Starting up and turning into an entrepreneur is the brand new ‘IT’ element in India. And for this duo of IIT Kharagpur graduates, it turned into no exclusive. “The entrepreneurial trojan horse had bitten us all through our college days handiest and we used to speak about many thoughts,” starts Anshul Rai, one half of the founding group of fintech startup Happay.
Like many others earlier than them, the other co-founder Varun Rathi and Anshul began off their profession direction with renowned tech companies in 2010. But, their hearts have been no longer in it. Anshul similarly adds, “Once I started running with Microsoft Research and Varun, with Tata Power, we sooner or later zeroed all the way down to the one trouble we faced on every occasion – splitting up payments and paying our friends returned in a problem-unfastened way.”
This turned into in the course of a time whilst people nevertheless did now not like to use technology to make payments as it become considered a very bulky and long procedure. Also, to don't forget umpteen passwords while making online transactions become one hell of an ask. The duo got here up with an idea – to end up the ‘Paypal of cellular numbers’ and to make peer-to-peer (P2P) bills a glad enjoy. And with this quite simple concept, they commenced Happay in 2012 – quick for ‘Happy + Payments,’ the corporation’s core perception.
However, this simple avenue soon became towards a B2B model and now Bengaluru-based Happay boasts of running with most of the main corporates, supporting them control their enterprise charges minutely.
With a team size of two hundred, the startup has, thus far, tied up with over 2500 corporates which includes names inclusive of Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, Health & Glow, YourStory, Subway, Ayurveda hospitals, Unnati NGO, Ibibo group, Uber, Grofers, Urban Ladder, Knowlarity Solutions etc. The business enterprise became bootstrapped greater than two years and raised a Seed round of $500K from Prime Venture Partners in April 2015.
The Shift – From B2C To B2B
To take a popular angle, a consumer enterprise is taken into consideration greater profitable in terms of capability to attain and scale, in place of a B2B version. The founders of Happay first of all concept the same when they started conceptualising the preliminary concept of P2P lending. The duo took a year to apprehend the prevailing fee mechanisms and the regulations which govern them, before getting their first product out in 2013. As Anshul says,
“At that factor, Happay turned into the primary-of-a-type, platform-agnostic product that labored on GPRS technology and allowed P2P payment answers with cellular being the enabler. The product changed into focussed on simplifying peer-to-peer bills, cellular and DTH recharge, and we had been quickly making plans to extend fee offerings for merchants at brick-and- mortar shops.”
The founders did nicely with the model till the cease of 2013, and had reportedly gathered more than two hundred,000 customers – on the whole college-going young students. “However, we felt that the sales version changed into now not sturdy,” says Anshul. He similarly explains this with: even as loading the wallet, the company would ought to chose close to 2% as payment gateway expenses. So, the founders had to earn this 2% plus their earnings margin from the merchants. “As the retail industry in the u . S . A . Works on wafer-skinny margins, it become not possible for a closed loop pockets to scale up its service provider base to make income,” he provides.
While they were suffering with the ‘Yes-No’ of continuing with the startup, they commenced receiving requests from corporates to address their troubles with bills. As he recollects, “We realised that the gaps in corporate payments were much wider and there has been no innovation in B2B area. Hence, we shifted our attention to B2B bills.”
The New Vision: To Help Businesses Keep A Check On Expenses
happay-cardJust like with their first product, the founders took an entire 12 months to again understand the B2B area from scratch. While they built out the B2B model in early 2014, the very last product turned into launched most effective in February 2015. So, what turned into new with Happay this time?
As Benjamin Franklin rightly stated, ‘Beware of little charges. A small leak will sink a top notch ship,’ the Happay founders had a comparable vision. As Anshul says, “Our aim is to help corporations manipulate their expenses and preserve tune of each penny that goes out of their financial institution account.”
Expanding further on the declaration, he elaborates that any corporate generally has to control its commercial enterprise prices beneath four categories – employee adhoc, day -to-day operations, dealer bills, and salaries. While salaries are quite fixed in nature, the opposite three are extraordinarily variable, bulky to build up and need steady monitoring on actual time foundation.
For instance, worker adhoc costs consist of journey, cellphone, meals, petrol, and similar type of petty prices. The compensation method involves the worker to replenish both an excel sheet or listing and put up all fees with bills (which can be faked).
To kind this out, Happay problems a customised Visa/Mastercard in association with HDFC and RBL banks, to the corporates depending upon their requirement. With every worker having their very own card, the prices finished are stated on the pass and are accumulated routinely on Happay’s cell app.
