After analyzing the financial statement (FY20) of 10 fintech companies, including mine I have come to the following conclusion about Indian fintech customers in this thread:
1. Retail Subscriptions based services has not picked up in India for serious domains like financials
2. Indian consumers love free service and won’t mind if you make indirect earnings from them by pushing advertisements and third party products.
3. Difficult to charge customer for advisory as very few people would value the same, especially online
4. Cross selling is the final game, so mutual fund distributors and/or nextgen stock brokers will eventually sell high yield services like loan/global markets etc to their existing customer base.
But question remains will that truly lead to conversions ?
5. The leader will make most of the money and there will be a huge gap between number 1 and number 2. Hence the quest is to be a leader of the domain come-what at any price. Here the high valuation and getting regular funding becomes the core business model for first few years.
6. There is a massive push to create new categories in all domains. India is witnessing evolution of micro categories and one major leader in that category. E.g @elearnmarkets is leader in financial education and @mystockedge is the leader in stock and mutual funds EOD analysis.
7. Leadership at this stage of product life cycle is NOT about the revenue, its about the top of the funnel which gives future potential to generate revenue. Classic case study is @amazon in US and @IndiaMART in India.
8. Most of the tech enabled startups have losses due to Employee cost and User acquisition cost. Both I believe should be capitalized and both have long term benefits and are assets. Its like machinery for any new factory. The accounting treatment needs more reworking.
9. The finance industry is going through massive transition from intermediary lead model to platform. But the maturity of customer to pay for the platform is a big question. There are some players trying hybrid model, but they are also struggling with their core DNA.
10. Having said all these, I strongly feel fintech industry will change forever in coming 10 years. There will be AI engines which will guide the new investors.
As findata quality improve and we get more about a user, the recommendation engine will improve.
But will they pay ?