Accelerating the Growth of Ecommerce in India – BWCIO

Written by BW CIOWorld

Capital Float is a digital platform that provides capital finance to SMEs in India. They offer short-term loans that can be used to purchase inventory, service new orders or optimize cash cycles. Vaibhav Singh, Associate Vice-President, Business Development, Capital Float, in a chat with BW CIOWorld shares some insights on e-commerce in India.

The e-commerce boom has birthed young entrepreneurs with limited transactional history that directly impacts their accessibility to credit. Capital Float has identified this opportunity and has launched new debt products to serve this rapidly growing segment. Most banks continue to implement underwriting models on online sellers which were originally designed to underwrite debt of offline sellers, argues Vaibhav.

“At Capital Float, we have built our underwriting model bottom-up based on evolving data and metrics to identify creditworthiness of online sellers. The approach is tailored to be more relevant to online businesses and offers more accurate results, says Vaibhav. Explosive growth in the e-commerce segment has overwhelmed traditional banking institutions and companies like us are able to share the burden of offering credit to unserved SMEs in the market.

E-Commerce platforms are attempting to standardize processes while increasing scope and scalability of existing sellers. This effort is likely to cause a churn in the seller e-community creating a metaphoric sieve through which sellers will be filtered. Consequently, the best performers will experience geometric growth, increasing competition between sellers in the space.

Building individual brand identity would be a challenge
The nature of the business fosters competition on the basis of pricing. In the attempt to offer best prices, sellers would be challenged to build their individual brand identity. Accessibility to credit through traditional channels will continue to remain a hurdle for e-commerce sellers in the foreseeable future, as conventional sources of credit begin to adapt to the dynamic capital environment.  The fiery growth in the e-commerce segment can only be sustained if companies like us are able to share the burden of offering credit to unserved SMEs and ecommerce sellers in the market.

There will be a slow change in the mindset especially in a hitherto human-intensive space like lending.  People have to become comfortable with trusting machines to do everything a man can do; stepping in only where expressly human traits of experience and intuition are needed, even if this means that at volumes approaching statistical significance, we let a few true-positives slip through in the interest of overall productivity. It’s about slowly giving up control and trusting technology to pick up the slack.

Algorithms and big data will drive eCommerce growth
Capital Float has used technology innovatively to ensure that seller in the ecommerce domain have access to collateral free working capital loans and enable business growth in a simple and efficient manner. Leveraging analytics, algorithms, big data and other disruptive technology trends to make lending decisions quickly based on verifiable data thereby ensuring efficient and fast turn-around time is the future. Technology has also enabled Capital Float to expand business faster and reach out and support the SME and seller community across India. The acceptance of new forms of technology would only fast forward the growth of facilities needed to continue the growth of ecommerce.

– See more at: http://bwcio.com/accelerating-the-growth-of-ecommerce-in-india/#sthash.zDdwY1Q3.dpuf

News piece sourced from BW CIO World. Read the full piece here

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A Complete Guide to Private School Loans for School Owners

As the number of schools continues to grow in India, the existing institutions must keep improving their standards to ensure that they have the facilities sought by students and their parents.

The methodologies of teaching today are significantly different from what they used to be two decades ago. In addition to well-ventilated classrooms, laboratories, library, spacious playgrounds and sports gear, the infrastructure of schools today also needs a host of audio-visual equipment and computer devices to provide quality education. At times, it is necessary to apply for school loans to finance the purchase of such school infrastructure components.

How to get loan for school

Loans for private schools can come from several sources including banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and private money lenders. From the construction of a new school building and renovation of old ones to the purchase of furniture, lab equipment and other devices, school loans are issued for a variety of purposes.

The flexible lending policies of digitally enabled NBFCs, also known as FinTech companies, have made it easier for schools to get quick loans at easy terms. Furthermore, these organisations do not need any collateral from their borrowers: this makes a high number of institutions eligible to apply for school loans.

Eligibility Factors

In India, a FinTech company’s loan for educational institutions is usually available to private schools that:

  • Have regular and fully functional classes from Lower Kindergarten to Class VIII/X/XII
  • Collect a total fee of more than Rs 75 lakh per annum
  • Have their school building on a self-owned property
  • Have promoters or trust to run the school

Schools that fulfil the criteria can borrow any sum up to Rs 50 lakhs for a term ranging between one and three years.

