It has been only around three years since the inception of the first Fintech startup in India. Since that very first day, this sector has been growing steadily. We know that in November 2016, our high-value currency notes were demonetized. Unlike many other businesses, the Fintech startups made huge benefits from this government decision. In the next three years after demonetization, a huge percentage of Indian people have adopted digital transaction. The investors have identified this opportunity and raised about $5.4 billion in equity funding. From the $593 million in 2016, there was an increase of a whopping 300% to $2.34 billion in 2018. The year witnessed 144 equity deals in the Finitech sector.
So, What are the Factors Attracting the Investors?
The Fintech service firms are literally redesigning the way the financial transactions conducted on a daily basis. When it comes to India, such a large country with over a billion people, there is a huge untapped market for Fintech startups, to begin with. The rate of mobile penetration has reached 65-75 percentage in India which is expected to hit the 90% mark by 2020. The market opportunity presented by this alone is huge enough for all the investments to make sense.
Also, it is estimated that as much as 90% of India's small businesses are yet to link with formal financial institutes. Similarly, there are plenty of gaps between institutions and services in India which offer great scope for the Fintech solutions.
The Upcoming Years
So many reasons are pointed out by the experts for the investors to stay excited in the upcoming years.
- The maturity of Fintech sector: The series D round of 2018 witnessed six deal in total. In 2016, there was not even a single startup to make it to the series D stage. This comparison indicates the maturity of the Indian Fintech sector.
- The growing number of "Unicorns": Until 2017, the Paytm was the only so-called "unicorn" company from Fintech sector. By 2019, the list of coveted companies from Fintech got longer with BillDesk, PolicyBazaar and PineLabs. Now, Fintech has the most number of "unicorn" companies beating the e-commerce sector.
- The increased Quantum of investments: There has been a massive jump in the quantum of investments. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of series A deals grew 12.5%. But the deal size grew from $64 million to $146.8 million, a growth of 129 percentage. The growth of Series C deal size for the same period was a whopping 270%.
- Opportunities in the Lending sector: Lending has remained to be the biggest attraction for investors in Fintech. Almost half of the equity funds were invested in startups focused on lending. With huge numbers of untouched markets lying beyond the Tier I and Tier II, lending startups have a great future in India.
With the internet connection being more accessible and government supporting the digitization of the economy, there is no doubt about the opportunities lying ahead in India for the Fintech. Hence, the large investments made in this sector are clearly no wonder and it will probably continue for the next few years.