Setu raises $3.5 Million

StartupLanes congratulates Application Programming Interface (API) infrastructure startup Setu, that has raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Lightspeed India Partners besides participation from Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund.

Setu was founded by Sahil Kini, a Principal with Aspada Investments, and Nikhil Kumar, a fellow at iSPIRT Foundation. It offers APIs across bill payments, savings, credit and payments.

Being brought together three years ago by Infosys cofounder Nandan Nilekani, Kini and Kumar had worked together on creating a strategy document at iSPIRT for mass adoption of the Unified Payments Interface.

In a note shared with ET, the company said that it intends to create a technology layer over the banking system to allow fintech players to plug in and offer financial services to customers.

Setu would allow early-stage fintech companies to scale up, offering them a regulatory sandbox-like environment where they can build their application and test in a developer programme before going live. This will save them time and costs, while providing the opportunity to integrate with one financial institution to test their product.

Bengaluru-based Setu is working on an API-driven product to enable banks to offer sachet financial products to the under-banked in a partner distribution system, with a scalable technology architecture. The company has started work with Kotak, SBI Mutual Fund to offer this service.

“Making every company a fintech company – that is the goal,” said Sahil Kini, co-founder and CEO of Setu. “By making it easy for businesses and developers to integrate with banking and other financial systems, the company’s ultimate mission is to advance accessibility and affordability of financial products for all.”

Setu recently introduced a product named ‘Collect’, which can allow merchants of every size to collect recurring payments from consumers – be those EMIs for loans, mutual fund SIPs, insurance premiums or housing society maintenance charges. Consumers can use any payment application to enable the transactions.

“Our goal is to build a world-class developer platform and make the latest fintech available to developers. We plan to design, build and launch new products every year to shape the future of fintech in developing economies,” said Nikhil Kumar, co-founder, Setu.

Kumar added that Setu will organize community events like Hackathons to attract developers and will also reach out to major players through strategic partnerships. As a part of the developer programme those to join Setu will go through onboarding and a continuous management process which will help financial institutions to work with fintech startups at scale.