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Societe Generale plans to invest in Indian startups

Societe Generale, a French multinational banking and financial services group, plans to invest in Indian startup ecosystem via its global investment arm.

Interacting with DH, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre (SG GSC) Head of Innovations Ratnaprabha Manickavachagam said the company has a global investment arm that is based out of its headquarters which initiates this exploration.

“It’s a process and I think they have initiated for at least a couple of companies in India. Will not be able to disclose the names right now,” Ratnaprabha said. The company’s European entity has been very actively investing in startups in France and in Africa.

“We have done quite a few of them directly as well as indirectly. In Paris we have acquired few startups and have also invested through venture capital (VC) firms,” she said.

SG GSC engages with the Indian innovation eco-system in multiple ways and one such channel startup accelerator programme is Catalyst. “This programme is now two years old and actively works with disruptive startups in India that focus on emerging trends. Our in-house experts together with our startup partners collaborate to better serve our clients through innovative technology,” said Ratnaprabha.

Catalyst, the accelerator programme of Societe Generale in partnership with Nasscom, is currently running into its third edition this month. “We organise this programme in Paris, Romania and in India. Till now we have identified 28 startups worldwide and 24 of them are from India,” she said.

Ratnaprabha said the company has been able to produce successful Minimum Viable Products (MVP’s) out of each of this Catalyst editions. “The current edition that we ran concluded on August 18 and there are nine successful MVP’s that we have produced. After the big Demo Day on Tuesday we will decide which solutions are extremely promising to take forward,” she said.

Catalyst has received a good response from entrepreneurs from Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, SG GSC said. SG Global Solution Centre Catalyst 2.0 selected startups including Transerve, UDIO, Scapic, GAVS, FRSLabs, Signzy, CVVIz, Fyle, and Greenpool.

Besides aligning with Singapore startup ecosystem, the company recently launched a lab in Berlin for startups.

SG GSC started its services in India with the information technology business line in 2000 and its has now evolved into a global knowledge centre for the group. It provides innovative solutions for the new age financial services that combines in-depth business knowledge with technology skills.

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