In their endeavour to provide quality education and enable all-round development of students through extra-curricular activities, schools in India often need to make some investments. The authorities have to ensure that classrooms are well furnished, there is quality sports kit in the games room, labs have the proper equipment for demonstrations and practical experiments and all essential amenities vital to a respectable educational service are available. To finance such facilities, they may at times seek school loans.
“How to get loan for school?” is the first question that comes to mind in such a scenario. Thanks to the digital lending solutions offered by FinTech companies today, recognised schools with classes up to VIII/X/XII standard could easily get collateral-free school loans of up to Rs 50 lakhs.
For what purposes can a school get such an amount? Let’s look at the common reasons that prompt schools to apply for quick loans:
Construct a school building
With a 50 lakh loan for construction of school building, the borrowing institution can build new classrooms to accommodate more students. The amount can also be used to construct a spacious staffroom or for any other structure that the school campus needs. With regular revenue through their monthly fee from students, running schools can afford to pay back the loan amount in EMIs.
Buy school furniture
The furniture used in classrooms and other areas of the school building can seem expensive to buy at short notice. However, quick funding by a FinTech company offering school loans enables the institution to make the purchase conveniently. Like other funds, the amount approved on loan for buying school furniture is credited into the bank account of the borrower within 2-3 days of the application approval and can then be used to purchase the required furniture items.
Build school laboratories
An amount of up to Rs 50 lakhs is usually adequate as a loan for building school laboratory. Schools that have recently advanced their classrooms to X or XII standard may not have science labs for the practical sessions required by the students of these grades. With an unsecured loan from a FinTech lender, they can finance the construction of such facilities. Institutions can also apply for loans to enlarge or refurbish the labs that they already have.
Parents expect safe transport facilities from a school, especially for their younger children. A van, minibus and larger buses can cost anywhere between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 50 lakh depending on its size, brand and age – new/used. Schools that want to buy their own vehicles or enlarge the existing fleet can use FinTech collateral-free loans available for such purposes.
Buy new teaching devices
A quick school loan is the best resort when the school needs to have better teaching devices installed in its classrooms and labs. These could be computers, whiteboards, overhead projectors and other hardware especially commissioned for education purposes. FinTech companies lend up to Rs 50 lakh for such teaching aids.
Develop the school campus
An unsecured loan of Rs 50 lakhs can be used for any other productive purpose that contributes towards the development of school and helps it become a more valuable education service provider. The institution simply needs to state the objective clearly in the loan application and provide the required documents authenticating its eligibility for the fund. It can also arrange for a flexible repayment structure when a FinTech lender disburses the loan for school development.
As a trusted FinTech company providing loans to schools, Capital Float has customised credit products to support educational institutions across India. To talk about your school loans requirements, feel free to call on 1860 419 0999.
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The growing entrepreneurship and start-up culture in India has increased the demand for flexible business loans to support such new ventures monetarily. However, funds that come through banks, government agencies and other financial institutions are not always easy to procure. The detailed paperwork, the long waiting times to get approval for the required amounts, and the high interest rates to be paid over an extended period deter many new businesses from approaching the conventional sources of working capital.
Propelled by technological developments, an alternative source of loans for small business has emerged in the form of new FinTech (financial technology) lending. In India, the FinTech market has witnessed a period of rapid growth in the last two years. As per reports by KPMG India and NASSCOM, it is expected to cross the $2.4 billion mark by 2020. Its lending model is driven by digital technology and is inherently different from the conventional approach that has been used by banks for years.
Most FinTech lenders specialise in micro financing and SME lending. The loan is granted promptly based on financial statements, bank transaction history and e-commerce transaction behaviour where applicable. As a leading player in the digital lending industry, Capital Float has already carved out its niche and is trusted by entrepreneurs who need quick loans to materialise the innovations in their business plans.
Why are SMEs shifting from conventional sources of finance to FinTech lenders?
