The fintech startup offers SMEs everything digitally that a business gets from a traditional bank, ranging from a current account to a debit or credit card
By Riya Sethi
From tracking cash flows on multiple dashboards, going to different payment gateways and using separate tools for invoicing and accounting, SMEs tend to struggle a lot when it comes to business banking. Under the circumstances, these small entities are forced to spend a lot of time and resources on reviewing and contemplating on their finances. Open, a fintech startup, sought to offer a way of automating these business finances by enabling digital banking services to small businesses and startups.
Founded by Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achutan, Anish Achutan and Deena Jacob, Open is said to be Asia’s first neo-banking platform that combines everything from banking to invoicing and automated bookkeeping in one place. “Business banking can prove to be quite challenging, especially for small enterprises and startups who struggle a lot with payouts. At Open, our prime objective is to digitise the entire banking operations by building a modern business banking service wherein we tie up with traditional banks to offer digital banking services to SMEs and startups,” says Anish Achutan, co-founder & CEO, Open.
Focused on building a seamless intuitive experience to automate finances, the startup equips the businesses with a current account which comes integrated with a number of tools for invoicing, payment gateways, expense management and accounting.
“Being heavily dependent on the banking partners to build the infrastructure and in a country where most of the banks were not ready to support this external mode of banking service, it was quite arduous to convince banks and investors and foray into the Indian market with a new concept like neo-banking. In the first year, our focus was more on getting the right banking partnerships and bringing the concept of neo-banking to the public wherein we started publishing reports and organising seminars. It was only in 2018 that we partnered with ICICI Bank,” adds Achutan.
Recently, the startup launched a business credit card called the ‘Founder’s Card’ in partnership with Visa which comes with a unique underwriting to assist SMEs and startups in payouts and expense management. With this, the businesses can now actually issue a virtual card to its employers for carrying out corporate expenses.
Based out of Bengaluru, Open is working with at least 15 banks and has analysed transactions worth $11 billion. With over 5,00,000 users already on the platform, it has a strong presence across all metros and Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Backed by leading global investors like BeeNext, Speedinvest, 3one4capital and Tiger Global Management, Open has raised close to $37 million.