Card image cap
November 24, 2016
Merchant Cash Advance – Quick Loans on Card Swipes

Plastic money has revolutionised the commercial world in the last two decades, both for consumers as well as business owners. With the recent demonetization, more customers are compelled to use cards to purchase goods and avail services. An increasing number of merchants are installing point-of-sale card machines to ensure that sales are unaffected. After all, a card swipe is undoubtedly quicker and more convenient than cash.

Now, the receipts of those card swipes can help you raise capital to expand your business operations. Whether you’re a retailer, restaurateur, or a small-to-medium business owner whose revenue comes primarily from credit and debit card sales, Capital Float’s ‘Merchant Cash Advance’ is a quick, hassle-free financing option to fund all your working capital needs.

With Merchant Cash Advance, you can receive up to 200% of your monthly sales from card payment machines. The repayment process is entirely hassle-free on your part. Your POS partner repays a percentage of your daily card sales on your behalf as instalment for the loan. The balance amount is paid to you on a daily basis. So, instead of being burdened by hefty fixed repayments every month, you pay an agreed-upon percentage of your daily credit/debit card sales, until the advance is paid in full.

Features

  1. Loan amount of up to Rs. 1 cr

Traditional banks aren’t as generous when it comes to how much you can borrow. Add to that the piles of documentation and proofs of credit score that you need to submit, which only elongate the process. At Capital Float, on the other hand, you’re eligible for an advance of up to Rs. 1 cr, depending upon your monthly card settlement and ability to repay between a tenure of 6 months to a year.

  1. Loan tenure of 6 months to 1 year

Every line of business has different challenges and requirements. We understand the importance of providing flexible credit offerings that are tailored to your business need. You can avail Merchant Cash Advance for a period varying between six months to one year. If you have a short-term working capital need, a six-month long loan might be ideal. Similarly, if your need involves securing a larger loan and if you would like to spread out the repayment schedule, you could take the loan for a period of one year.

  1. Get up to 200% finance on your monthly card machine sales

With Merchant Cash Advance, you can receive up to 200% working capital finance on monthly sales from card machines. As more customers use debit and credit cards to shop, your sales from point-of-sale machines is likely to increase significantly. These sales records can help you avail quick finance that you could channel into running your business. Our sophisticated loan product opens a new avenue of formal financing for you, as you seek credit channels to leverage business opportunities.

Benefits

  1. Cash-flow friendly daily repayments

Usually, small business loans have a fixed repayment plan, wherein, you pay the same amount every month based upon the agreed-upon interest rate. At Capital Float, you pay back as per your daily credit/debit sales. Take, for example, if the agreed upon repayment is 15% of your credit card receipts, we will deduct 15% in proportion to how much business you’ve done through the day, until the repayment is done in full.

  1. Get funding in 3 days

It’s a highly competitive business world, and in case a potential opportunity knocks on your door, the last thing you want to do is wait for the funds to reach you. One of the many USPs of Merchant Cash Advance is its potential for fast approval and disbursal. Through our data-driven competencies, we render a decision within hours and deliver funds to you within 72 hours, so that you waste no time in covering an unexpected business expense or capitalising on a lucrative business opportunity.

  1. Zero collateral

Traditional banks cover their risk by taking collateral form the borrower while giving a loan. Given the completely unsecured nature of Merchant Cash Advance, you don’t have to put any personal or business assets on the line. All we require is your banking documents for last 12 months, KYC documents, VAT returns for last six months and card settlement statements for 3 months prior to loan application.

  1. Simple and secure online process

Like many small business loans of this type, you can apply for an advance from wherever you are, as long as you have a computer or cell phone with an internet connection. The procedure is extremely simple, and takes a mere ten minutes of your time. All you need to do is fill out an application form, upload the necessary documentation. The process is designed to be convenient for you. We maintain strict security protocols, safeguarding your data at all times.

Eligibility and Documents

To qualify for a loan at Merchant Cash Advance, you must comply with the following parameters:

Eligibility

  • Your business must have minimum operational history of 1 year
  • Minimum turnover of ₹20,00,000
  • Minimum card acceptance vintage of 6 months
  • Minimum monthly card volume of ₹1,00,000
  • Minimum of six settlements per month

Documents required

  • Your banking documents for last 12 months
  • VAT returns for last six months prior to loan application
  • Card settlement statements for 3 months prior to loan application. All acquirer banks, except American Express, are eligible.
  • The company’s as well as the promoter’s KYC documents

Fees and Charges

At Capital Float, we conduct business in the most transparent manner. This means, you’re only obligated to pay a processing fee of up to 2% for the loan. There are no hidden or pre-closure penalties during or after your application procedure.

Click here to know more about Capital Float

Click here to apply for Merchant Cash Advance

Card image cap
November 9, 2016
Importance of Working Capital for Businesses

What is Working Capital?

Working capital is the difference between the total number of assets and the total number of liabilities in a company. This amount is spent on executing day-to-day operations in a business. As a result, it is used as an index to measure the health of a company. Enterprises with high working capital are often strong businesses.

What are the Uses of Working Capital?

