After exiting ItzCash, founder plans another fintech venture

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 11, 2018

Naveen Surya, Managing Director, ItzCash Card

To become angel investor

After having founded and built fintech company ItzCash, Naveen Surya, also its Managing Director, has decided to move on from the firm.

Surya, who founded ItzCash as a pre-paid wallet, told BusinessLine that he will continue to serve the company till July 31, after which he wil focus his time and energy on his new venture.

Surya said he has always been very passionate and optimistic about the growth of fintech in India, and his next venture will also be in the same segment that will work in the deeper markets.

Newer tech

“I am planning to launch my new venture around Diwali. Next few months, I will be travelling in this regard. However, I won’t be able to reveal much, except the fact that the next venture will be a combination of fintech and newer technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Surya said.

He also added that besides setting up the new firm, he will also focus on supporting the fintech ecosystem by angel funding a few start-ups.

He, however, did not disclose any further details.

He founded ItzCash Card along with Essel Group Director Alok Goel in 2005. What started as a pre-paid wallet for travel, especially railways, now has three different verticals — payments, remittances and financial services.

“The baby (referring to ItzCash) is an adult now, and it is time for me to move on,” Surya said.

Surya’s exit from ItzCash, which is a part of diversified conglomerate Essel Group, comes soon after the fintech firm sold about 80 per cent of its stake to US-based technology company Ebix in May, for about ₹800 crore.

A veteran in the payments industry, Surya also serves as Chairman of Payments Council of India. Surya said he will also continue to support the government in improving the overall digital payment ecosystem in the country.

“The opportunity for fintech is huge in the next 20 years, and focus will be on finding real, value-based propositions. It is a medium- to long-term business, and entrepreneurs will shift focus from the valuation game to being more value conscious.”

Published on July 25, 2017

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