Credit underwriting has been a major challenge with regards to the SME sector. The loan officers in Indian banks still use outdated methods to determine the creditworthiness of a small business. Furthermore, the loans offered by banks are secured in nature, those that require the borrower to offer some collateral – such as real estate, gold, investment portfolio, machinery or stocks – as security. This prevents several enterprising ventures from availing finance even if they have good prospects to grow and the ability to pay back their small business loan on time.
A digital SME loan is comparatively easier to obtain. The FinTech lending structure is backed by the assessment of digitally uploaded documents. The creditworthiness is evaluated using big data, psychometric questionnaires and social media behaviour, in addition to the trading position of the concerned business. If the SME does not maintain a formal balance sheet, alternate documents throwing light on its prospects in the industry can be used to determine the creditworthiness.
The experience of procuring loans before the advent of FinTech revolution was not very customer-friendly. Borrowers had to fill in long paper-based forms, gather many documents in support of their applications and pledge an asset to the lender. Subsequently, there was a waiting period running into weeks before the small business loan amount was approved.
Digital lending companies have improved the user experience by leveraging technology to tone down the paper work and processing time. Just like retail shopping and online travel bookings, the capital market for SMEs also needed to evolve and move online.
Was there a need for this new source of small business loans?
The emergence of FinTech sector for lending to small and micro enterprises is not only limited to India, but is a global phenomenon. An article published by Forbes has comprehensively analysed the case for this new source of business loans. The financial crisis of 2008 had left the banking sector with almost no scope for innovation. They were heavily regulated by new rules for lending and were urged to limit their risk by demanding for liquid collateral and Tier 1 capital. They also had to be more attentive than before to their back offices and compliance management.
Such changes encouraged finance-savvy and customer-focused talent pools to devise new ways, whereby technology could be leveraged to make borrowing easier. Digital lending services build a bridge between lenders and borrowers. There is a difference in the time taken to process the application, the underwriting process, the actual disbursal of the amount and the period for which the SME loan is granted. While adequate care is taken in evaluating the eligibility of a business for the grant, a FinTech company also ensures that there are no superfluous delays.
In line with the standards established by banks, an online lender must also ensure a high degree of transparency in the process of granting loans. At Capital Float, before a transaction becomes active, borrowers receive complete information on the rate of interest, the tenure of loan and any condition attached to the deal. There are no unpleasant surprises at the time of loan repayment.
Another advantage of procuring unsecured loans from a digital lender is that this new industry can adjust to changes more actively than conventional banks. With lower costs of underwriting using technology, lower rates of interest also become feasible.
Digital lending is helping a new class of business borrowers who have not been able to obtain funding from traditional sources. With an automated underwriting process and risk management, it has a lower operational cost and smoother loan processing. A major of FinTech-based lending is the assessment of client’s credit worthiness. Unlike banks that use only income statements and formal credit history, a FinTech company gathers substantial data through social media and big data. What’s more, with a strong use of technology in lending, the focus on safety is also uncompromising. There are adequate measures to keep the customer details encrypted and secure. Moreover, they also facilitate tailored finance products keeping in mind the varying needs of different industry segments.
The underlying objective is to support promising entrepreneurs in getting quick funds and realise their new business ideas. Capital Float believes that SMEs can grow consistently if they have secure and quick access to funds. As the government continues to promote digital transactions through e-wallets, mobile-driven point of sale (POS) and Internet banking, the financial structure must also be modernised to give a further impetus to entrepreneurship and the ‘Make in India’ vision.
As a FinTech company, Capital Float has created a business model that is not limited by structural formalities surrounding banks and traditional lending agencies. Our aim is to serve client needs efficiently and help promising businesses flourish progressively.
