28 May 2016 Current Affairs: RBL Bank Ltd, the first private-sector bank to open a dedicated branch for start-ups in Bengaluru last month, will launch an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) programme for fintech start-ups in the next 9-12 months.
The bank has already allocated a 17-seater area within its office in Bengaluru and has forged partnerships with start-up accelerators in and around the city, such as Jaaga, Axilor, Beehive, Headstart and 1 Crowd. Through these partnerships, the bank identifies and evaluates relevant start-ups incubated by the accelerators, especially those whose solutions are synergistic with its products and services.
Acquiring customers : The primary challenges for these start-ups is to acquire their first customer. “With this programme, they can beta test their ideas, products or solutions on our platform, with us as their first customer. Besides providing banking services to these start-ups, the Bank also provides mezzanine funding through partners and accelerator funds, ranging from a few crores up to ₹25 crore; which serves as a bridge round to an equity raise of Series B or C funding.
Start-up club : The EIR programme is just one of the many strands of RBL Bank’s engagement with start-ups. Earlier this year, the Bank launched India StartUp Club, a fast-track programme to support early-stage start-ups with a bouquet of basic banking services to jumpstart their operations.The bank already engages with 112 start-ups around the country via this programme. This includes a Green Channel for account setup, payroll services, cash management, trade and foreign exchange service, escrow accounts, transaction banking solutions, customised debit cards and a dedicated hotline.