Khosla Labs, launched by investor Vinod Khosla, has incubated a technology start-up to drive financial inclusion.
Novopay Solutions, incubated in Bangalore under the guidance of Srikanth Nadamuni, is a mobile payment company that uses the Aadhaar biometric scanner to allow people to conduct banking transactions from neighborhood shops. Novopay has launched services in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, and plans to offer them across the country.
"It is exciting for us as Novopay, the company we incubated at Khosla Labs, is looking to drive financial inclusion. Our goal is to help set up banking centres in villages using kirana stores," said Nadhamuni.
Nadhamuni was earlier the head of technology at the Unique Identification Authority of India. In 2012, he co-founded Khosla Labs to incubate companies that could help solve large problems using technology.
Novopay has around 70 employees, and it is located within the Khosla Labs premises and is led by Sridhar Rao, former head of M-Pesa, the mobile money service of Vodafone.
Nadhamuni said once Novopay acquired traction, parent company Khosla Venture would invest in it. Apart from Novopay, he said Khosla Labs was testing several ideas, including Aadhaar-based applications development.
"There are 15-20 people on other projects we are experimenting with. We are looking at Aadhaar applications and other consumer payment models," he added.
During his last visit to India, Khosla had said the focus of Khosla Labs would be to fund innovations around Aadhaar. Khosla Ventures, his main venture capital firm, has $3 billion assets under management, and has former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice among its advisers.