5,600 Loans And Counting: How Fintech Startup Lendingkart Group Is Working To Bridge The Gap Between Lenders And SMBs




5,600 Loans And Counting: How Fintech Startup Lendingkart Group Is Working To Bridge The Gap Between Lenders And SMBs

In a latest article in Forbes, Ajit Ranade, the Chief Economist at Aditya Birla Group delineated the boom structure of Indian economy, emphasising this adage. Globally, in terms of ease of doing commercial enterprise, India ranks one hundred thirty out of 189. Apart from lack of infrastructure or get entry to to credit score, the impediments faced by SMEs and MSMEs in India are rooted deep in a culture that did no longer cost innovation and self-sustenance to a massive extent.

While this isn't always the case anymore – ‘StartUp India, StandUp India’ being a robust indicator of the exchange, and numerous different government and personal area tasks – the sector is still in large part unorganised, thereby suffering to keep even the basic workflow requirements, in terms of capital get entry to.

Lack of credit score records, collateral, and accounting field, in addition mars those small-time businessmen’s capability you acquire finances from resources other than shady cash creditors and buddies and own family.

It is that this ache factor, that Ahmedabad-based totally Lendingkart Group, an instantaneous working capital finance platform, pursuits to clear up. Founded in 2014 by ex-banker and ISB Hyderabad alumnus, Harshvardhan Lunia and ex-ISRO scientist, IIM Bangalore alumnus, Mukul Sachan, the startup is on a task to take the complete manner of SME lending online. The concept, despite the fact that changed into conceptualised by using Lunia, Mukul’s role lies in giving it a coherent form in phrases of a feasible enterprise version.

The duo commenced their journey with the aid of interacting with small business proprietors to apprehend their desires, which ultimately led them toward growing a niche marketplace design – the on the spot availability of brief-term loans with small price tag sizes.

As Harshvardhan recollects, “In the primary year of our enterprise, when our NBFC crew celebrated the very first mortgage we disbursed in Guwahati – 2,000 kms faraway from wherein we have been – that’s when we realised the potential of the platform. Since then we have protected hundreds of latest towns and been part of thousands of fulfillment testimonies, each sizable in its very own way. Although our workplaces are located in 3 cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, our NBFC has until date serviced over 5,600 loans in 397 cities and towns across 28 states in India within the beyond 2.5 years since inception.”

Democratising The Working Capital Finance Mechanism

Harshvardhan started out his career with an advisory commercial enterprise and realised the diverse inefficiencies that marred the SME lending area in India. The credit score choices in banks took months. Any capability analysis become hindered through lack or entire absence of statistics. Information asymmetry changed into massive. In all, SMEs had no resources to execute financing transactions and those which did, wished hand conserving for processes.

With players like KredX, Aye Finance, Veritas Finance and many others., already running inside the SME lending, Lendingkart Group hence desires to disrupt the world by means of democratising it and permitting it in an organised manner – with a real time, computerized, records-driven credit score assessment and decision gadget.

As Harshvardhan defines, “We envision Lendingkart Group NBFC to become synonymous with an internet credit company that has the best and maximum efficient mortgage delivery system, simplest get admission to and the maximum bendy phrases by using leveraging on cutting-edge era for information analytics and cash management.”

He similarly provides, “Lendingkart Group has evolved its offerings on four key pillars – No human intervention (to address subjectivity and ultimate mile fraud), instantaneous cash (addressing the actual- time call for), easy (ensuring dependencies on intermediaries), and hyper-bendy terms for repayment and renewal.”

This allows the platform to paintings otherwise from banks and different NBFCs by way of focussing on a dealer’s current yr cash flows and enterprise increase. The company has a completely online software procedure and not using a hassles of setting collaterals or physical verification with the aid of body of workers contributors.

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It makes use of analytics and huge facts scoring to evaluate a potential patron’s commercial enterprise. As of now, it provides quick-time period working capital loans ranging from $740 to $14.8K (INR 50K to 10 Lakhs). The mortgage quantity is then allotted through affiliated creditors, or lending companions within a quick span of three days.

One can observe for the favored mortgage amount at the enterprise’s website. He/she is required to say their history, and to add the scanned reproduction of documents; along with registered name of the company, revenues generated within the ultimate three hundred and sixty five days, nature of enterprise etc.

The files are then sent to the NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) that verifies and transfer to its analytics group to determine the ‘credit score-worthiness’ of the applicant. The whole system is digitally integrated and the NBFC disburses the mortgage within seventy two hours from the time of software.

