JP Morgan has committed $7 million to a $9.5 million fund to build and setup a lab for fintech startups working on financial inclusion solutions. Calling it their largest philanthropic commitment in any country outside the US, it is in association with IIM-Ahmedabad, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The aim of the initiative is to identify and scale early-stage fintech startups focused on the lower and middle income (LMI) groups – who earn $2-$10 a day. Kalpana Morparia, CEO, South and South East Asia, J.P. Morgan, said “Our initiative aims to identify and nurture fintech start-ups to generate innovative ideas which will help make financial products and services more accessible to this critical mass of Indians.” The startups are working to enable access and usage of financial products and services like credit, insurance and more for LMI households.
The Lab is part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), a program that was launched in May with an aim to support and incubate startups working on technologies that are useful in serving underserved communities – in fields of financial inclusion, education, health and livelihoods.
According to a report, over the course of the next four years, J.P. Morgan will provide $7 million towards the initiative. The Lab will use insight and lessons from the JPMorgan Chase-funded Financial Solutions Lab. The initiative was launched in 2014 and has helped develop and scale fintech solutions to improve the financial wellbeing of the underserved communities in the US. Reportedly, the fintechs that have participated have, in amalgamation, reached more than 2.5 million Americans and users have grown by 20 times since joining.
In May of 2018, it was announced that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation along with Omidyar Network would support the BII in backing startups leveraging what is being called India’s ‘digital transformation’ to boost access to services that were otherwise inaccessible to a large population of India’s masses.