Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], August 18: Tide, the UK’s leading business financial platform, having gained significant traction in the UK (over 6% market share) and developed the right approach and mix of services to meet the diverse and changing needs of small businesses, announced in early 2021 that it had selected India as its first international market. India has a large pool of highly educated and talented people. Businesses from outside of India have access to a high calibre of people to adapt and grow the business to suit the market’s needs.
Following a comprehensive research process conducted by Tide when assessing new markets, India emerged as a clear front-runner for numerous reasons. The sheer size of the market made India very attractive; with over 60 million SMEs, it is a market in which Tide can achieve a significant scale. However, many other factors made India a clear winner besides its size.
Firstly, the government’s digitisation efforts and high smartphone penetration were key factors. This push towards digitisation has led to large scale digital adoption among consumers as well as SMEs; these digitally-savvy SMEs are vital to the Indian economy but are underserved by the banks, creating exciting opportunities for Fintechs. In addition, the recent and continuing government efforts to formalise and digitise the economy have opened up a need for a new and exciting business banking offering.
The existing Fintech ecosystem also makes India extremely attractive; with numerous innovative and advanced players to collaborate with and learn from, there are opportunities for Tide to offer a comprehensive, smart platform. And finally, the fact that entrepreneurialism is central to India’s culture is very exciting for Tide. We are passionate about entrepreneurs, so this aspect of the Indian culture is aligned with Tide’s values.
India has around 64 million SMEs, 10% of the total number of SMEs in the world, thus making it the largest accessible SME market globally. As the country emerges from the pandemic, SMEs are going to be crucial to the economic recovery, and they will need all the support they can get in order to get back on their feet. Tide will be there to help SMEs to streamline their financial admin and focus on building and growing their businesses. Apart from supporting the organised SME sector in India, Tide will also focus on serving the unregistered and unorganised sector, helping bring these SMEs into the mainstream and unleash their true potential.
Tide is committed to serving the 63-million and growing Indian SME sector and will help unleash the true potential of Indian small businesses. When fully launched, Tide will offer a full range of payments services, including UPI, but will also offer tools to help business owners save time on admin tasks such as expenses and invoicing, as well as offering SME credit. Being digital-only, Fintechs, like Tide, can serve SMEs with tailor-made products and solutions that help create a digitised credit history for them, which further helps them get seamless access to credit. Digitisation brings higher transparency and efficiency in the ways of conducting business, empowering the SME segment.
Tide plans to invest more than £100 million (Rs. 1000 crore) in India in the next five years. The funding Tide raised in its recent Series C round will be used to grow both the Indian and UK businesses, with Tide also reinvesting revenue into the Indian market. The new funding will support further investments in products and help the operations in Indian expansion.