PayPal Incubator Challenge announces 2017 finalists and highlights need for fintech collaboration

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The PayPal Incubator Challenge enters its fifth year and has announced the winners shortlisted for this year’s prize.

Started in 2013, the fintech giant has since offered office space, mentoring, technical training, and networking opportunities for both startups and investors. Previous winners include CashFree, Codemojo, Notifie and ftcash.

The fintech market in India has witnessed exponential growth over the past year and, unlike many tech sectors, has abandoned the traditionally competitive nature and instead focused on collaboration. Startups in India are now focusing on building partnerships to enhance growth, and what better partnership than with a company that has seventeen years of experience.

There has been a significant rise in the amount of partnerships between financial services and fintech startups in the last year. From 42% in 2016, collaboration between established businesses and the new guys on the block is expected to rise to 95% by the end of 2017.

It is a refreshing change of pace, with these companies realising that instead of trying to remain at the top of the food chain by resisting competition, a more innovative and effective strategy is to offer assistance.

According to this report, a successful ecosystem is built on collaboration. A fintech market where all participants engage with one another to share data, ideas, and innovations can only mean further success down the line.

In fact, it has come to the point where collaboration is not just a nice little bonus to help build on existing success, but a necessity; no single market participant can operate alone and expect to continue to grow.

Paypal has recently opened two innovation labs in India, in Chennai and Bangalore. These are the first of their kind in India. Couple this with the Startupbootcamp accelerator based in Mumbai, among others, which offers support for financial startups from locations across the globe, and there is further proof that working together is the way to move the industry forward.

This year’s competition looks to find startups with a focus on core payment features such as wallets, along with artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, security and financial inclusion. It saw 150% growth on last year, with over two hundred and fifty applications from early-stage fintech startups.

Head of Technology and Engineering at PayPal, Guru Bhat, said of this, “[It] reflects both the need for an incubation programme as well as the fin-tech industry’s potential.”

This year’s winners which includes Finbox: a SaaS platform that enables lenders to digitise the user’s journey by validating identity, underwrite using data from both traditional and non-traditional sources, and cross-sell financial products to their customers.

There is also NeoEYED, which helps businesses simplify their login and registration process on mobile applications. This enables them to generate more revenues and improve user security.

Paymatrix, an analytics-driven property management platform owned by Hyderabad-based Speckle Internet Solutions, that simplifies both rent payments and collections. The dashboard provides solutions ranging from end-to-end rent management to renters and landlords insurance. It also assists with interactions between landlords and tenants.

Bangalore-based Scalend, which offers a ready-to-use, AI-enabled customer insight platform for financial services companies. The AI works with Hadoop’s unlimited storage to help fintech companies generate actionable knowledge into customer journeys and back-office streamlining.

And, TYBO, a cloud based omni-channel and e-commerce platform which is designed for SMBs. The service allows you to create an online store as well as sell in person through social channels and marketplaces. For the record, TYBO stands for Take Your Business Online.

What’s encouraging is not just the willingness of PayPal to open doors for fintech startups, but also the range of services these startups have to offer. If predictions are correct about India’s fintech growth, these 5 businesses could be the ones to look out for in coming years.

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