The photograph of the report can then be sent to the managers and finance groups who can affirm them from internet or cellular and import this cost statistics to their accounting system.
”So that, in the end an worker does not must spend from his pocket, you manage the enter and out of pockets and, on the equal time, can without problems track the prices in actual-time. You may even restrict them after they exceed,” says Anshul. He similarly adds,
“Our playing cards are most beneficial to the employees who are continuously visiting. Hence, we are frequently partnering with tour portals, food and amusement stores. The other standards is to tie up with corporations that can facilitate our customer’s enterprise & help their personnel. These playing cards are universally popular. Just like some other card, they may be used, each offline & on line. So the personnel can swipe the cards or make on-line transactions or even withdraw coins from the ATM.”
As of now, the startup provides six such answers which includes petty cash management, expense report automation, prepaid playing cards for business costs, travel and expense management, international journey card and virtual advertising spend card. The customers are charged on a in step with account/in line with month basis. The organization has reportedly, so far, issued 1.5 Lakh Happay cards.
“When You Pivot, It Seems Like The World Has Changed”
As there are always two facets to a coin, behind every achievement, there lies a mound of demanding situations to overcome. As Anshul says, “Even though the B2B model appears to be extra feasible and strong to us, on the investor front, we observed that they remember B2C with greater possibilities, and aren't so excited to spend money on such startups.”
Additionally, to attain out to other companies is any other task for them. He provides,
“For instance, although many have began buying online, but majority of the populace remains shopping for offline. Think of corporations and massive corporates – they're majorly offline best. And it’s no longer like I can use any organic channel like deciding on a Facebook advert or a Google advert to attain them.”
Next, when the crew shifted from B2C to B2B, the complete sales method had to alternate. As Anshul says, “Imagine this. When you started out the company a yr again, you lease and teach the complete group with a customer perspective. Now, whilst you shift, the complete organisation, the entire attitude desires to change for the complete group. It seems like the complete international has modified.”
“None Of The Existing Players Are Doing What We Are Doing”
When asked about competition, Anshul believes that there are a number of gamers in the market that can offer cards, the easiest to method are banks like HDFC, ICICI, SBI, American Express, and so forth. Similarly, there are a couple of players inside the market who are capable of (and might) layout the software program, in keeping with a agency’s need.
“However, Happay is the most effective answer that is merging the 2. What Happay gives is the card that is included with the software program. It is an amalgamation of a card powered through a software which allows the control to tune the transactions on real-time foundation, set limits, and guidelines, fund right away and it could be seamlessly integrated with the accounting software. None of the players current in the marketplace are doing the identical.”
He in addition explains, “When we get a corporate card from the financial institution, at the backend, we are simply any other customer for the financial institution. Anytime a swipe is achieved, it'll be logged in as a transaction into the account of the corporate. However, the necessities of a commercial enterprise are way ahead of this transaction. When an employee swipes a card, that transaction needs to be categorized as meals, travel, scientific, and many others., plus it must be authorised from the supervisor, mapped to the right fee center and then needs to get into the account books of the finance team to be subsequently reimbursed to the employee account. Happay does all this.”
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Recently, Happay has launched a new version which is a multi-wallet card and has the energy of more than one cards in one. As Anshul concludes, “Happay knows that every enterprise is distinctive and has its own particular demanding situations, so there’s nobody-size-fits-all kind of a product. We have made our device highly configurable, wherein the product is customised according to the needs of the employer. Further, in FY 2017 we plan to double our Gross Transaction Value (GTV) from the $fifty eight.6 Mn (INR four hundred Cr) in FY16.”
With a complete and agile solution and the power to see its ‘Happy + Payments’ vision via, the business enterprise is just raring to head.
The fintech quarter is changing swiftly, appreciably even. With measures such as the demonetisation pressure announced by way of the authorities and the following move to turn India into a Digital Economy, it is startups who stand to gain the maximum inside the coming months and years. The Indian fintech software market is expected to reach an anticipated $2.4 Bn by way of 2020. With this widespread pie equipped for the taking and specific solutions rising for a tech-pleasant populace, once more, it is going to be startups who stand to gain the maximum.
While banking in India is present process a length of mirrored image and innovation, corporations consisting of Happay with their agile commercial enterprise fashions and a cautious, ahead-questioning nature are certain to pave the way to a greater digitally-linked India. Currently, Happay does no longer appear to look any threats, but will or not it's capable of keep its pace and advantage in sales and boom – that may be a query to be spoke back at a later date.