How to apply for FinTech school loans

In addition to being collateral-free, the easy application process of FinTech loans draws a majority of borrowers to this source of funds. You may need a loan for construction of school building, to buy audio-visual devices used in teaching or to bring other improvements to your institution. You can digitally request for the funding at any time from anywhere.

The application takes less than 15 minutes to be filled and needs to be substantiated by only soft copies of documents that verify your eligibility for the loan. These typically comprise:

  • Financial statements for the last two years
  • Bank statement for the last 12 months
  • KYC of at least two promoters
  • The fee structure for students
  • Remuneration structure for staff

Once the application is reviewed by the lending organisation and is approved for the loan, the requested amount is disbursed in less than a week.

Since you will fill the application and provide your details digitally, you have to ensure that the lender’s website domain begins with https: so that the information gets encrypted. Also, check the interest rate and loan processing fee to know your EMIs for repayments.

As a leading FinTech company in India, Capital Float issues loans for private schools in India at the simplest terms and disburses funds in only 2-3 business days for approved applications. We have no additional fee other than the interest rate and a loan processing charge of only up to 2%. To know more about our school loans, feel free to connect with us on 1860 419 0999.

Apply for Unsecured school loan

Oct 24, 2018

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The Great Indian Finance Festival (GIFF) 2017

The Great Indian Finance Festival or GIFF 2017 is an online initiative by Capital Float to offer working capital loans to MSMEs across different sectors in the country. GIFF aspires to reach out to over 10 million SMEs by offering lucrative offers on working capital finance, in a bid to bridge the credit gap that small businesses continue to be challenged by. Over the next three months, starting July 1, 2017, GIFF kicks off a one-of-its-kind loan festival that will provide Indian SMEs with the working capital support they need to diversify and scale up their businesses.

Working Capital Loans
for SMEs
Up to Rs. 10,000 PayTM gold for every loan on offer Three Long Months
Jul 1 – Sep 30, 2017
Interest as low as
16%
Disbursal in
72 hours

At GIFF 2017, you can get access to quickly disbursed, flexible, short-term loans that are typically used for the purchase of inventory, servicing new orders or optimising cash cycles. You can apply online in minutes, select desired repayment terms and receive funds in your bank account in as little as 3 days.

Products & Features:

During GIFF 2017, we will be providing three of our loan products at interest rates starting 16%:

Merchant Cash Advance Term Loan Online Seller Finance
Loan against card swipes and receivables – ideal for merchants with consistent card settlements Unsecured business loan – ideal for SMEs with positive monthly cash flow Online Sellers – ideal for those looking to expand their marketplace presence and sales
Credit: Rs 1 lakh – Rs 1 crore Credit: Rs 1 lakh – Rs 50 lakh Credit: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore
6 months – 1 year 6 months – 3 years Flexible payment options
Know more Know more Know more

Flash Sales:

In addition to the three-month long festival, watch out for short ‘Flash Sales’ throughout GIFF 2017. A flash sale lasts for three days, and you can earn up to 10,000 in PayTM gold!. Each product will feature a flash sale of its own, so be sure to visit the GIFF website regularly!

Application Process:

The entire process at GIFF 2017 is online. You need to fill up an online application and submit all the relevant documentation. If you meet the eligibility criteria and your paperwork is correct, your application can be approved within a few hours. The best part is that the loan amount will be credited to the bank account within 72 hours of approval.

GIFF 2017 Application Process

The Great Indian Finance Festival GIFF 2017 Capital Float Blog

The first step is to fill up basic details about yourself and the company such as the registered name of your enterprise, years of operation, type of company (private limited/partnership/proprietorship/unlisted), company turnover and loan amount required in the online application form. Next, upload relevant documents on the website. These documents or paperwork are necessary to demonstrate your creditworthiness and ability to repay.

Capital Float leverages technology such as big data analytics and proprietary algorithms to make quick lending decisions based on the verifiable data you have provided. Over the years, the technology and intelligence we deployed have ensured better decision-making and quick disbursal of loans.

GIFF 2017 and the  festive season

A recent Nielsen’s global consumer confidence index report showed that India’s consumer confidence score rose to the highest it’s ever been in the last 10 years. This swing in consumer sentiment even made Nielsen proclaim India as ‘a nation of determined optimists’. So, as we head into a period of positive consumer sentiment and with many major festivals coming up, the timing seems perfect for SMEs to think big.

