The city of Mumbai houses some of India’s biggest business conglomerates along with its largest stock exchanges — and it’s also home to disruptors looking to make financial services more accessible. The city has many advantages for startups: It is said to have a large consumer base, excellent connectivity with other nations and a rising number of places for co-working. The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) also makes tech talent more accessible — and also has one of India’s biggest incubators that can handle more than 30 firms.
Digital banking platform Cointab is one of the FinTech firms that call Mumbai home. The company has a mobile app that enables consumers to bank across 140-plus institutions in India. Users can add bank accounts across multiple institutions and conduct an array of transactions from fund transfers to check balance. They can also pay their utility, credit card and mobile bills. And the fund transfers and payments occur in real time.
Cointab Co-Founder and CEO Vinit Maniar told PYMNTS in an interview about the city’s FinTech scene, “Mumbai is a financial capital of India and all financial institutions are based in the city, hence it’s a great place to start a [FinTech] business.” Maniar added that there are many accelerators in the city that help “emerging startups validate ideas, get advice [and] network.” At the same time, financial institutions also run startup programs and assist those firms in working with established companies.
Maniar has also observed a progression in the FinTech space in the city, which “has evolved significantly over the last couple of years from almost zero visibility to almost all financial institutions having some form of startup accelerator programs to support as well as explore partnerships with startups.” With entities from financial institutions to market regulators focused on financial inclusion, Maniar believes that many more innovative startups will emerge out of Mumbai.
In recent FinTech developments in the city, the local government debuted a public-private partnership called the Mumbai FinTech Hub. According to the hub’s website, it seeks “to foster next-generation innovation that will enable financial empowerment, technological advancement across the entire financial services ecosystem to nurture globally competent FinTech firms.” It aims to incubate 300 start-ups at a minimum, facilitate ₹200 crore (about $28.5 million) of funding for startups in “the next three years,” and be one of the top five hubs for FinTech in the coming five years.
With the FinTech hub along with a business environment that is already conducive to burgeoning startups, efforts are taking shape to help drive innovation in a city that is already known as the country’s financial capital.