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ICICI Bank launches dedicated offering for startups

With an eye on the growing number of start-ups, India’s second-largest private sector lender ICICI Bank on Thursday launched a new offering, iStartup 2.0, for the segment with improved features.

Under the programme, ICICI Bank’s customers will get a current account in three variants that will offer additional services, including premium savings accounts for the promoters, salary accounts for employees and a dedicated relationship manager, the bank said.

The bank has tied up with vendors to offer a “concierge-like” service, wherein the start-ups can access various services like company registration, taxation, compliance, logistics, facility management, staffing and digital marketing.

The bank already had an offering for start-ups that also included a current account. Other lenders also have dedicated accounts for the start-ups.

When asked about the charges for the account, its Head of Self-employed Segment Pankaj Gadgil told reporters that the bank will waive average quarterly balance requirements on the current accounts for a year.

He said July saw 20,000 start-ups being registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which went up in August and the trend has been encouraging in September as well, which made the bank launch the newly designed offering.

The bank already serves an undisclosed number of start-ups as part of the earlier offering and other offerings, he said adding that the addressable opportunity is large as 8.5 lakh start-ups have been registered since 2010.

New businesses (up to 10 years old), including partnerships, private and public limited companies as well as limited liability partnerships, can opt for current account, the bank said.

When asked if the offering, which also includes lending, was driven by the recent change in norms to include loans to start-ups under priority sector lending, he said the bank is working on such a offering for long. The idea is to take care of other aspects of a business and let the start-up focus on the core business, Gadgil said.

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