Even though we Indians have festivals all round the year, consumer spending spikes from July to December. Traditionally, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas have been occasions for large spending by the Indian consumer. In 2016, Indian consumers spent an estimated amount of Rs 12,000 crore ($1.8 billion) online during Diwali alone. The festive season is also when the marketers spend almost 40% of their annual budget in attracting customers and boosting sales by 20% – 25%.

Timing is everything:

Cashing in on an opportunity at the right time is critical for SMEs to prosper. The upcoming festive season and a high consumer confidence score is a lucrative opportunity that smart SMEs will want to leverage for growth and expansion. Over the next few months, we will be providing our impactful working capital finance products at discounted interest rates with our esteemed promise of 3-day disbursal. Tap into this opportunity and propel your enterprise towards a busy season ahead, equipped with all that you need to succeed and #BreakLimits.

Oct 24, 2018

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Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age – Global Report

An eminent panel of experts from International Financial Corporation, Stanford GSB and CreditEase curated a report and highlighted Capital Float as one of the 100 companies in the world facilitating Financial Inclusion. Our co-founder, Gaurav Hinduja spoke with Anju Patwardhan, MD of CreditEase China on Capital Float’s business model, strategic direction and technological breakthroughs. Read the full interview below.

1. What inspired you to start your business?

The fact that India had more than 50 million SMEs with no access to formal credit who, despite contributing a staggering 15% to the country’s GDP with a high market share of 40% towards employment, had an unmet credit demand of $ 400 billion. Traditional lending institutions are limited by the constraints of their conventional underwriting models that restrict financing due to the volatility of this sector. This, in turn, pushed SMEs to the informal sector where the high interest rates charged by moneylenders fettered borrowers to a chronic cycle of debt. Capital Float was established with the objective to bridge this gap in the market with innovative and flexible credit products for SMEs, delivered in an efficient and customer-friendly manner.

2. Who is your target user base and what is your mission for this group?

Capital Float aims to service high potential, under-served, SMEs with an annual business turnover ranging from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 100 crore. Our mission is to provide a seamless borrowing experience using customized finance products that cater to the specific needs of different SME segments. Here, technology plays a crucial role in reducing turnaround times, implementing paperless processes and pioneering predictive lending.

Also, we drive our products and processes to realize the national objective of financial inclusion. A recent example of this is the introduction of the Proprietor Loans product that facilitates business growth for micro-entrepreneurs in India. The product targets the small retailer segment such as mom-n-pop stores, salons, medical stores, mobile phone retailers, small restaurants, etc. who face challenges in obtaining loans for business expansion from traditional lenders owing to a lack of formal credit history and sufficient collateral. Capital Float is the first company in India to introduce a product that finances this segment. Moreover, we’ve disbursed the quickest SME loan in India, for this loan, in under 90 seconds.

We designed the Proprietor Loan app in collaboration with IndiaStack. This simple loan app enables small retail store owners to apply for a loan ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 5 lakhs without having to leave their store. Benefited by the merits of a completely paperless process, the applicant has to merely provide their AADHAAR number to apply for the loan. The app fetches the relevant data using the number and underwrites the customer in real time. We disburse funds to the applicant’s account within minutes of the application. We achieve scale by partnering with ecosystem leaders, such as Metro Cash and Carry, PayTM, Amazon Business, Payworld, etc. and serving storeowners operating on these platforms.

3. What is the central “friction” that your company is striving to overcome/mitigate, and what is distinctive about your strategy for enhancing financial capacity your user base?

Predominantly, traditional banks and non-banks have employed a conventional approach to underwriting. They have constantly shied away from utilizing data points from public sources such as social media, and those that are available from the Government in the form of Aadhaar and GST information. Capital Float has designed its credit underwriting with the fundamental understanding that every SME is different. Leveraging data points from partners in each industry sector along with conventional data, our rigorous credit underwriting engine processes loan applications and disburses funds in real time.

In terms of enhancing the financial capacity of SMEs, we lead a partner-driven approach. The company has partnered with ecosystems across various verticals such as e-commerce (Amazon, Flipkart, PayTM, eBay, Alibaba, Amazon, etc.), retailers (Storeking, Metro Cash & Carry), PoS payment enablers (Mswipe, Pine Labs, Bijlipay, ICICI Merchant Services), digital remittances (Wirecard, Payworld, Eko) etc. By taking an ecosystem led approach, we are able to maintain a low OPEX and cater to a wide range of SMEs without increasing our sales headcount.

