CIIE CO’s Flagship Program Bharat Inclusion Initiative Invites Application from FinTech Startups for its 6th Financial Inclusion Lab Cohort


CIIE.CO’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) invites applications from startups for the sixth cohort of Financial Inclusion (FI) Lab to support innovations that aid in making mainstream financial products more inclusive for low-and-middle-income households and women. The last date to submit applications for the cohort is 8th May 2022.


FI Lab seeks to support startups and entrepreneurs building for low and middle income (LMI) segments in purpose-driven areas across FinTech, Livelihood, and skilling. The initiative is establishing an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and supporters who are building for Bharat, envisioning innovative, technology-enabled solutions for underserved communities.


Inviting applications for the 6th cohort, the FI lab will offer contextualised bouquet of services including capital support upto INR 25 Lakh for market validation and investor connects alongside expert guidance, technical assistance by MSC Consulting and service partner support worth over INR 50 Lakh.


Key focus areas for this cohort include embedded fintech serving industries such as dairy, agri, construction, skilling etc., solutions that are facilitating savings in financial assets that enable protection against uncertainties and exigencies, and products that are built for scale. The cohort is particularly interested in solutions that are contextualised to the needs of women.


Some successful startups who were a part of the 5th cohort included startups such as CreditHaat, Qonect, FLYK,, Arboreum, MissCallPay, Mool, GreyMatter and Yes!poho that are building inclusive credit, savings, payments and livelihood solutions.


Startups selected to the 6th FI Lab cohort can gain guidance from FI Lab’s exclusive Network of 100+ founders and an opportunity to access seed capital via Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund.


Commenting on the Cohort, Priyanka Chopra, COO at CIIE.CO, said, “The Financial Inclusion Lab is a critical component of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative ecosystem that we have built over the last five cohorts with our partners. We look forward to supporting the sixth cohort with our networks, experience and expertise to help these startups in their scale-up journey."


To date, CIIE.CO’s BII has supported 42 startups with the last five FI Lab cohorts. Post participation, these 42 startups have cumulatively raised over USD 80 million in funding and have served over 30 million customers.


Building an ecosystem of entrepreneurs who are building solutions for Bharat, Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) is serving domain knowledge, training, financial support, mentorship and market access they need to bring inclusive, for-profit businesses to life. It supports businesses serving the Indian mass market through programs, fellowships and funding where possible.


CIIE.CO’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative is supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, J. P. Morgan, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Omidyar Network, and is run in collaboration with MSC Consulting.



CIIE.CO is the Innovation Continuum spreading from incubation, acceleration, seed, and growth funding to research. Founded at IIM Ahmedabad in 2002, as an academic centre, it has since grown and pivoted to fill the multiple, ever-evolving gaps in the innovation-driven entrepreneurship space in India. Among its various initiatives, CIIE.CO has conceptualised and hosted India’s first and only CleanTech-focused fund, accelerated over 1000 startups, funded over 300 startups, inspired over a million with their publication - Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.


About Bharat Inclusion Initiative

The Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII) is an effort towards bringing the benefits of technological progress to underserved populations. Led by CIIE.CO, the initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, J.P. Morgan, MetLife Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Omidyar Network. The Initiative focuses on incubating and backing startups that work in areas such as financial inclusion, livelihood, skilling, and health. All startups supported by the Initiative are expected to be using technology as leverage to increase reach and build products that serve the underserved. For ambitious entrepreneurs working on problems of the Bharat market, the Bharat Inclusion Initiative provides domain knowledge, training, financial support, mentorship and market access they need to bring inclusive, for-profit businesses to life. It supports businesses serving the Indian mass market through programs, fellowships and funding where possible.


For more information or to apply for the program, please visit -


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