sbi

State Bank of India (SBI), which is largest banking and financial services company in India by assets, has finally got attracted to India's burgeoning startup ecosystem. The bank will soon set up a first-of-its-kind branch to cater exclusively to the growing banking needs of start-ups.

The bank has chosen Bengaluru, India's own silicon valley, for setting up its dedicated branch for startups. Bengaluru is home to hundreds of start-ups, including Bigbasket, ZopNow, Pepperfry, Raodrunnr and Parcelled to name a few. The city also the headquarters of one-time startup and now e-commerce giant Flipkart.

Currently, SBI has specialised branches for large corporates, mid-corporates, and small and medium enterprises.

SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said the branch will be piloted in Bengaluru and the bank will subsequently scale it up to other start-up hubs. According to a Nasscom-Zinnov report, by the end of 2015, the total funding by angel/venture capital/private equity investors in India-based start-ups was estimated to be nearly $5 billion, a jump of around 125 per cent over 2014.

The new exclusive-branch for startups will be set up to give banking and other services to startups. This branch will give startups the necessary infrastructure and facilities for meeting their banking needs.

Through these branches, the start-up branches, entrepreneurs will also be able to get advice on things such as registration of a company and tax issues.

In August last year, SBI partnered with iSPIRT to understand the broad changes in technology landscape globally and the specific catalysts in India impacting financial services.

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