HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private-sector bank will be rolling out a fund for startups. The initial corpus for this has been between $25 Mn-$30 Mn. This startup fund wishes to help some promising startups to raise sufficient funds with this.
A source related to the matter also said, “It’s a dynamic startup fund and the objective is very clear — start small but keep scaling up. As we understand the ecosystem, we will grow it. The government announced a large fund a few years ago but deployment takes time. If there is a right fit with the bank, we will go ahead and fund the startup.”
According to the reports, HDFC Bank has been looking to strengthen its presence in India’s growing startup ecosystem for quite some time. Speaking about the bank’s involvement in startups, it is already working with more than 150 startups across the country.
This development came to light after the bank extended its SmartUp Zones initiative to Banglore. SmartUp Zones promise banking zones within certain regions inside the branch. And they solely deal with the interests of startups.
Few years down the line, HDFC Bank will also launch SmartUp Zones in 65 of its branches in 30 cities.
To further support the growing startups, the bank also rolled out its industry Academia program. This will work with the development and entrepreneurship cells at IIT Roorkee, IIT Bombay, and IIM Ahmedabad in order to mentor startups at these esteemed institutions. The bank also plans to cooperate with various other educational institutions for its Academia program.
Currently, India is termed as the third largest startup network in the world. As said by the 2017 publication of the NASSCOM-Zinnov report on the “Indian Startup Ecosystem – Traversing the maturity cycle”, the Indian startup arena has had more than 1,000 tech startups added this year. This has taken the total number of tech startups in the country to rise to 5,000-5,200 from the earlier number of 4,500.