In an attempt to support the startup ecosystem, HDFC Bank has launched a fund for startups with an initial corpus of $25-30 million, according to The Times of India report. The private lending bank will increase the fund quickly and expand its reach in the space.
“It’s a dynamic fund and the objective is very clear – start small but keep scaling up. As we understand the ecosystem, we will grow it. The government announced a large fund a few years ago but deployment takes time,” said a banker.
The development comes a month after the bank announced the launch of SmartUp zones in its branches across India, an initiative for providing tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to start-ups through these SmartUp zones.
Launched by NITI Aayog Additional Secretary Yaduvendra Mathur, SmartUp zones is dedicated to start-ups and will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as startup hubs in its first phase.
“We have now completely revamped our offering for start-ups. Our aim is to become the Go-to Bank and preferred banker in the start-ups community. Numbers will follow,” said Smita Bhagat, Head of E-Commerce and Branch Banking, HDFC Bank had earlier told.
Two-and-a-half years ago, HDFC Bank had started engaging with Start-ups through a product called ‘Smartup’, providing vanilla banking products and freebies. Now, it has added a number of value-added services like SmartUp portal, advanced legal advisories, and industry-academia interaction, among others.
Through a Smartup portal, start-ups will be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of a complete network of start-ups while simultaneously offering their services to this universe.
Start-ups will also have access to HDFC Bank’s SmartBuy platform, which allows them to market their product to the general public. They will be able to showcase their products to over 40 million HDFC Bank customers.
Of late, the banking sector has shown their deep interest in emerging startups of India. YES BANK, India’s fifth largest private sector bank has announced the second cohort of its Accelerator Program YES FINTECH for Fintech startups across the world.