Startup Mantra: companies benefit from open access to big data

Finarkein Analytics, the Pune-based start-up, has created a privacy-focused data analytics platform, working seamlessly with various open digital ecosystems (ODEs), to help businesses large and small to access open data standards (also known as digital public goods).

Finarkein’s holistic data ecosystem will provide a unified solution for data collection, transformation, modeling and analysis with a collaborative approach.

Founded by Nikhil Kurhe and Dheeraj Kumar, volunteer architects helping to create the Account Aggregation (AA) Framework, Finarkein’s products are designed to solve the major problems faced by India and globally due to lack of ” Data access’.

At first…

Finarkein is a team of five co-founders with Kurhe (27) as CEO and youngest member of the team, Kumar as CTO and Aakash Agarwal as COO. Although two co-founders have yet to join the start-up, they all have very common backgrounds in IT and data engineering and complementary skills. Kurhe is a student at Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT – 2016), Kumar is from Sinhgad College of Engineering Pune (SCOE – 2013) and Agarwal is from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT – 2013). They all met while working at a business intelligence firm as the core data science and data engineering team.

Kurhe says, “We were solving problems in a different area. The amount of scale that we were working on in big data was pretty large. That’s when we realized we have a very unique skill set, but the issues we’re working on are very specialized and have no impact on the skill set we had. So we started to get interested in the financial services industry because we were struggling to manage our own finances and wanted to automate our money management. This led us to learn about Reserve Bank of India’s ‘Account Aggregator’ Framework and NBFC Master Circular in 2016. We started working part-time outside of office hours, trying to build and understand this. what this ecosystem is. We also contacted volunteers and architects who were actually building these ecosystems. “

“While Finarkein as a company was incorporated in October 2019, the code for one of our flagship products, Flux – a low-code no-code platform – dates back to 2017 when we were working part-time. My other co-founders were able to hold two jobs, but I couldn’t. So I quit my job in August 2019 and started to develop the technological front-end. Since being the Face, my role has expanded further into business development, product roadmap and ecosystem evangelism, ”adds Kurhe.

Exploit the data

Derived from the Greek root “Arkein”, which means self-reliance, independence – Finarkein means data and financial independence through the ability to extract information and value to solve massive problems.

According to Kurhe and his team’s assessment, India as a nation is probably five to ten years ahead of the rest in terms of open data standards. He says, “There are many digital public goods going on, such as Ayushman Bharat health mission, DigiLocker, AgriStack. Everyone is trying to access these systems, get data, extract relevant information, go to a specific vertical, and solve a problem statement. It is still very difficult to exploit this data. The current system has many inefficiencies. Most of these steps are repetitive, and the single bit is only where a company applies business logic. This is where we automate about 75% of the work done by all companies. “

“When you have inefficiencies and data silos, then to solve problems like financial inclusion, better access to health care, climate change, you have to first solve them from a business perspective. unitary economy. This is when we felt that the upcoming Open Data standards in India and around the world are a good equalizer. It level the playing field for everyone to focus on the issues in the value chain, ”Kurhe said.

Business ready

India is a data-rich nation with an added advantage in terms of a demographic dividend, Kurhe believes. Along with Kumar, he actively promotes, a community of builders and facilitators working in and around open digital ecosystems.

Kurhe says, “We had participated in and won the hackathon hosted by ‘Sahamati’ Account Aggregator in August 2020. We received good feedback after the hackathon and we realized that what we are solving is a very tangible and real problem statement. Our minimum viable commodity was ready. However, the customers we wanted to research were looking for additional security features such as enterprise-grade security, audit logs, compliance, and certifications. To move from the MVP stage to the corporate stage, we spent an additional six months.

First customer

Kurhe and his team saw an opportunity with one of the insurers in February-March 2021. Finarkein was one of four start-ups selected by Max Life Insurance to engage in the second edition of its flagship program of InsurTech accelerator – ‘Max Life Innovation Labs 2.0’.

Kurhe said, “We have been successful in convincing their leaders to explore this new statement of the problem of leveraging India’s open data standards, both in the financial and healthcare industries. This is how we obtained our first corporate client and Max Life Insurance became the first insurer to join the “Account Aggregator” ecosystem using Finarkein software. In parallel, we joined the CIIE (Center for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship) of IIM Ahmedabad. We were part of the third cohort of their financial inclusion lab.

Learning curve

Kurhe says: “We did not immediately start because we did not have the experience of dealing with companies. As a primary customer we wanted to gain experience for the product and Max Life Insurance was willing to experiment and work on it. There were some very difficult lessons that now allow us to have a much improved turnaround time. From the first meeting to the signing of the contract, we are able to close a deal in 70-75 days, which is very good for the company’s B2B sales. Going from 0 to first customer was a long process, and from 1 to 5 customers went in less than a month. We have been able to build a very strong network and we are now aiming to have 40 client companies by the end of 2022. ”

Open banking applications

Kurhe explains one of the use cases of their “Flux” product for any insurer to financially secure a client. “Usually, when an end customer uploads their payslips or other documents, it is possible to modify or forge the document, resulting in fraud. Finarkein’s platform provides insurers with a reliable execution environment in which their business logic, such as financial underwriting, can run on customer data and achieve the desired outcome. Not only does the data arrive in a very good machine-readable format for analysis, but it is encrypted and digitally signed directly from the bank. From an insurer’s perspective, they are able to leverage very reliable data to financially secure the client, ”Kurhe said.

Future plans

Kurhe says, “We are working on about seven other projects that will start to bear fruit every six to eight months starting in the third quarter of 2022. We are also raising a million dollar fundraising round and we have good investors like Info Edge led by Sanjeev Bikhchandani and others. Currently, we have about six employees and we are increasing our recruitments in engineering schools. Soon we will capture around 35% of the financial services industry market share. “

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