We have the widest portfolio of working capital finance products, ranging from Merchant Cash Advance (loans against card swipes) and Supply Chain Finance (loans against bills receivables) to Unsecured Business Loans (traditional business instalments loans) and Proprietor Finance. We designed a unique credit solution called ‘Pay Later’. By using this product, borrowers can make multiple drawdowns from a predefined credit capacity. Interest is charged on the utilized amount and not the entire credit capacity, and the balance gets restored upon repayment. ‘Pay Later’ can be used to make supplier payments within 24 hours.

A collaboration of partnerships with industry leaders and niche products ensure that we can expand our outreach to a majority of our target base and enhance their financial capacity.

4. How does your business model balance the objectives of (a) providing benefits to your user base and (b) meeting the financial targets of your investors?

The SME sector in India is restricted by technical as well as functional limitations that inhibit their access to formal sources of finance. Most small enterprises simply cannot afford to expend time for the lengthy processes and immense documentation requirements that are mandatory to avail a loan from banks or traditional NBFCs. Presenting sufficiently valuable collateral for the loan amount they require is another barrier that most SMEs can’t overcome. Capital Float has a completely digital loan application process that eliminates the need for borrowers to be physically present at a lending institution’s premises to apply for a loan. The use of unconventional data points further reduces the need for a multitude of documentation for credit underwriting. All our SME-oriented credit products are unsecured in nature, which facilitates easy access to finance for a previously ineligible majority of business owners.

Customer satisfaction is immensely significant to us, which drives our efforts to ensure that we offer the best-in-class user experience to our borrowers. This is made possible through continuous innovation that enables us to adapt quickly to the ever-increasing demands of our core target base. Apart from these, we are willing to venture into unexplored SME avenues that face a significant credit deficit. We have recently launched credit products such as Proprietor Loans, Franchise Finance and School Loans for niche customer segments that have previously received little financial backing from lending entities in India. Our constant product & process innovation to reach out to new audience ensures that we never fall short in fulfilling the financial expectations and reinforcing the continual faith of our investors.

5. To what extent, if at all, are traditional deposit-taking financial institutions potential collaborators for fulfilling your mission?

Being an upcoming technology driven lender, we view traditional banks and non-banks as collaborators, not competitors. Capital Float operates India’s largest digital co-lending model, wherein we co-lend with banks, NBFCs and others. We currently have several banks and NBFCs such as RBL, IDFC, IFMR and Tata Capital participating on the platform. Loans are presented on the platform and offered on a first-come- first serve basis. We co-lend up to 30% of each loan to ensure that we have our skin-in- the-game and risks are mitigated. This model works emphatically well, as participating entities are able to leverage the strengths of the other. Banks and large NBFCs possess immense balance sheets, which when made available on the platform lowers our cost of capital. Meanwhile, banks are able to meet their priority sector lending targets by lending to SMEs via the platform. Our data-driven assessment and speed of processes, backed by a robust digital infrastructure significantly lowers the cost of acquisition for participating entities.

The co-lending model currently contributes to 40% of our AUM. We expect this figure to reach 50% of our AUM by end of this financial year.

6. Stepping away (perhaps) from your own company’s mission, what do you see as the major regulatory or technological breakthroughs needed to take a major next step forward in building global financial capacity?

Digital lending companies have evolved as disruptors in traditional financial markets, with an estimated one third of consumers worldwide using FinTech services. To sustain the efforts of this upcoming sector and extend their outreach to the majority of their target group, opening public sources of funding is a necessity that requires government intervention. In India, public funding initiatives such as MUDRA and SIDBI refinances institutions that lend to MSMEs, but within regulations of their own. As a result, refinancing support fails to cover the high operating cost of the small-ticket, short duration unsecured loans that are provided by FinTech lending institutions.

Creating a sustainable digital infrastructure that facilitates easy transfer and recovery of finance offered by FinTech lenders is the need of the hour. This, when implemented via eNACH, will help the digital ecosystem in achieving faster adoption.

Also, enhanced access to government data is yet another factor that will be a game changer for building global financial capacity. With the introduction of a new indirect taxation regime in the form of GST, India has acquired a verified database of tax compliant businesses that offers significant information to determine the credit worthiness of business loan applicants. If this data can be shared with FinTech lenders and credit rating agencies through a secure API, this will result in increasing lending opportunities to myriad SMEs across the country.

Download the full report here.

Oct 24, 2018