The news: The UK neobank has earmarked an investment of $20 million–$25 million to break into India by the end of 2021, CEO Nikolay Storonsky told Business Insider India.
More on this: Revolut plans to apply for a payments and trade license in the country, but is also considering acquiring an existing Indian fintech to speed along the licensing process. It plans to first launch free products, with paid subscription offerings coming later.
The bigger picture: India’s financial services market is difficult to penetrate, but Revolut’s strategy of gradually wading into the country gives it a better chance of establishing a foothold.
Fintechs looking to enter India face a phalanx of hurdles, including heavy reliance on cash, stiff banking regulations, and limited internet access compared with other countries, per Simpl. But Revolut isn’t diving in headfirst: In February, it announced plans to launch a fee-free remittance service in the country—a particularly relevant product given that India is one of the world’s top remittance recipient countries. Combined with first launching free banking services to maximize accessibility, this could help Revolut generate interest and build up a core of users who can spread positive word-of-mouth in its early days in the Indian market.