Google Introduces New Startups To Launchpad Studio, Partners With Four Indian Banks
Google just introduced a new group of startup businesses into Launchpad Studio, the tech behemoth’s accelerator it launched last year that matches top machine learning startups and experts from Silicon Valley with Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies.
While the accelerator’s first group was meant to gather new insights from medical data, this most recent one is meant to shake up well-known financial markets and systems.
Accurately reviewing and analyzing millions of data points tied to locations, demographics, and financial situations will result in information helpful to the financial sector.
Some of the new startups include:
Celo (USA) – growing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency.
GuiaBolso (Brazil) – improving the economic lives of Brazilians.
Starling Bank (UK) – improving financial well-being with a mobile-only bank.
Frontier Car Group (Germany) – investing in the ever-changing process of used-car marketplaces.
Inclusive (Ghana) – verifying identities across Africa.
Aye Finance (India) – remodeling financing in India.
m.Paani (India) – powering local businesses and the next one billion users in India.
India and the United States are the only countries with more than one business in Google’s latest Launchpad Studio accelerator additions – With two startups coming from these countries.
In addition, Google is partnering with four Indian banks to issue customer loans online, as the battle for the $1 trillion digital finance market persists.
The banks partnering with the search engine are HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and Federal Bank.
They will offer instant, pre-approved loans to consumers “right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds.”
Google also re-branded its made-in-India Tez app, launched in September, as Google Pay.
The app’s users can take out customized loans and get the funds transferred straight into their bank account.
“We’ve learned that when we build for India, we build for the world,” Caesar Sengupta, vice-president of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative and Payments, said at the “Google for India” meet in New Delhi.
Over 55-million people in more than 300,000 towns and villages have downloaded Google’s payments app to pay for dinner, bus rides, or other services.
In total, Google estimates about $30 billion in annual transactions through the Tez app.
Google also announced that it’s expanding its Google Station internet access program to 12,000 villages and cities throughout the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The search-engine will add more Indian language content through a publishing venture called Project Navlekha, and will also add a new feature in Google Go that allows users to listen to websites read aloud in English and five different Indian languages.