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Time and again, online services have been proving to be beneficial for many people. To ponder, is there anything left that is not available on the internet or cannot be utilized online? The answer is no. Yes, because we are living in the digital world.
Whenever we have something do to with banks, we always go to its nearest branch to get the work done, right? What if the same services can be availed through an online platform? That's right, it can be operated digitally, and that is called a neo-banking platform.
Open is Asia's first neo-banking platform based in Bengaluru. Founded in 2017, the company offers banking services for SMEs and startups under RBI's regulations and policies.
Here is the story of Open which will tell you about its founders, how it works, its revenue and growth, its business model, funding and investors, and more.
Open - Company Highlights
- Headquarters-Bengaluru, India
- Legal name-Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
- Sector-Financial Services
- Founder-Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Deena Jacob and Ajeesh Achuthan
- Founded -2017
- Valuation-$1 billion
- Revenue -$135.8 million (Approx.)
- Total Funding Raised-$190.8 million
Open - About and how does it work?
As a neo-banking platform, Open provides a business account backed by fellow banks that allows small company owners to accept payments, auto-reconcile them, and make smooth disbursements. It offers a VISA card that permits to operate the banking activities in one place.
Not to get confused, Open is a digital technology platform, and not a bank or has any license related to banking. All the services such as VISA Cars, business current accounts, loans, and other related financial services offered by Open are provided by RBI-licensed banks and financial institutions.
Open is India's 100th Unicorn startup as it had a valuation of more than $1 billion. The company has helped more than 25 lakh businesses just in India.
Unlike a traditional bank account, Open neobank's platform has accounts that are designed to cater to the needs of small-scale businesses. It also serves freelancers, startups, developers, etc.
The intelligent and effective features of Open business accounts help any business to have a seamless and hassle-free banking experience.
Businesses can have better results with Open's features like Collect Payments, Automate Accounting, Expense Management, Send Payouts, and Even integrate banking into their business workflow through powerful APIs. Along with these features, it offers tools to easily track and collect payments.
Through Open's banking platform, a business can benefit in multiple ways. For instance, a business can directly make payments from its account without adding beneficiaries. It also gives the liberty to have separate personal & business spending.
Banking companies like Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Smart Banking by SBM Bank, etc are partners of Open. The company boasts of empowering around 50,000 new SMEs and startups every month.
Open - Industry details
The financial services industry is one of the most important industries because it provides various offerings within the financial sector. The Indian financial sector has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years.
The worldwide financial services industry was predicted to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% from $23,319.52 billion in 2021 to $25,839.35 billion in 2022.
Open - Founders
Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Deena Jacob and Ajeesh Achuthan are the founders of Open.
Anish Achuthan is also the CEO of Open Financial Technologies. He has worked in the financial business for over 17 years. Other than Open, he co-founded Zwitch, which is India's first developer-focused payment platform, in 2013, which was eventually bought by Citrus Payments. Anish was also a founding member of PayU India, serving as Vice President (New Initiatives) and business head (Payu Money- SME). The first company founded by him was Ifuturz Technologies, an internet & wireless value-added service provider.
Deena Jacob started her career as an Assistant Manager at Deloitte & Touche. She has an experience of more than 15 years of working in different roles in areas such as finance operations, purchase operations, HR and performance management systems, business strategy, financial planning & analysis, treasury, tax, pricing, legal, and compliance in companies like - ICICI Bank, Ernst & Young GSS, Aditya Birla Minacs, etc. Deena is presently the CFO at Open. She is the recipient of the CIMA Most Influential CFOs award in 2016 and the CFONEXT 100 in 2013, recognizing the top 100 finance executives in India, and being named to CFO India's top 100 CFO roll of honor in the category of management controls in 2017.
Mabel Chacko has a strong passion for startups and entrepreneurship and has over 15 years of experience in the field of financial technology space. Before, founding Open, she played a key role in starting many other companies. The first company co-founded by her is Touch2pay in 2006, which was a biometric payment start-up that worked in the area of financial inclusion in the remote villages of Gujarat. Mabel has worked in companies like Citrus Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd and PayU. She graduated from IIM Bengaluru. Mabel Chacko was named "Startup Leader of the Year" in 2019 by MEITY and Nasscom, as well as being recognized in the financial field.
After graduating from the University of Kerala with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Ajeesh Achuthan has been listed in Forbes 30 Under 30. He is presently the CTO of Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Ajeesh co-founded his first company called InLoc8, which was an indoor location-based ad-tech platform. He has been associated with companies like PayU and Citrus Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Open - Mission and Vision
Open's mission statement is, "To deliver a truly seamless business banking experience and make managing finances a breeze."
Open - Business & Revenue Model
Open operates on a dual business model - B2B and B2C model.
The company's business operates on a neo-banking platform that offers various banking and financial services to small businesses or startups. Currently, Open serves more than 15,00,000 SMEs and processes $24 Billion in transactions annually. With the exception of assisting businesses in properly managing their client's money, the platform also provides APIs for developers to incorporate banking and payments into their company activities.
It offers various products and solutions like - Current Accounts, Payment Gateway Solutions, Business Credit Cards, Corporate Cards, Accounting Automation Solutions, and Virtual Cards to manage online subscriptions, UPI Autopay, Cash Management Services, Invoice Management Systems, and Simplified Payouts. The latest addition to these services, Open has also started offering an integrated payroll system for companies to manage their payroll and TDS payments in just a few clicks without much hassle.
Open - Revenue Growth
The company reported having generated sales revenue of Rs 5.6 crores in FY21. The approximate revenue Open generates on a yearly basis is around $135.8 million.
Open - Funding and Investors
Over the course of eight rounds of investment, Open has raised a total of $190.8 million of funds. Their most recent funding came in the form of a Series D round on May 2, 2022. So far, 18 investors have contributed to the funding of Open. The most recent investors are Temasek Holdings and 3one4 Capital. A few other investors also include such as SBI investment, Google, Recruit, Bettercapital Angelist Syndicate, Tanglin Ventures, Tiger Global Management, and IIFL Finance.
Open - Partners
Open is the official digital banking partner of three IPL Teams - Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Open - Awards and Achievements
The awards and achievements of Open Financial Technologies are:
Open was the winner of the Startup of the Year Award at the Dhanam Business Summit and Award Nite 2022.
Open is India’s 100th unicorn startup company
Open is the world's largest SME neo-banking platform
Open has been featured in Leading BFSI Startup 2021, Potential BFSI unicorns, and List of Startups with the most M&A deals in 2021.
Open - Competitors
Some of the competitors of Open are:
- Cashfree Payments
- NTT Data
Who is the CEO of Open?
Anish Achuthan is the CEO of Open.
Is Open Asia's first Neo Bank?
Yes, Open is Asia's first Neo Bank for SMEs and Startups.
Is Open like a traditional bank?
Open doesn't claim to hold a banking license.
Is Open a Unicorn?
Yes, Open is 100th Unicorn from India.