Online investment and wealth management platform Paytm Money officially announced the appointment of Varun Sridhar as its new Chief Executive Officer. He will be leading the launch and development of the equity brokerage apart from growing its existing services.

Varun Sridhar shared, “ At Paytm Money, I hope to build along with a fantastic team the most cost-effective and consumer-friendly products and experience for investors and traders. The wealth management and financial service solutions that Paytm is building are transforming the lives of millions of Indians and are relevant globally as well."Varun Sridhar

Varun Sridhar, CEO, Paytm Money

Also ReadFintech unicorn Paytm launches slew of initiatives to help people fight COVID-19

Varun has led the digital transformation journey of some of the top retail banks in India and abroad. Most recently, he served as the CEO of FinShell India, where he launched realme PaySa, a fintech platform on mobile. Prior to this role, he was with BNP Paribas for close to eight years, where amongst other assignments, he supported the acquisition of Sharekhan.

Under his leadership, Paytm Money will continue to simplify, innovate, and bring wealth management products to millions of Indians. Varun will be reporting to Amit Nayyar, President at Paytm.

“Paytm Money is on a mission to empower millions of Indians with wealth management products. We are very excited to welcome Varun, whose experience in retail banking, broking, and wealth segment would help us accelerate our goals. I look forward to working closely with him to expand Paytm Money further," said Amit.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Paytm Money has over 300 employees. It claims to have more than six million users on its platform, availing direct mutual funds and NPS.

The company also announced that Amit Kapoor has joined as the new CFO and Vice President. Prior to this role, Amit was working the CFO at life insurance company Aviva India.

In the next 12 to 18 months, Paytm Money aims to invest Rs 250 crore as it plans to launch new businesses, including the equity brokerage during the current financial year.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

WhatsApp will work with partners like banks and financial institutions in India to make it easier for people to access products such as insurance, microcredit, and pension, its India Head Abhijit Bose said on Wednesday.

The company will also support multiple pilots to test potential solutions to solve problems related to distribution of financial products, Bose said at the Global Fintech Fest.WhatsAppAlso ReadOver 15M in India use WhatsApp Business app every month

The Facebook-owned company has been working for more than a year with banking partners to see how it can supplement their digital presence and accelerate the pace of financial access across segments and geographies in the country, Bose said.

"We now want to open up with more banks…over this coming year to help simplify and expand banking services, especially to the rural and lower income segments…we also aim to expand our experiments with partners for other products that the RBI highlighted as basic financial services, starting with micro pensions and insurance," he added.

Bose said the collective aim over the next two to three years is to be able to help low wage workers in the unorganised informal economy to easily access three products – insurance, microcredit, and pension.

WhatsApp had started testing its payments service – WhatsApp Pay – in India in 2018. The UPI-based service, which allows users to utilise the messaging platform to send and receive money, competes against SoftBank-backed Paytm, Flipkart's PhonePe, and Google Pay in India.

While a full-scale national rollout is yet to happen for WhatsApp Pay in India over regulatory issues, the company had launched WhatsApp Pay in Brazil last month.

Bose noted that the fintech innovation happening in India is years ahead of other countries, including the US.

He said, over the next year and a half, WhatsApp will be supporting multiple pilots to test potential solutions to solve problems related to distribution of financial products.

"These pilots will be done jointly with our partners as well as innovative tech partners in each vertical. Each pilot will start with a small experiment to test our hypotheses and based on the results, we will co-invest and scale the ones that show promise," he informed.

Bose emphasised that even a small conversion of the demand will translate into significant infusion of savings into the financial system, and said the company's ultimate goal is for every Indian to have access and affordable micropension, and insurance services.

He highlighted that the core principles of WhatsApp – simplicity, reliability, privacy, and security – are the reasons that people trust and are comfortable with the platform, and these tenets are "critical" when one talks about adoption of new digital services, especially financial services.

With over 400 million users, India is currently among the biggest markets for WhatsApp.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

Jaipur-based last mile rural distribution startup, Frontier Markets, on Monday announced that it has raised $2.25 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, The Rise Fund, and The Singh Family Trusts (advised by Artha Impact), along with Teja Ventures and affiliates of Beyond Capital Fund.

 

Founded in 2011 by Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets is a last mile-assisted ecommerce and distribution company that leverages its network of tech-enabled women agents to market, sell and service products and services across rural India. 

 

The current investment will drive the company’s assisted ecommerce platform to the next level, adding digital marketing tools, AI-enabled digital training, and a B2C solution onboarding its rural customers directly on its digital platform, it said. The company will also leverage its B2B2C ecommerce to drive digital and physical services to rural customers and become the primary income source for rural women.

Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets

Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets

Also ReadFrontier Markets: A Lesson in Rural Product Positioning and Marketing

 

Frontier Markets claims to have over 4,000 women entrepreneurs who are tech-enabled using its proprietary assisted ecommerce platform to deliver over one million products and services to 700,000 rural customers in Rajasthan, UP, and Bihar. The company said it is associated with several partners including Samsung, Crompton, HUL, Eko India Financial Services, and more to curate products based on data insights collected through its tech platform.

 

In response to COVID-19, Frontier Markets launched doorstep delivery of essential goods and digital banking services as a response to the challenges presented by limited access to supplies in rural India. 

 

Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets said, 

 

“Prior to COVID-19, Frontier Markets invested in a technology platform that leveraged data to deliver a wider range of products and services in energy, finance, connectivity, agriculture and more to the last mile consumer, digitally onboarding all of our agent network. Today, we have added essential products and services—from food to protective gear to mobile banking, recognizing that our customers trust us and want us to deliver all solutions to them through our platform.”

  

Lead Investor Anne Chassagnette, Managing Director of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies’s commented, “

 

“The swift adjustment of Frontier Markets’ organization to the COVID-19 crisis and its ability to leverage its innovative tech platform to address the essential needs of the rural population on short notice confirm our full support and our trust in its trailblazing business model.”

By 2025, the company plans to grow to one million rural women entrepreneurs serving 100 million consumers with all types of products and services relating to agriculture, insurance and environment to drive economic empowerment in Bharat India.

 

“Post-COVID, what was “socially good” has now become essential and urgent – Frontier Markets is leveraging upon the untapped opportunity of 900 million rural consumers through rapid expansion of its technology platform and its network of digitally enabled women micro entrepreneurs,” remarked Virginia Tan, Founding Partner, Teja Ventures.

(Edited by Aparajita Saxena)

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Original Source: yourstory.com

 

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California-based insurtech Hippo is set to acquire Spinnaker Insurance Company once it receives regulatory approval, per Business Insider. The acquisition builds on their existing partnership since 2017, with Spinnaker already underwriting Hippo products in 18 US states.

Quarterly Global Insurtech FundingBusiness Insider IntelligenceSee the rest of the story at Business Insider

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