Serv’d, a fin-tech startup from Pune, working towards bringing financial inclusion in the unorganized sector, has been given a grant worth $100,000 from Digital Financial Service (DFS) Lab. DFS Lab is a fin-tech accelerator program funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
DFS Lab backs startups that have the potential to create an impact across a large number of households in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Pune-based Serv’d is one among four that had been selected from 700 applicants worldwide.
The company is now planning to use the funds towards developing technology for new roles as well as driving activation for the existing product.
The startup was founded by Jatin Agarwal, along with Tarun Sharma and Suhas Kelkar, with an initial investment of about Rs 3.5 crore. As per Jatin Agarwal, CEO of the company, they are in the process of raising another round worth $3 million from friends and family.
Serv’d, which offers a house management system, is a peer-to-peer platform. It allows users to manage payments and terms of contract for workers in the unorganised segment, like domestic workers, drivers, construction workers etc.
The company was scheduled to launch operations in early 2017, but due to the demonetisation drive, it decided to launch sooner than planned. The company already has a 45-member team in place, which is reaching out to people in the unorganised sector and explaining how its platform works.
Jatin says that currently they are aiming to build up data over a period of time, and then start offering financial services like health insurance and loans to the workers. To make this happen, the company will form tie-ups with the relevant service providers.
After that, the company plans to offer customised savings products for the workers. The intent behind this is to build a social impact venture with high volume low margin transactions that can enable financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid.