Barclays launches fintech platform for startups
businesspaper Updated: Jun 16, 2016 07:41 IST
MUMBAI: British lender Barclays on Wednesday launched its new financial technology (fintech) innovation platform for startups, ‘Rise’, in Mumbai.
The platform, already operational in London, Manchester, New York, Cape Town and Tel Aviv, will provide — for a fee — startups a physical a co-working environment for fintech companies to work in, apart from event spaces and meeting rooms. It has been launched in India ahead of many other developed Asian markets due to its rapidly-growing startup ecosystem, the company said.
“The startup ecosystem is witnessing a steep increase in activity, and interest from investors, with even large corporates looking to invest in this space. Rise provides us with the opportunity to leverage client relationships and experience to play a relevant role in the growth of the fintech community,” said Jaideep Khanna, CEO and country head of Barclays India.
Barclays will not invest in the fintech companies that join the Rise initiative. However, the bank may potentially become the first customer of the fintech company.
“Being able to work with fintech companies, we are able test out ideas faster and more frequently than if we would have done it ourselves internally. On an average, we are finding it five times cheaper and three times faster to test any new technology,” said Lubaina Manji, head of Rise.
It also helps in customer acquisition for Barclays. For instance, Dopay, a fintech company in Egypt, recently launched a cloud-based payroll service for a company, allowing it to pay salaries via prepaid debit cards. These cards were supplied by Barclays, adding 200,000 customers for the bank.
Khanna said Barclays does not have any plans to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary in India, as costs associated do not match benefits that can accrue.
“We continually think about it, but in the near term, there are no plans to subsidiarise,” Khanna said, adding there are no plans to expand the retail business either.