startup

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Here are the top 10 funding deals by Mumbai-based startups funding during the lockdown. (We have considered deals that were closed since March 25)

InCredInCred

Bhupinder Singh, Founder and CEO, InCred.

In July, NBFC InCred raised Rs 500 crore in debt funding from various public sector banks and public financial institutions.

The latest round of financing will boost the startup’s lending expansion across select segments in the consumer, education, and MSME markets.

Founded in 2016 by Bhupinder Singh, InCred started its operations with consumer lending in March 2016. It then diversified into small business lending in March 2017. At present, it claims to have a loan book of over Rs 2,000 crore. 

In April 2019, the digital lending platform had raised Rs 600 crore in its Series A round, led by Dutch development finance institution FMO.

Also Read[Funding Alert] NBFC InCred raises Rs 600 Cr in Series ARebel Foods

In April 2020, cloud kitchen operator Rebel Foods raised $50 million from existing investor US-based hedge fund Coatue Management, according to its filings with the Registrar of Companies.

Founded by Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee in 2010, Rebel Foods has overseas operations in Southeast Asia and Europe. Globally, it runs 325 cloud kitchens.

Earlier this February, the startup had raised additional venture debt of Rs 35 crore led by debt funding firm Alteria Capital.

Also Read[Funding alert] Faasos' parent Rebel Foods raises venture debt of Rs 35 Cr led by Alteria Capital TopprZishaan Hyath, CEO and Founder, Toppr

Zishaan Hayath, CEO and Founder, Toppr

In July, edtech startup Toppr raised Rs 350 crore in Series D round, led by Foundation Holdings, with participation from existing investors, including Kaizen Private Equity.

Toppr will use this latest investment to further help to develop the artificial intelligence (AI) based Toppr School Operating System (OS), a platform for schools to run digitally unifying in-school and after-school learning to create a standardised and personalised experience.

Founded in 2013 by Zishaan Hayath, the startup has cumulatively raised Rs 700 crore to date.

Also Read[Startup Bharat] How these IITians turned their student project into a profitable global edtech company CarTrade

In June, online automobile classifieds platform CarTrade raised Rs 321 crore ($42.5 million) from two of its existing investors in its Series H round of financing.

Earlier in 2017, the firm had raised Rs 370 crore in a funding round led by Temasek Holdings and a US family office.

Founded in 2006 by Vinay Sanghi, the portal also offers car price information, certification, insurance, used car finance, comparisons, on-road prices, and reviews. In November 2015, the platform acquired CarWale, an online classifieds portal, in an all-cash deal.

LEAD SchoolLead School founders

LEAD School co-founders: Smita Deorah (left) and Sumeet Mehta

In August, edtech startup LEAD School raised $28 million in a Series C round, led by Westbridge Capital along with existing investor Elevar Equity.

This round of funding will be used by the company to accelerate the development and rollout of new product offerings, increase its school network in Tier II and III cities, and hire talent across domains. 

Founded in 2012 by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah, LEAD School combines technology, curriculum, and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning to create affordable private schools. It has partnered with 800-plus schools with an estimated three lakh-plus students in more than 300 cities in 15 states.

Also Read[Funding alert] LEAD School raises $28M in Series C round led by Westbridge CapitalNykaaNykaa

Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa with Nihir Parikh, Chief Business Officer (2nd row, 3rd from L-R)

Online beauty turned omnichannel lifestyle retailer Nykaa raised three rounds of funding adding to $24.7 million. In June, the startup raised Rs 19.6 crore from Sunil Kant Munjal as part of its ongoing round.

In May, it raised Rs 66.64 crore from its existing primary investor Steadview Capital. With this round of investment, Nykaa became valued at $1.2 billion, thus entering the startup unicorn club.

Earlier in March, it raised Rs 100 crore from its existing primary investor Steadview Capital. This came after it had raised an additional Rs 100 crore from Singapore-based TPG Growth IV SF last year.

Prior to that, in September 2018, Nykaa raised Rs 113 crore from Lighthouse India Fund III, and another Rs 160 crore through primary and secondary share sales.

Since its launch in 2012 by Falguni Nayar (former Managing Director at Kotak Mahindra Capital), Nykaa has been instrumental in shaping the beauty and lifestyle industry in India through its omnichannel reach and curated product offering.KettoKunal Kapoor

Actor and Co-founder of Ketto, Kunal Kapoor

In July, Ketto — a crowdfunding platform for fundraising of social, creative, and personal causes — raised Rs 109 crore to help and support more than three lakh people in various capacities.

Founded in 2012 by Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor along with Varun Sheth and Zaheer Adenwala, Ketto has been distributing PPE kits and ration kits, and providing support to migrant workers. It has established community kitchens to feed hundreds of people every day.

Earlier this year, Ketto raised Rs 30 crore in crowdfunding through the philanthropy arm of CleverTap, CleaverTap4Good.

Also Read[Funding alert] Kunal Kapoor's crowdfunding platform Ketto raises Rs 109 Cr amidst the pandemicServifysreevathsa

Sreevathsa Prabhakar, Founder, Servify

In June, Service Lee Technologies which operates device management and support platform Servify, raised $11.37 million in its Series C round from a clutch of existing investors.

Earlier, in April, it secured Rs 1.9 crore in debt from Germany-based Barkawi.

Launched in 2015 by Sreevathsa Prabhakar, Servify is an app-based customer support service channel for consumer electronics.

In three years, it has created a complete service life cycle management platform enabling top electronics and smartphone brands, carriers and retailers in device diagnostics with distribution, sales, warranty management, after-sales service, end of life management, and ecommerce capabilities.

Also ReadWith 740 million devices on its platform, Servify is India’s king of after-sales experienceLido LearningLido

Team Lido

In April, Lido Learning, an edtech startup that focuses on live online tutorials, closed a $7.5 million Series B round led by Ant Financial-backed BAce Capital. This put the edtech startup’s overall funding at $10.5 million.

With this round of funding, Lido plans to build a presence in Tier II and III towns to democratise high quality education across India. It will also expand into more curriculum-focused subjects, and 21st-century skills like analytical thinking, critical reasoning, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Earlier in March, it raised another $3 million led by Picus Capital backed by Rocket Internet Founder Alex Samwer, and President of Paytm Madhur Deora.

Founded in 2019 by Sahil Sheth, Lido Learning offers live tutoring and personalised online coaching sessions to students from Class V-Class IX in Math and Sciences from both CBSE and ICSE boards.

Also ReadEdtech startup Lido Learning to hire senior citizens as tutors during coronavirus Suryoday

In May, scheduled commercial bank Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB) raised Rs 62.14 crore from existing investors including Gaja Capital, Kotak Life, Lok Capital, TIAA, and Kiran Vyapar. 

SSFB, which provides microfinance loans to customers, has launched a working capital loan product for its MFI customers to meet their urgent liquidity requirements during the lockdown.

The bank has over 20 institutional investors with a healthy mix of institutional investors, development funds and private equity investors.

(With inputs from Sujata Sangwan, Thimmaya Poojary, Debolina Biswas, Sindhu Kashyap)

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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Original Source: yourstory.com