This week I’m covering SME fintech in a much more round about way, via an interview with Arunkumar Krishnakumar, one of my fellow writers at Daily Fintech and one of our constellation experts. Arun, through his newly established fund Green Shores Capital, is long on SME fintech, but also, more interestingly, is looking towards the $2.2T Shariah fintech market for big wins. Green Shores is the only VC based in the west to be focusing on this sector.
To give you some idea of the opportunity, Shariah startups based in the EU happen to be one of the fastest growing Shariah startup sectors in the world. Arun is plugged into the ecosystem and networks in London, and is using his insights and expertise to spot the big opportunities in this underserved arena.
Another key theme of the fund’s investment mandate is hyperlocal use cases, or ‘last mile’, or what he calls the most challenging part of the innovation journey to solve, to which he goes into more detail in the interview.
Green Shores will primarily fund businesses in the UK, but 30% of funds could be deployed beyond the UK and the EU, possibly even Australia, where Arun and the team are examining one deal already.
Key highlights of our chat include:
4:12 Arun gives his insights on how he sees innovation shifting and changing between ‘the west and the rest’ when it comes to consumer banking, his area of expertise on Daily Fintech. Hot tip – India remains top of Arun’s list when it comes to getting inspired by ‘the rest’. Within hours of being on the ground in the sub-continent, he usually has 3 or 4 startup ideas.
6:46 Arun shares his ‘red flags’ for investing in consumer banking fintech startups. Hot tip – it’s not just blockchain.
10:37 Arun explains his unique mix of insights, and the audience he believes would most benefit from his expertise. His core areas include emerging markets, new entrants into the corporate venture capital space, funds aligned to Green Shore’s themes and lastly investors who are looking to co-invest with businesses like Green Shores.
I hope you enjoy the interview, it was an absolute pleasure talking to Arun, and please reach out to him if you need to tap into his expertise.
Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia.