Neo Bank Fi Secures $ 50 Million Series B Funding
The Fi application is a savings product that aims to simplify the finances of working professionals. Over a million users had signed up for Fi’s waiting list to open a savings account.
Against the backdrop of the positive response to its early access launch in April, Fi, the Bengaluru-based neobank, has opened up its access to the app to everyone. Users will no longer be on the waiting list and can now download the Fi app directly from the Google Playstore and the App Store. Fi has now raised $ 50 million for a valuation of $ 315 million from B Capital Group, Falcon Edge and others, in addition to a previous interim round with existing investors Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital. The last cycle increases the valuation 7 times, compared to their Series A cycle in 2020 which valued Fi at $ 45 million.
The Fi application is a savings product that aims to simplify the finances of working professionals. Over a million users had signed up for Fi’s waiting list to open a savings account. The account is a zero-balance instant savings account with a debit card issued in partnership with the Federal Bank. Early Access to Fi was only open to Android users until recently. By popular demand, the neobank launched its iOS app last month.
Sujith Narayanan, CEO and Co-Founder of Fi, said, “User feedback has been encouraging and the app has been well received. We’ve focused on providing a banking experience for digital natives that reflects their personalities – simple, smart, fun and flexible. We will therefore continue to strengthen our proposal through ecosystem partnerships and new offers, financing is an additional bonus that will fuel our growth. It is a reflection of investor confidence in the lack of banking needs that we are trying to fill. “
Kabir Narang, Founding General Partner, B Capital Group, said: “We have looked at neo-banking opportunities in emerging markets and are delighted to invest in Fi. Fi is focused on meeting the pressing financial needs of 60 million digitally savvy millennials in India. This is a large, attractive and growing market, especially against the backdrop of a $ 180 ARPU for the nation’s top retail banks. Fi is building a modern banking product, which receives rave reviews from both Fi app and debit card users. We are delighted to partner with Fi and their exceptional team who are reinventing personal banking services. “
Users who integrated Fi during Early Access quickly incorporated features designed specifically to help them save money. Around 20% of users have opened smart deposits to start their savings journey. Smart Deposit combines the best features of Fixed Deposit (FD) and Recurring Deposit (RD) to help users save money to meet their goals on their own terms. Another well-received feature called “FIT Rules” automatically saves money based on user-defined conditions. The most popular FIT rules right now are the ones titled “Healthy, Rich and Wise” and “Don’t Buy Until You Fall” which put money aside every time a user orders. food and online stores respectively.
Sumit Gwalani, co-founder of Fi, said: “We have observed that there is inertia towards saving among digital natives. They want to save but never succeed in taking proactive steps to save. When designing the functionality of Fi, we tried to keep the user at the center and create tools that help them overcome this inertia. Adopting some of these features validates our efforts.
Fi users also relied on Ask.fi for their money related queries. It’s Fi’s built-in virtual financial assistant that can respond to queries in less than a second. Interestingly, Millennials’ top search queries were about their monthly savings and spending on Amazon. With more built-in users, new FIT rules have also been added to include football, cricket, and the Olympics. The most recent additions to the FIT rules relate to widely identifiable habits such as phone use, screen time, social media use, etc., which allow users to save money from aside to save money if they manage to reduce their screen time.
In September, Fi was one of the first fintech companies to adopt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Account Aggregation (AA) framework and showcase its use case at the event. industry-wide launch hosted by iSPIRT. Fi’s connected accounts feature based on the AA framework will allow users to view their financial data from all of their bank accounts. The feature will be available to all users soon. In addition, Fi will deploy an “investments” feature on the application in the coming months.
2021 has seen the rise of fintech in India and the financial sector is finally seeing an increase in the adoption of user-friendly technologies and innovations. As millennials look to the financial industry to deliver an end-to-end banking experience, Fi’s onboarding process and kit has been well received by its users. The kit includes a “Zine” comic book and a minimalist debit card.