The most interesting financial startups announced at Y Combinator in March 2017

Let’s take a peek at how fintech is applying their brightest talent to solve the many pain points of the financial sector.

The YC Winter Demo Days 2017 chose more than a hundred tech startups after listening to countless pitches. We’ve decided to select just 5 financial apps that really excel at something. From the fastest loan system to the most efficient tool to shorten queues, Emerline looks at the top 5 ideas that fascinated the Y Combinator crowd (and us!) in March 2017.

The fastest peer-to-peer credit platform

Credy is a small Indian fintech startup that wants to capture the opportunity to digitize and capture the untapped potential of the peer-to-peer small loans market in one of the most populated countries in the world.

The startup bases its success on the recent policy changes of the Indian government that decided to take more than 80% of total bank notes out of the hands of the consumers in an effort to move financial operations to the digital space.

Credy boasts that the platform can fulfill loan requests in under a minute. And while this speed is amazing for borrowers, that may raise concerns with people who entrust Credy with their own money.

Credy solved the problem of security using Aadhaar ID biometrics data that stores medical parameters of more than 1 billion residents. Adhaar ID helps mitigate the risks of fraud and misuse of the service – all borrowers are registered in the system with their biometric data.

With the miniature team of 6 financial experts, web developers, and credit professionals Credy looks into the future with optimism. Harshit Vaishnav, a former VP and analyst of Goldman Sachs, is one of the biggest talents in the startup. No doubt his experience can help Credy move forward faster than the competition.

The most transparent cash transfer service

Moneytis promises to provide the fairest rates for money transfers across countries and continents. The startup uses a sophisticated in-house algorithm to determine the cheapest options for sending cash between countries and states that all their rates are completely transparent.

Moneytis was founded in March 23, 2015. After two years of intensive work they finally managed to present their solution at YC 2017 and receive another batch of seed funding to continue development.

Although the whole sum of investment has not been disclosed, the startup managed to raise a sum close to $6M in its latest round in March 2017.

Etienne Tatur, co-founder and CTO of Moneytis, believes that traditional money transfer companies would not adapt to the new tech-dominated landscape and are going to go the Kodak way.

What he doesn’t say is that Moneytis is going to help them vanish.

The simplest digital wallet for underbanked

Neema looks at the similar problem of sending cash to relatives and lacking enticing banking options, but from a different angle. The startup offers extended functionality of organizing and optimizing your financial life from a single point of access – your smartphone.

Neema focuses on the needs of people who work abroad and support their families or loved ones that still live at home – the service sends money to 90 countries all over the world.

A lot of these workers have to get their pay in paychecks and then send the cash home via Western Union or another traditional money transfer company that charge a large percent for their services.

The startup solves this problem by partnering with MasterCard. Neema users get their own MasterCard, and then they can scan a check with a phone to instantly deposit money and send it home, abroad, where their relative can pick the cash.

The best tool for killing queues

While some startups have to think hard to come up with an original idea that shakes and disrupts the whole market, some take a more reserved approach. They look at a good idea and implement it in a different place.

This is the story of Buypower, a bill paying platform for African countries. The founders have clearly been inspired by Paypal and claim to already have the business of 40% of all customers in Nigeria who prefer to pay a fairly large 4% chunk of their sum to avoid endless lines and get done with their bills faster.

Today Buypower focuses solely on electricity bills. The service allows users to purchase electricity tokens and avoid having to make time to go to the station and pay for the service in person.

Buypower still has a lot of space to grow. It only covers a few most urbanized areas of the country, Abuja and Jos, but looks with interest into expanding to new horizons.

The smartest financial app in Africa

Kudi is a startup aimed to facilitate money transfers in African countries. The company uses Skype and Facebook chat bots to move money around, pay their customer’s phone bill and utilities. A user can just state where they want the funds to go and wait for the chat bot to do the rest.

Kudi customers can use the app for free. The app is a part of Facebook Free Basics and is highly integrated into FB environment. All data exchanged through Kudi is free – and it’s a really big advantage in a country where only 40% of population have access to the Internet.

The company claims their approach is better than what 90% of other apps offer today. It’s easy to use for non-technical people and the popularity of the app has been growing fast since its launch in January 2017.

Kudi believes that this type of service will be really valuable for people who live in areas with unreliable Internet infrastructure.

Kudi decided to expand fast and launched Kudimoney in September 2016, offering a short-term loan service for Nigeria. Kudimoney focuses on providing the so called payday loans to Nigerians who need a small bridge loan money to get through the month.

Focus on the emerging markets

It’s clear that with oversaturated and highly competitive Western world markets most startups look at Asian and African financial ecosystems that offer huge opportunities and an untapped potential of hundreds of millions in user base. We are really excited to see what’s around the corner for fintech and wish them luck.

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