Oct 24, 2018
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Oct 24, 2018
We want to be in 100 cities in the next 12 to 18 months: Gaurav Hinduja & Sashank Rishyasringa – Business Standard
Written by Alnoor Peermohamed
Bengaluru-based startup Capital Float, which lends to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), plans to grow its presence from 40 cities to a 100 cities in the next 12 to 18 months. While sellers on e-commerce platforms make up a large chunk of whom the company lends to, it says it will focus more on tier 2 and tier 3 businesses, which might be solely offline but have the potential to grow massively. Gaurav Hinduja and Sashank Rishyasringa, founders of Capital Float talk to Alnoor Peermohamed in the company’s plans. Edited excerpts:
The e-commerce segment is fairly new and there’s bound to be volatility. How do you think that might impact your business?
Hinduja: E-commerce merchants are the core to what we do and it’s an important vertical, but we’ve also diversified outside.
We do loans to a lot traditional SMEs — brick and mortar, manufacturing and service type of organisations because that segment is 30-40 million, whereas e-commerce is 100-200 thousand. I think almost all sellers sell on all marketplaces. And when we underwrite the business, we look at a combination of things. Sales across marketplaces, and how does that look across his offline sales as well, because a lot of sell offline. We look at a holistic view of the business before we actually decide to give the person a loan.
Data on sellers is harder to come by in the offline world. How are you tackling that?
Rishyasringa: You’ll be surprised as to how much data is available on any business in India and that’s very much a big part of the IP we’ve built since the early days. I think what we’ve been able to do is build a lot of pipes for data sources such as Aadhaar, NSDL, and a whole host of other government and legal databases.
The borrower is also able to give us access to a lot of data that we can then use in deciding what terms and what kind of loan to give them. For example, social media is a very interesting input that we consider in our underwriting model.
On the online piece, yes there is some additional data which helps with the speed of lending. So today we give real time approvals to e-commerce sellers in 10 to 15 minutes.
What is your primary source of raising capital?
Hinduja: Like most financial institutions we obviously raise equity right, and we have raised a little over Rs 100 crore from some of the best VCs, but also we have raised debt.
What are your sort of default rates? How are you working to keep them low?
Hinduja: Ironically, a lot of the bank’s defaulters are not coming from the SME sector. They’re actually coming from large borrowers. A lot of what we do is the underwriting, through different data, and we do that to keep our credit costs, which are defaults, et cetera, really low.
Today they are very low, I’d say 80-90 per cent better than any NBFC that lends to SMEs out there. That said, it is still early days. This is a lending business at the end of the day, there are going to be defaults.
What do you think will happen when guys like Alibaba increase their focus in India? Where do you fit in?
Rishyasringa: B2B e-commerce has the potential to be far larger than B2C e-commerce in India. And we think what Alibaba has been able to achieve in China and in India with its SME base for exporters and importers is tremendous.
We are partners with Alibaba. You can infer from that, that we’re already active in the space and its part of our strategy.
How is this partnership going to work?
Hinduja: They’re going to look at us to help get more SMEs to become active Alibaba users. But at the same time a lot of their SME merchant base will require financing, whether it’s for domestic transactions, or cross border transactions. They will look at a financer that really has the speed and the agility to meet the SMEs requirements in that sense.
What are your growth plans?
Hinduja: We want to be in 100 cities in the next 12 to 18 months and obviously a lot of that growth is going to come from tier 2 and tier 3 towns. Because banks really don’t have a presence there.
While people and SMEs in the top 8-10 cities can still access a bank branch, bank branch penetration in those tier 2 tier 3 towns is almost negligible. I think that’s where we’ll see a lot of growth and through the make in India and e-commerce stuff you’ll see a lot of business growth in those cities as well.
What sort of regulatory hurdles do you see yourselves having to cross?
Rishyasringa: Actually in the financial services space I think we’ve got a very proactive regulator and what you’re seeing in these payment banks, small finance banks, e-KYC, I think these are all steps in the right direction and we obviously hope that we continue to see these steps.
News piece sourced from Business Standard. Read the full piece here.
Oct 24, 2018