Nomura to back fin-tech startups in India
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Global investment bank Nomura is looking to invest in fin-tech startups in India, among other countries, using its newly-set up $100-million fund housed under subsidiary N-Village, a top company executive told VCCircle.

The investment bank has also backed one of Asia's largest fin-tech-focused VC funds based out of Hong Kong, Nikhil Mehta, fin-tech lead and executive director at Nomura Services India, said.

Globally, the Japan-headquartered investment bank has backed New York-based Symphony Communication Services, a cloud-based communications platform, and California-based SoundHound, an audio-recognition company. Going ahead, such investments would be routed through N-Village, said RK Rangan, president and CEO, Nomura Services India.

These strategic investments will be made keeping in mind their relevance to Nomura's operations, and the fund won't seek typical, private equity-type returns, Mehta said.

Nomura on Wednesday launched ‘Voyager Nomura FinTech Partnership’, a global accelerator-cum-creation platform to collaborate with startups for building solutions for capital markets and investment banking that can be deployed across Nomura and the financial industry.

The programme, which is accepting applications from Wednesday, will look for startups that have raised some funding and have a proof of concept. The final shortlist will be announced by September end. The areas of focus for the programme are machine learning, pattern recognition, data visualization and natural language processing, among other things.

The investment bank has also set up Nomura Innovation Centre (NICe) in Mumbai's Powai suburb that will give startups access to the firm's existing infrastructure, technology and processes.

“Nomura has already gained momentum in fin-tech with the launch of a financial innovation office globally, an accelerator programme in Japan, and the establishment of N-Village, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to promote new business development and open innovation,” said Yo Akatsuka, senior managing director, Innovations, Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Nomura has collaborated with PwC as a knowledge partner, and Google, IBM and Amazon Internet Services Pvt. Ltd. to bring industry expertise to the Voyager programme.

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