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.