New Delhi : YES BANK announced today that it has invested with Venture Catalysts Group Funds (Venture Catalysts), which is an integrated incubator that offers funding, mentorship, and network to startup founders from the idea inception stage to the growth stages of the startup journey. The fund has also sponsored two platforms, Beams Fintech Fund that invests in growth Stage companies operating at the intersection of Financial Services and Technology, and 9 Unicorns Accelerator Fund that is an early stage sector agnostic investor.
With these investments, YES BANK aims to further its mission of catering to the ‘Future Tech Businesses of India’, bolster innovation in the technology space including financial sector, and potentially partnering with leading tech startups that Venture Catalysts has invested in — Beams Fintech Fund and 9 Unicorns Accelerator Fund.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ajay Rajan, Country Head – Transaction Banking, YES BANK said, “We are pleased to partner with Venture Catalysts and the allied platforms – Beams Fintech Fund and 9 Unicorns Accelerator Fund. We believe that this partnership is a step in the direction to becoming the go-to-bank for technology startups. India is at the cusp of a massive growth and the collaboration between banks and tech companies – especially with fintechs – will play a critical role in this journey.”
This partnership aligns with YES BANKs’ long-term growth strategy of strengthening its foothold in India’s growing tech markets by investing in the founders of tomorrow. Collaborating with and supporting tech companies to ideate and experiment on various use cases such as agriculture, healthcare, commerce, education, logistics, open banking, supply chain finance, payments, digital banking, among others has been a key driver of YES BANK’s innovation strategy. YES BANK has been a pioneer in the tech space and was the first Bank in India to open up its APIs to various tech companies in 2015.
Mr. Naveen Surya, Co-founding member, Beams Fintech Fund, said “This partnership is a great beginning for the tech ecosystem. YES BANK has always been a visionary bank and a harbinger of innovation related to anything tech. We hope this will encourage other banks and fintechs in the market to partner with groups like Beams Fintech Fund and 9 Unicorns Accelerator Fund. We are aiming to create a large ecosystem consisting of banks, NBFCs and fintech companies to support the tech ecosystem. We are looking forward to working with YES BANK and bringing positive outcomes for all our portfolio companies and founders.”
Beams Fintech Fund (Beams), a CAT II AIF, was launched at the start of 2022 with a mission to build India’s largest fintech ecosystem. It will be actively investing in innovative technology companies at growth stages in the fintech space in India including in the Embedded Finance, SAAS for Banks & FIs, SAAS for Businesses, Global Enterprise SAAS, Personal Finance Management and Neo Banking space. Beams brings a strong value add approach towards investing as it has been building an ecosystem of fintech players, banks, and NBFCs. Due to its clear vision and ambition, Beams continues to add key strategic investors and leading financial institutions from India and internationally to its roster of investors. Beams is targeting to deploy US$ 180 mn across 10 to 12 investments over the next three years in Series B and C rounds of companies.
9 Unicorns Accelerator Fund (9 Unicorns), a CAT I AIF, launched by the founding members of Venture Catalysts is a sector agnostic VC that aims to disrupt idea stage investing in India. 9 Unicorns has already raised $100 mn and is actively deploying from its maiden fund. It invests seed capital of $300K – $500K in the first round, with larger follow-on capital in fast growing deserving portfolio companies. Along with idea stage investing, the fund participates in a select few growth stage opportunities, generally Series C and beyond.