Zeta - How this Startup is Helping Financial Institutions Serve Customers Better

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Neobanks, as Wikipedia defines are banks that operate exclusively online without traditional physical branches. In several countries including India, neobanks are not granted banking licenses. Thus, neobanks provide their services by partnering with licensed banks. Owing to its convenience factor neobanks are gaining huge popularity especially among the millennials. Bangalore-based SaaS company Zeta is helping banks and fintechs offer neo banking experience to its customers. Here is the startup story of Zeta,  and how it is helping banking and fintech company's serve their customers better.

Zeta - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Zeta
  • Parent-Zeta Services Inc.
  • Headquarters-San Francisco, California
  • Industry-Neobank, Fintech, Financial Services
  • Founders-Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati
  • Founded-2015
  • Current CEO-Bhavin Turakhia

Zeta - About

Zeta helps banks and financial organizations offer next-generation financial services to its customers using advanced technology. The company's clients include leading banks and fintech companies.

Zeta's products include -

Zeta Tachyon Suite - Designed for banks, this contemporary package includes core banking, credit and debit processing, prepaid hosting, and loans, all of which are connected with a mobile app to help banks deliver a neobank experience, sell more loans, and minimize fraud.

Fusion - Designed for fintech, API-based, platform-as-a-service(PaaS) platform 'Fusion' empowers fintech companies to design and manage financial products for various use-cases. Fusion enables fintech companies to integrate their platform with banks, payment networks, card printers, and more services to create a wonderful customer experience.

Banks, fintech, and businesses all around the world use Zeta's services.

Besides, Zeta offers program management services, whereby it offers consulting services to help banks to build, grow, market, and manage retail portfolios with a high ROA and low cost-to-income ratio.

Zeta also offers solutions that let businesses manage employee benefits packages and reimbursements, as well as corporate gifting. By using Zeta's end-to-end solutions company HRs can manage employee tax benefits and reward programs easily. HR managers, by using a single web-based interface can stay connected to the employees via smartphones and can send, reimbursements, gifts, vouchers, etc. to the employees at the click of a button. The employees either have a Zeta app on their smartphone, or a physical Zeta super card, that they can use to spend the rewards and reimbursements.

Zeta - Latest News

As of May 2021, With $250 million financing from SoftBank, Zeta achieved unicorn status. Zeta is the 14th Indian firm to become a unicorn this year.

Zeta - Founders and Team

Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati founded Zeta in April 2015.

Bhavin Turakhia

Bhavin Turakhia (born December 21, 1979) is the owner of Flock, Radix, CodeChef, and Zeta, as well as a billionaire and serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of both Flock and Zeta. The World Economic Forum has named him a Young Global Leader for 2011. Bhavin Turakhia made a $19 M investment in Zeta in 2016. Bhavin, together with his brother Divyank Turakhia, was among the 95th richest people in India in 2016, according to Forbes, with a net worth of US$1.3 billion.

Ramki Gaddipati

Ramki Gaddipati graduated from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani with a Master's degree in Management and a Master's degree in Software Systems. He worked with the Directi Group for seven years, leading different technology initiatives in various roles. He is presently the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Zeta. His responsibility at Zeta is to manage a strong team of engineers in order to provide a solid foundation for the product. When it comes to product engineering, he comes across as a highly motivated professional who takes initiative and is dedicated to attaining excellence at every stage.

Bhavin and Ramki had a desire to work in an environment where they could fundamentally modify or make major impacts. Zeta initially offered only a range of employee benefit services. Digital corporate solutions for employee tax benefits, automated cafeterias, employee gifts, and digital payments were among its first services. Later the company evolved and started offering banking tech solutions to empower banks and fintechs to serve their customers better and increase their revenue.

“Banks are still stuck in the ’80s. Many of them still use COBOL programming language. They offer poor user experience,” said Turakhia in a press briefing, adding that to make up for it, banks end up working with dozens of vendor and technology partners. “Nobody thought of building the bank stack from the ground up, until now. Any financial service you can think of, Zeta provides it today."

As said by the founders, they do not want Zeta Tech to be a fintech, neobank, or bank; instead, they want it to be a platform that empowers financial institutions.

Zeta - Mission and Vision

Zeta's mission and vision statement say, " We provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary solutions, with understanding, competence, care, and precision. Our ambition at ZETA is to create profitability, reliability, and sustainability for our customers, building on the following elements: A holistic understanding of our customers' needs and goals. "

Zeta - Tagline, Slogan and Logo

Zeta's slogan says, "Accelerating the world towards invisible payments."

Zeta's tagline says, "Omni Stack for FIs and embeddable banking for fintechs."

