Neo-banks have reached over INR 1200 Cr. in India, but will the lack of “regulation” sink the boat of this market?: Ken Research

April 2023  

Indian Neo-banking Industry has been growing exponentially with a CAGR of 136% between FY’17 and FY’21 owing to the increasing adoption of Fin-tech in the country.

1. Rising spending on Personal, Financial Services, and Insurance with a CAGR of 10.3% has created a path for technology and innovation to tap the financial services market in India.

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The financial service sector is picking up pace in India due to the increasing internet penetration, advancement in technology, and changing spending patterns with the rising young population in the country. Spending on Personal, Financial Services, and Insurance has risen from 19000 Crores in 2018 to 28000 Crores in 2022. This has given positive momentum to innovations like neo-banks to enter the banking market in India.

2. As a result of the ongoing fin-tech revolution, the Neo-banking sector is proliferating in India but its growth spiked in 2021 due to the pandemic.

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High dependence on technology and social distancing rules during the global pandemic has pushed consumers to shift to digital banking from traditional banking to satisfy their monetary necessities. As a result, the Neo-banking industry saw a huge surge in market size, especially in 2021. The market grew at an exponential rate of 100% from 2017 to 2022. The increase in internet penetration, the opening of new neo-banks, and customer awareness are some of the other major reasons for the growth.

3. The exponential growth of the neo-bank in India has driven more than $420 Mn investment in the market by potential investors.

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As per Ken research observation, more than $420Mn have been invested by various funds and investors in the Neo Banking Industry which has further fuelled the growth of this market. Majority of the funding came from Venture Capitalists led by Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Hmmingbird Ventures, Greyhound Capital, Tiger Global Management, Y Combinator, and more. A few of the prominent angel investors were Utsav Somani, Sanjay Swamy, and Bhaskar Majumdar.

4. Now the catch is, even after the impressive performance, the neo-bank still doesn’t have license in India. So, will it affect its growth in the future?

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The neo-bank has received banking license globally. But in India, it is yet to receive specific license. Here, they are not directly regulated by Reserve Bank of India. Therefore, they partner with licensed banks, NBFCs, and other financial institutions to provide financial services through their digital platforms. This lack of clarity in regulations is one of the key pain points of the industry. However, RBI has shown activeness with regard to regulations, and the regulations seem to be clearer going forward in the industry. Meanwhile, the collaboration strategy with legal financial entities and rising investments in the sector will keep the boat of neo-bank stay afloat in the Indian market and register positive growth in the coming years.