Inspired by Modi, Australia’s FootprintLab partners with India’s PayU

They saw a great match between India’s digital growth, skilled workforce, and rising middle class, and Australia’s scalable tech solutions.

FootprintLab, a Sydney-based clean technology company, is seeing global demand for their reliable and up-to-date carbon footprint data.

Founded in 2022 by Salem, a former United Nations circular economy expert and a University of Sydney PhD candidate in sustainability analysis integration in fintech, and Baynes, a former senior scientist at CSIRO, FootprintLab specializes in “sustainability data-as-a-service.”

Expanding globally was always the plan for FootprintLab and the opportunity in India seemed perfect.

- Advertisement -
Image: FootprintLab Co-Founders Timothy Baynes and Janet Salem (Source: Incubate)

Salem told Startup Daily about their surprise at the scale of one payment gateway they encountered, which handles 3.6 billion transactions annually, with AU$29 billion processed in India alone.

“Transactions in India are digital to the smallest transaction. There’s huge demand. And India is the tech hub for the world’s financial system.”

“Because India’s tech sector is providing the IT infrastructure for global financial institutions, you can have a global reach,” Salem adds.

Image source: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – Twitter.

FootprintLab’s founders saw a great match between India’s digital growth, skilled workforce, and rising middle class, and Australia’s scalable tech solutions.

Additionally, support from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on sustainability at the 2023 G20 Leaders’ Summit encouraged FootprintLab to pursue this opportunity.

Baynes says: “India is a great target market for Australian fintech because we have a small testing bed in Australia. We can bring innovation and agility to new products in India, whereas if you try to start something in India, you’ve immediately got to be ready for 10 million customers. You can do that in Australia with 10,000 or 100,000.”

“In India, you have the sort of scale, companies and capacity to turn that into some major application.”

IMAGE: Anirban Mukherjee, CEO of PayU India (Photograph Courtesy: Prosus)

In August 2023, FootprintLab joined a fintech business mission to India organised by Austrade and Investment NSW. This trip led to partnerships with Indian companies PayU and BillionLives Business Initiatives.

- Advertisement -

“PayU has come in from many different aspects. It goes back to my background at the UN and Tim’s background working with research institutions in Delhi… But what Austrade did was really help facilitate signing an agreement – really getting to a deal that could be discussed in a press release and giving us advice,” Salem adds.

PayU will measure the carbon footprint of purchases and offer an offset option, while BillionLives will assist with ESG measurement and reporting.

Support from Austrade’s Australia India Innovation Network was crucial in connecting FootprintLab with the right people. The network helps Australian tech companies enter India’s growing digital market, especially encouraging fintechs to seize the current opportunities.

Image: Global Fintech Fest 2023 (Source: GFF)

Salem observed: “We went on an Austrade mission last year to the Global Fintech Fest in Mumbai. They spent a lot of time with us before the mission trying to work out ‘who are you?’, ‘who’s your ideal client?’ and ‘what’s your objective?’ So that was really useful. Then, when we were there, they were able to introduce us to the right people in the right companies.”

“We actually had quite a few pre-meetings with some of those companies, especially Billion Lives, who we ended up signing a partnership agreement with during that first trade mission.”

FootprintLab’s work has been recognized by the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program and is now also being adopted by companies in India. Following their success in India, FootprintLab is now setting its sights on the Singapore fintech market.

Support Our Journalism

Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.