Having identified fintech as a promising space to generate jobs, Andhra Pradesh today announced a Rs 100-crore fund of funds to invest in startups in this area. Also Read - "Mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time" in India last year: PM ModiAlso Read - Using Paytm Transit card you can travel in metro, bus, train and more cashless
“We will put in Rs 100 crore initially for a fund of funds which will be managed professionally by a venture capital firm. It will help hone fintech startups,” state’s special chief secretary JA Chowdary told reporters here. Appealing the Centre to also partner by contributing money for the fund, he said details of the state’s fund, being launched as part of the government’s aim to boost fintech activities in the Vizag Fintech Valley, in Vishakapatnam, will be announced in two weeks. The Chandrababu Naidu administration has initiated an industry-academia-government partnership to tap and hone skilled talent available at cheaper costs to develop the biggest city of the state into a global fintech hub, he said.
Apart from the fund of funds, the state has also created a fintech tower which already houses startups like Paytm and others from Boston and Singapore, he said, adding new companies can move-in “almost for free”. A global fintech competition with a high prize-money will be organized in October, while there will be monthly meet-ups where promising companies will be given grants of up to Rs 5 lakh, he said. “The effort is to develop the entire ecosystem needed for development of the fintech sector,” he said, but declined to specify the numbers like the government’s investment in the initiative or the targeted employment. ALSO READ: Microsoft offers to help Andhra Pradesh with e-governance, cyber security
In the short-term, the government is aiming to have 100 start-ups and up to 15 global companies with their centers of excellence housed in the ‘Vizag Fintech Valley’, he said. At present, stress is laid on having partnerships which can help achieve the goal, he said, stating agreements have been signed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to get a fintech accelerator at the ‘Vizag Fintech Valley’. Global banking and tech companies are also being signed-up, he said, elaborating that each of these companies will be adopting an educational institute in such a way that an industry-ready talent pool is created before the students pass out from their college. ALSO READ: Microsoft, ICRISAT partner to improve crop yields in Andhra Pradesh
As part of the same efforts, three consortia are being created to identify use cases for blockchain technologies in the fields of banking, insurance and government, he said. The state will also be appointing a high-level advisory board with industry executives to guide the chief minister, he said. Separately, the state is also in talks with domestic banks and some of them have already given in-principle nod to have a presence, he added.
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