The coronavirus pandemic has added fuel to the already burning global fintech fire, as contactless mobile banking has become increasingly desirable. The industry has shown that bright fintech ideas can arise from nearly every corner of the world. The pandemic may have shown us a negative to having such an interconnected world, since the virus was able to spread so quickly, but an interconnected world also allows investors to connect with fintech innovators who may not have the funding to bring their ideas to fruition themselves. Recently Zeta, which is a Bangalore-based fintech startup, is very close to reaching unicorn status as it looks to conclude a fundraising round which was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. For those unfamiliar, unicorn status is what’s commonly known in the financial world as a privately-owned startup whose net worth has exceeded about €800 million. This new fundraising round has a goal of reaching over €200 million, which will put Zeta’s net worth at just over €1 billion, which puts them well over unicorn status. According to their website, “Zeta has built a modern stack for Financial Institutions (FIs) for debit, credit, prepaid, loans, authentication and Fraud and Risk Management (FRM).” They work to offer banks better ways to use API stacks as well as offer better credit and debit features for their customers.
Their current funding has allowed Zeta to reach clients across multiple Asian and Latin American markets, and will most likely expand this reach once they exceed unicorn status. Zeta’s co-founders Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati founded the company recently, back in 2015, but this is far from their first venture. Turakhia and his brother Divyank began their first venture all the way back in 1998, and have founded multiple web companies along the way and sold many of them to get to this point, which is easily their most successful project to date. India has recently become a fintech hotspot, as if Zeta accomplishes this feat they will become India’s seventh unicorn fintech just this month. According to TechCrunch, “Last week, social commerce Meesho — also backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 — fintech firm CRED, e-pharmacy firm PharmEasy, millennials-focused Groww, business messaging platform Gupshup and social network ShareChat attained the unicorn status.” This makes the fintech space even more competitive and fascinating to watch, as just this past week startups from Latin America, specifically Brazil, and Africa, specifically Nigeria, have been making major headlines. It’s pretty well known now that Britain is looking to become the world’s fintech and cryptocurrency hotspot as a way of bouncing back big time from the setback of Brexit, but there’s no doubt it will be a hard fought battle for that number one spot.