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Fintech

Published on: July 26, 2020, 9:44 p.m.
Connecting businesses
  • Madhusudanan: making a difference

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

In April 2020, BEENEXT, an early stage venture capital firm based in Singapore put in Series ‘A’ funding of $4.5 million in YAP (Your API Platform). Earlier, it got an Angel funding round in February 2020 from some fintech entrepreneurs.

YAP is an application program interface (API) infrastructure company founded on 2014. It helps businesses to connect and roll out their own branded products. Around $2 billion worth of transactions were processed last year (March 2020), up 4 times from $2,450 million last year, accounting for a revenue of Rs30 crore.

“I have been actively looking for a ‘fintech anywhere’ platform company in India for the past 12 months and I was very pleased when I met Madhu, Muthu and Prabhu and heard about their very unique journey. We agreed very quickly to partner,” says Dirk Van Quaquebeke, managing partner, BEENEXT. “It was short and sweet,” adds he.

“I discovered YAP when our fintech portfolio companies began using their payment infrastructure APIs to launch their card offerings. We backed Madhu and his team in their seed round and are delighted to invest in them again now,” says Vikram Chachra, founding partner, 8i Ventures.

“YAP has played a crucial role in the evolution of fintech ecosystem in India. As a provider of digital payments infrastructure, it is well-placed to benefit from the continuing adoption of digital finance channels by Indian households and companies,” says Shivashish Chatterjee, co-founder, DMI group.

“When we planned our collaboration with YAP it was mainly for the technology stack that the company was building in-house, which really sold the deal for us,” says Rajan Bajaj, founder, SlicePay.

“YAP started with the fundamental thought process of helping businesses get access to financial services products and make a platform for them to take it out as their own product for today’s customers,” explains Madhusudanan R, co-founder, YAP. He has over 16 years of experience in the field of digital payment and has worked with Citibank, Visa and many other firms as a product evangelist. And over the past five years, it has been partnering with 25 banks across Asia and has 200 plus fintech partnerships.

Global perspective

Madhusudanan’s two co-founders are Muthukumar A. – over 20 years of experience in technology and has worked with Paypal, Visa as an engineer and chief architect – while Prabhu Rangarajan has 14 years of experience in technology and has worked with Verizon, Cognizant as an engineer and operations head.

  • In 2019, YAP expanded to the UAE and the Philippines. And this year, it launched in Nepal, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand

“Our role at Visa gave us a global perspective in terms of what is working in the markets and you are also able to relate to the local businesses that are running around you. As founders we realised that while everyone wants to have a share in the digital pie, it was difficult to convince both the banks and businesses to jump on an entirely new digital strategy,” echo the founders who call it as lego banking platform.

“The pieces to assemble remained the same; it’s how you assemble made the difference,” says Madhusudanan. So, they fit pieces of different bits of banking together, yet delivering an entirely different solution every time, in line with the needs of the banks and businesses together. They have expanded their footprint across Asia with operations spanning from New Zealand in the east to Egypt in West Asia. “We aim to reach 500 fintech companies in the coming year covering 15 different countries.”

“In the business we are in, we face competition from global players, while we don’t have direct competition, in many ways we compete with banks or other technology companies,” says Muthukumar.

The business they are in is relatively a new segment globally. Fintech and Neo-bank are a large market with various Neo-Banking and Fintech solutions that can be explored. “We can and cannot at the same time compare our solution with other companies even though they belong to the same industry,” says Prabhu.

“When we partnered with YAP, we experienced great synergies which enabled us to cooperate, co-create and launch many products as well as solutions in a very short time. Our wavelength matched and hence we could collaborate effectively,” observes Ritesh Pai, chief digital officer, YES Bank.

“Before partnering with YAP we have evaluated quite a few other options and we found that YAP was the most unique and professional. It has helped us tremendously and has supported us to a very large extent; YAP is perfect for us to work with.” says Pei-Fu Hsieh, co-founder, Karbon Card.

In 2019, YAP expanded to the UAE and the Philippines. And this year, it launched in Nepal, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. It has partnerships with nine banks in these countries, however 95 per cent of business comes from India. “These expansions were aimed to spread YAPs wings and make sure that they are present at a time when business platforms need something that they offer,” sums up Madhusudanan who expects International markets to contribute meaningfully to the bottomline. “We expect about 20 per cent of revenues coming from international operations this year, likely to grow to over 50 per cent in three years.”

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