FinTech India: Zebpay

This interview is part of the ‘Fintech India‘ series by Fintech Asia.

Zebpay is a digital asset exchange in India. Users can buy and sell bitcoins, recharge their airtime across India and buy vouchers of Amazon, Flipkart etc. though the Android and iOS apps. Zebpay is the first in the industry to launch a bitcoin wallet app that enables bitcoin transactions using a mobile number without any complexities to understand bitcoin addresses, taking backups or fear of losing bitcoins for non tech savvy users.

Zebpay

Founders:
Saurabh Agrawal, co-founder and CEO
Sandeep Goenka, co-founder and COO
Mahin Gupta, co-founder and CTO

How did Zebpay come about setting focus on this particular category? Please tell us a little more about the company’s beginnings as well.

Zebpay was started in 2015 by Mahin Gupta – a gold medalist in Computer Engineering. He is one of the first few pioneers to work on the blockchain technology in India since 2012.

Two savvy businessman, Saurabh Agrawal and Sandeep Goenka joined Mahin as co-founders. Their aim was to bring financial freedom to billions of people in India.

 

Zebpay-Founders
(L-R) Saurabh Agrawal, Mahin Gupta, Sandeep Goenka

What transformations have you undergone as a company since starting up?

Zebpay India started in July 2015. In less than 2 years, we have earned the trust of thousands of users and achieved staggering growth. Zebpay currently has more than 65% market share in India. We are doubling all our numbers every 2-3 months. We are now a team of 50 people with offices in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

We have raised $1Million in Seed funding in January 2016. Bitcoin is just the first step in the new ‘digital asset’ revolution. We aim to be India’s leading digital asset company.

Thoughts on the present Indian fintech landscape? How does it compare to the rest of the fintech majors in the world like Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, Sweden, etc. according to you?

Traditionally, India has been a cash driven economy unlike other major economies. India’s regional and linguistic diversity sets it apart from the rest of the world. Past few years have been extremely exciting for India’s fintech ecosystem due to rising adoption of smartphones, growing acceptance of e-commerce led by internet penetration. With highly ambitious initiatives such as Jan Dhan Yojana [a national mission for financial inclusion in India] and Digital India, Government has been a key catalyst in driving the transformation. Also, initiatives such as StartUp India is further enabling a conducive environment for fintech companies to focus on executing and supporting innovative business ideas. As a result, from wallets to lending to insurance, fintech companies have redefined the way in which the financial products and services are sought, even in non-metro cities. These trends have helped position India as an attractive market worldwide.

Which are the sectors in Indian fintech where you think there are untapped opportunities? How does it fit in with your product and growth plans for the immediate future?

Micro payments, International Remittances for small amounts, Artificial Intelligence in understanding user trade habits in stock and commodity markets are few of things that come to our mind when we thing of opportunities.

Zebpay has a razor sharp focus on Cryptocurrencies and believe they disrupt the entire financial ecosystem and solve many problems faced by traditional processes. At present Zebpay’s plan is to bring this currencies in hand of masses and create a market and liquidity for coins in India.

Please tell us a little about your funding journey – the requirements & objectives in mind when you decided to raise a round/s; the fit you found or were looking for with your investors; what would you be looking for in the future as the business grows?

Zebpay raised $1Mn in series ‘B Funding’, led by growth equity investor Arjun Handa, CMD & VP of $800 million Claris Lifesciences, along with other investors including Amit Jindal, MD of Jindal Worldwide, a 1000 cr. conglomerate. The funding was aimed at further escalating the company’s already impressive growth and customer service success to proliferate the reach of its simplest bitcoin wallet in India.

What advice would you give to other fintech entrepreneurs?

The startup journey is difficult, slow and full of anxiety and surrounded by unknown factors. Its easy to get distracted and lose focus on the core. We advise entrepreneurs to be always focused on what they are doing, and try to work in a cockroach environment, making sure they get the worth of every dollar spent.

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