Zeta - Business Model and Revenue Model

Zeta operates on a B2B2C model, in which it serves as a technology service provider that sells its tech-based goods to banks and fintech firms. Zeta charges banks according to the number of transactions or clients, with no specific price information available.

BFSI issuers across India, Asia, and Latin America use the company's products. RBL Bank, IDFC First Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank are among Zeta's clients, and the company has over 14,000 businesses as their clients. Zeta is used by 4 million people through their banks and other financial organizations.

Furthermore, the company's revenue has increased as a result of the Covid 19 epidemic, which prompted individuals to convert to a digital mode of service during the lockdown.

The startup's business strategy is to persuade large banks to outsource their digital infrastructure to it, allowing lenders to concentrate on backend compliance and services.  Zeta also released an omnichannel API stack for financial institutions, allowing them to create customized backend rails for neo-banking, consumer loans, and fraud analytics.

Zeta - Employees

  • Bhavin Turakhia - Co-founder and CEO
  • Ramki Gaddipati - Co-founder and CTO
  • Abhishek Sen - Chief Operating Officer
  • Himanshu Raj - Sr. Manager, PR and Marketing Communications
  • Ritesh Arora - Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Chaitanya Pramod - Principal Engineer II
  • Murali Nair - President-Banking-Indian Subcontinent

Zeta - Challenges Faced

Zeta provides a suite of employee payment, accounts payable, and accounts receivable solutions for businesses. The firm offers commercial card issuing and hosting services to banks. Promoting interconnectivity between corporations, their banks, and back-office systems is key to reducing enterprise payments resistance on both sides.

Adoption of a new technology related to finance in any business, bank or financial institution always takes time and also faces some resistance, which is a challenge for Zeta.

Zeta - Mergers and Acquisitions

As of July 2019, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services (Sodexo BRS), Sodexo India's employee benefits and rewards arm, announced in a press conference that it has merged with Bengaluru-based fintech company Zeta's employee benefits division. Following the transaction, Zeta has a minority share in Sodexo BRS India.

Zeta - Growth

Zeta's platform is used by over 2 million individuals, and major banks like RBL Bank, IDFC First Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Financial institutions, including Sodexo, as well as over 14,000 corporate clients, including Amazon, are using solutions offered by Zeta. Zeta's corporate gifting program is used by a number of Indian banks.

After the Softbank-led investment in May 2021, Zeta is valued at $1.45 billion. Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati explained that the latest funding raised this year (2021) will be utilized to grow the company's operations in the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia.

While the Zeta founders have not commented on the exact revenue of the company, as per some trusted sources, the company has earned $10 million in revenue so far.

“Our goal is to become the de facto banking tech platform globally. Based on just our existing contracts, in the next 4-5 years our platform will have 70 million users, making it the largest neo banking platform in the world." Zeta CEO Bhavin Turakhia said in an interview after raising the May 2021 funding round.

Zeta - Competitors

Zeta's primary competitors include companies like Fico, Fiastra, Nets, and Accarda.

Zeta - Awards and Achievements

NASSCOM named it one of the Emerge 50 startups.

India FinTech Forum announced its FinTech Rising Stars during the 2017 India FinTech Awards.

2018 BusinessWorld Techtors Award

The Finovate West Digital Best of Show Award will be presented in 2020.

Best Fintech in Value Added Services Award from Business Today and KPMG in 2020

Zeta - Future Plans

Zeta has ambitions to grow into Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, as well as Europe. In an interview, the Zeta CEO published on June 2021, he revealed that the company has plans to expand into 30 countries over the next two fiscal years and focus on additional verticals such as wealth management.

Under its employee benefits offering, which is currently live with Sodexo, Zeta plans to provide corporate gifts soon. It is used by over 1.5-2 million people and has over 8,000-10,000 enterprises on board.

Zeta wants the top 300 banks in the world to be its clients, and it wants the US to account for 60% of its income in five years. In the next 12 months, the firm intends to quadruple its staff, which is presently about 800.

70% of the funds raised from Softbank will be used for company growth, with the remainder going toward onboarding new clients. The funds will be used to expand the company's operations, personnel, and platform in order to fulfill the demands of its growing client base. The main focus will be on putting together a credit card processing stack.

In the short term, Zeta will concentrate on new hiring and product enhancements. It may ultimately consider a public listing.

Zeta - FAQs

What does Zeta do?

Zeta is a  full-stack, data center, API-first neo-banking solution, fintech firm working on a platform that would allow employees to monitor their expenses, provide corporate gifts, and use co-branded debit and credit cards.

Who founded Zeta?

Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati founded the firm in April 2015.

How does Zeta make money?

They charged the banks based on the number of transactions or the number of customers. It also has a revenue-sharing model for fintech startups.

Which companies do Zeta compete with?

Zeta's primary competitors are Fico, Finastra, Nets, and Accarda.