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BENGALURU: This Bengaluru-based neo-banking start-up, founded by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achuthan and Deena Jacob in the year 2017, offers a business account in partnership with banks, to help SMEs automate and run their finances effectively. ‘Open’ enables businesses to collect payments, auto-reconcile them, do seamless payouts and categorise their income and expenses, thereby automating book-keeping. Anish, the co-founder of Open who had previously worked closely with small and medium enterprises (SME) at both Citrus and PayU, had noted the fact that business banking had broken for the SME’s and most of them were using a wide range of tools to manage their finances alongside a current account.

“The range of tools the SMEs used were time-consuming, especially when it came to a reconciliation of payments. That’s when it struck us that we could help simplify their lives by offering a platform that let them manage all their business finances in one place – in other words Open. Thus, we created a platform that let them raise invoices and collect payments while automating their accounting. We figured that this would empower them to shift their focus to what they love the most – growing their business,” he says.

In a time when India is slowly waking up to a digital economy with digital payments on the rise, Open is the lone player in India that is providing these features. Sharing about unique features offered by Open, Anish said, “Open helps businesses get a bird’s eye view of their finances. And we do that by offering them a business current account in partnership with banks. The Open account helps businesses automate their finances by letting them send and receive payments, do bulk payouts, reconcile transactions and integrate banking into their business workflows through a bunch of developer-friendly APIs.”

Open is a Series A funded company and till now, has raised over $5 million led by Beenext, Speedinvest, 3one4 Capita and other angel investors that include Citruspay Founders Amrish Rau and
Jitendra Gupta.

Sharing details about the challenges they faced while establishing this fintech start-up Anish said, “One of the major challenges that we faced during our initial days revolved around finding the right banking partner. In the beginning, most banks saw us as competitors and it took us a while to bring them to see the real value that we could add to their existing business banking teams. Once we found the right banking partner that really got the vision that we were building towards, we could focus more on executing the product.”

Open was started off with a small 15-member team who worked with them in their previous start-ups. “We’ve built a great open work culture that is centred around a collaborative environment and thus
we haven’t faced any serious challenges in hiring the right set of self-driven team,” Anish added.

Through their unique set of services, Open onboard has more than 20,000 businesses every month, thus catering to over 60,000 businesses on the platform. They recently crossed $4 billion in transactions annually and they aim to scale to cater to over 1 million businesses over the next one year. The revenues for them are primarily coming from interchange margins on online payments, cards and payouts.

As the next step towards building out their vision, they are planning to expand the team on both the engineering and sales front.“This expansion is expected to help us scale Open to power over 1 million businesses over the next year,” Anish said. Advising start-up aspirants, he said, “Always focus on building the right product and spend your time chasing customers and keep improving your product and sales by 10 per cent every month. Everything else will naturally follow.”

In a nutshell

● ‘Open’ is Asia’s first neo-banking platform for SMEs and startups
● This neo-banking startup was founded in 2017 by Anish Achuthan and Mabel Chacko alongside Ajeesh Achuthan and Deena Jacob
● Open held business owners to automate their business payments, banking and accounting functions in one unified service
● Open is a Series A funded company and till now has raised over $5 million

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By udaen

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