When asked about the revenue model of the agency, Harshvardhan says “A processing rate is charged for imparting the loan that is very minimum and inexpensive. We also rate an interest rate that relies upon at the hazard profile and creditworthiness of the applicant, which is as stated, calculated by means of our software.”

Modus Operandi And Go-To-Market Strategy

On being puzzled about the modus operandi, Harshvardhan says, “Initially, we focussed on making our associate network stronger through associating with leading marketplaces which includes Flipkart, Paytm, Voonik, and Craftsvilla to service the financing want of online SMEs. Today, we provider each online and offline small businesses for their financing needs.”

At gift, its target market includes any small enterprise entrepreneur who wishes working capital mortgage and has Internet get entry to on his smartphone/computer. Since the organization plans to attain the remotest elements of the u . S . A . To slender the distance between SMBs and loan vendors, it goals to conquer the language limitations with the aid of issuing its utility bureaucracy in various local and regional languages.

The firm has also been very active on the subject of investment and acquisition. Till date it has raised $42 Mn in  rounds of investment. In July 2015, Lendingkart Group secured $10 Mn (about INR sixty three Cr) investment from undertaking capital price range Saama Capital and Mayfield Fund. In July this year, it raised $32 Mn in (INR 205 Cr.) in Series B round. The funding become divided into  components viz. $20 Mn as equity and $12 Mn as debt. The funding became led through Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), with participation from Darrin Capital Management and present buyers – Mayfield India, Saama Capital, and India Quotient.

In October this yr, it acqui-hired Bengaluru-primarily based e-lending marketplace, KountMoney, which in step with Harshvardhan turned into geared toward “boosting Lendingkart Group’s era and records analytics competencies. It can even assist to increase its service portfolio and develop green and consumer-centric product services.”

The founders additionally boast of employer’s strong unit economics. As Harshvardhan says, “Because of the character and supplying of the product, we function in a niche marketplace. While many traditional banks and NBFCs cater to huge price tag length loans unfold over long tenures, the NBFC niche is serving the need of loans as small as INR four-five Lakh for a length of up to twelve months. This product category is currently no longer served with the aid of any one as traditional monetary establishments do not see unit financial experience on this segment.”

seven hundred Towns To Travel: The Road Ahead

By the cease of the modern monetary 12 months, the group targets to increase its geographic footprint to remote cities and cities in India with presence in each state and union territory.

The corporation in addition envisions to replace distributor credit score/funding by using pals and family by means of offering quite cost-effective supply of finances at the press of a button. Currently, the borrowing power lies on the top of a product chain. It borrows now not most effective for itself  but also for the layer beneath them as the players in the backside of the layer are not appropriately catered via conventional economic institutions.

On being prompted to talk approximately subsequent year’s targets, Harshvardhan says, “Lendingkart Group goals to strengthen its era platform and enhance cellular abilities to facilitate creditors for better month-on-month increase in terms of loans distributed and agencies catered to.”

Editor’s Note

The Indian fintech software program marketplace is forecasted to the touch $2.4 Bn by way of 2020 from a current $1.2 Bn, as per a Nasscom file. The historically coins-pushed Indian economy has answered nicely to the fintech opportunity, often prompted by a surge in ecommerce, and telephone penetration. The transaction cost for the Indian fintech zone is predicted to be approximately $33 Bn in 2016 and is forecasted to reach $73 Bn in 2020 developing at a 5-year CAGR of 22%.

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The enterprise has witnessed entrance of several gamers given the huge ability in the environment. However, generation may be the biggest sport changer on this zone and that is what Lendingkart Group is banking on. It has put in area a comprehensive gadget of its personal checks and balances to mitigate risk and avoid defaulters.

On a concluding note, Harshvardhan sums it up satisfactory, “The fintech zone in India has the capacity to capture up with its global counterparts because the various environment gamers come together to orchestrate a much-wished exchange in the enterprise. What is wanted now is the ready adoption of larger economic institution to collaborate extra actively with the emerging fintech atmosphere.”

As in step with modern estimates, India’s MSME area represents approximately fifty eight Mn corporations, which is growing over a hundred and fifty Mn jobs, and debts for forty five% of the us of a’s commercial output. With Lendingkart Group looking to tap into the largely unstructured market of alternative financing, there may be brilliant possibility for it to scale. Its greatly specific asset-unfastened and fast technique to fixing the operating finance problem for SMEs the usage of generation, does location it in a exceptional league from different gamers inside the space. Any startup which desires to reach this space has to broaden a foolproof hazard version. How some distance will Lendingkart Group be able to do so the use of various modes of era consisting of analytics and information science, is some thing to watch out for.



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