Struggling fintech start-ups to get a second chance with Afthonia Lab

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on May 23, 2019

Tanul Mishra, CEO and founder, Afthonia Lab

Bengaluru will now have an incubator that promises to be different. Afthonia Lab, an incubator dedicated to early stage fintech start-ups, is looking to give fintech start-ups that are flailing or stagnating a second chance.

CEO and founder Tanul Mishra told BusinessLine that Afthonia Lab’s 12-month long incubation programme that is scheduled to start in July with its first batch of 4-5 fintech start-ups will graduate in June 2020. A 5,000 sq ft facility has been opened to house the start-ups for the programme.

“The incubator space is nascent in India with just 200-odd operating incubators, compared with 1,500-2,000 that operate globally. Most of the Indian incubators are either backed by the government or educational institutions. As a result, they face challenges in bringing in sharp business learnings into the space. As an independent incubator with a global panel of mentors, advisers and corporate partners, Afthonia will bring in skillsets that are generic to businesses and specific to the fintech space. Start-ups will also have access to a big base of customers who are part of our network, for their solutions,” she said.

Pointing out that all fintech start-ups, including payments start-ups, lending start-ups, micro-finance start-ups and personal finance start-ups, are eligible to apply for the programme, Mishra said Afthonia’s core focus area would be insurance tech start-ups and B2B partnerships in the space.

“While there are 1,000 payment start-ups in India, there are only 380 insurance tech start-ups. This gap needs to be filled. Insurance is a market that is not just ready in terms of premium payments but is ripe for increasing efficiencies in the process. As a sector, insurance is reactive and not proactive. This is where insurance tech start-ups can make a big difference,” she said.

One of the fintech start-ups that has been shortlisted for the incubation programme has built a unique insurance distribution solution for the US market, which faces a problem of an aging (50-plus) workforce of insurance brokers. The solution will help US Insurance firms sell insurance with minimum human intervention and more efficiently, she claimed.

Published on May 22, 2019

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