India’s second-largest private lender, HDFC Bank has decided to launch a $25-30 million startup fund to help promising startups. In addition to the capital, the bank will also offer banking solutions and financial and legal advice to startups. The bank has already been collaborating with over 150 startups in India.
A source close to the matter said, “It’s a dynamic startup fund and the objective is very clear — start small but keep scaling up. As we understand the ecosystem, we will grow it. The government announced a large fund a few years ago but deployment takes time. If there is a right fit with the bank, we will go ahead and fund the startup.”
The news comes just days after the bank launched its SmartUp Zones initiative in Bengaluru. The SmartUp Zones initiative promise banking zones within certain regions inside the branch which solely deal with the interests of startups. Over the next few years, the bank plans on launching SmartUp Zones at 65 branches across 30 cities, including in places like Patna apart from the usual destinations like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Pune.
In its quest to support growing startups, the bank also launched the Industry Academia program. The program aims to work with the development and entrepreneurship cells at IIT Roorkee, IIT Bombay, and IIM Ahmedabad in order to mentor startups at these prestigious institutions. The bank also has plans to cooperate with many other educational institutions as part of its Academia program.