New Delhi | 12th February 2020: Datacultr, a risk management platform, that makes micro-loans to the unbanked, a commercially viable proposition for banks and other financial institutions, by de-risking and reducing the cost of servicing such loans, has secured 2nd position in the Open Innovation Challenge organised by Philip Morris Asia Limited (PMAL) in partnership with PMI corporate venture capital fund – PM Equity Partner. 

PMI built the world’s most successful cigarette company. Now, they have made a decision to create a smoke-free future. For over a decade, they have been working on and investing in research and development of smoke-free products that do not burn tobacco.

The Open Innovation Challenge is an ideation competition that PMAL developed to identify innovative technologies that improve their understanding of and access to different adult consumer segments through consumer-centric data insights, innovative credit facilities, retailer financing options, etc. The challenge aims to create potential short-term collaborations & long-term partnerships with start-ups across Asia.

The Open Innovation Challenge received registrations from more than 90 startups across 20+ countries, who then went through multiple assessment rounds. Datacultr and four other participants were invited to pitch their ideas in the grand finale held in December 2019. 

Commenting on the win, Neel Juriasingani, CEO & Co-founder, Datacultr, stated, “It is an honour to receive recognition for our unique product and to be awarded for the same. With the unique datacultr platform, we will continue to empower the unbanked to get financially included and get access to social mobility. With PMI we see great synergies, that should benefit millions of small retailers in India and South East Asia”

Spokesperson at PMI stated – “The Challenge was spread across 4 months wherein the start-ups were invited to propose their ideas to potentially win a cash contribution and be considered for equity investment or contractual partnerships and to realize or improve their products with PMI. By collaborating with new FinTech providers, PMI is looking forward to providing access to innovative and effective financial products that address the needs of a wide range of our customers, in particular, the unbanked retailers and adult consumers.

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