In most situations, working capital is used to run operations. A well-managed business will also use it’s working capital to achieve growth. For instance, an online seller would spend to add a new type of product to his portfolio. A retailer may liquidate funds to increase his store size by adding a new section to his outlet. Other uses of working capital include: • Equipment and inventory purchases • Hiring, salary payments and employee training • Unforeseen expenses

What are the Outcomes of Low Working Capital? Responsible financial management may help companies secure higher levels of working capital. On the contrary, poor management of capital could result in the following issues:

• Bankruptcy risk: In the case of negative working capital, SMEs use money received from creditors to finance business operations. Businesses run the risk of bankruptcy due to the lack of sufficient income to counterbalance the expenditure.

• Lack of investment opportunities: Investors are less likely to consider companies which regularly have low or negative working capital. This demonstrates that the company is not being run effectively.

• Missed growth opportunities: With large amounts of positive working capital, businesses will have money to spend on pursuing growth. With negative or low working capital, businesses may find it difficult to capitalize on investment opportunities. Low working capital could have stifling effects on the ambitions of any businessman.

• Trade discounts: Many suppliers will offer substantial discounts if they are paid on time. Low or negative working capital can make it difficult to meet payment obligations which, effectively, increases the cost of inventory.

What are the Ways of Accessing Working Capital Finance with Capital Float?

At Capital Float, we offer a wide range of financing options for small and medium scale businesses. By providing quick and easier access to funds and with flexible repayment options, we can give businesses the right financial support to help them achieve their next milestone.

We offer Online Seller Finance to e-commerce sellers who operate on online marketplaces. Through a simple online process, the seller can apply for a loan and receive funds in three days. The loan tenure ranges between 90-180 days and is repaid on a biweekly basis. This loan is ideal for sellers who are looking at expanding into other marketplaces, increasing their product portfolio or purchasing higher volumes of stock.

Term Finance is applicable for traditional businesses that have been operating for three years. The loan tenure varies between six months to three years. Small scale manufacturers, retailers and distributors can use this loan to meet short-term investment requirements and finance inventory purchases.

Invoice Finance helps SMEs convert their invoices into cash, that can be channeled into financing business operations. This loan product has an exclusive feature of one-time bullet repayment mode, which might suit the cash-flow needs of several SMEs.

We also provide Merchant Cash Advance which will interest vendors using point-of-sale machines with consistent card settlements. Merchants can receive working capital finance of up to 150% of their monthly card swipes within three days of the loan application.

Our unique product called ‘Pay Later’ is a rolling credit facility, that enables the borrower to make multiple drawdowns within a predefined credit limit. The borrower pays interest on the utilized amount and not on the entire limit. By repaying the amount utilized, the borrower resets the credit limit, thereby instantly availing the facility in whole. Click here to read more about ‘Pay Later’. You could read about the product features by clicking here.

At Capital Float, we have working capital finance options for SMEs across all segments. Visit our website to know more about all our products. Click here to apply now.

Card image cap
October 25, 2016
Why Online Vendors Should Apply for Capital Float’s Online Seller Finance

Are you an online seller looking to optimize and grow sales? Given the highly competitive nature of e-commerce, it’s always advisable to have a cash flow option handy for successful expansion. Furthermore, you wouldn’t want to lose out on market opportunities due to the lack of convenient financing options. And that, is where Capital Float comes into the picture.

In the cut-throat world of e-commerce, having a lucrative financing option at the right time is likely to translate into a significant competitive edge. There are three key occasions, wherein, an online seller may require rapid financing:

  • Respond to an increase in sales by purchasing inventory
  • To be prepared for seasonal fluctuations in revenue, and bridge short-term gaps in liquidity.
  • To widen product portfolio by diversifying into other product segments or to widen reach by operating on a new marketplace

Here are a few compelling reasons as to why you must apply for Capital Float’s Online Seller Finance to maintain your competitive advantage in the business:

  1. Flexible loans that are customized to your need

The exciting features at Capital Float’s Online Seller Finance ensure speedy expansion for your business in a simple manner. As an e-commerce vendor, you can raise funds from INR 1 Lac up to 1 Crore, depending upon your cash requirements. Furthermore, we provide you with effortless repayment modes for a loan tenure between 90-180 days. Our partnerships with multiple, leading e-commerce platforms enables you to acquire our e-commerce seller loans to operate and expand across different online marketplaces.

  1. A quick, hassle-free process

        a) Minimum documentation

To apply for our eCommerce seller loans, you need not furnish a heavy stack of documents. All we would need from you are your bank statements of the last six months and KYC documents credentialing you and your business.

         b) Zero collateral

We provide unsecured loans, meaning we don’t take collaterals as guarantee for loans. You won’t be asked to pledge your property or vehicle to avail a loan from us. Our loans are bereft of the anxiety that are often associated with loans against collateral.

        c) Loans against marketplace sales

Our motto is to help businesses to ‘Break Limits’. We understand that many a time, businesses with potential are hampered by the lack of finance. We are committed to change that. You can avail Online Seller Finance on the basis of your proven sales on e-commerce marketplaces, receiving up to 150% of your average monthly sales.

  1. Apply anywhere, any time

While financial institutions like nationalized banks, private banks and traditional NBFCs not only take weeks to sanction a loan, but they also have tedious application procedures, Capital Float ensures immense flexibility in the process. We have designed a handy mobile app through which you can apply for a loan from anywhere, as long as you are connected to the internet. The four-step online application procedure is not only user-friendly, but allows you to raise funds without losing on precious time.

External financing is an excellent tool for you to grow as an online vendor and keep operations smooth. Capital Float’s sole aim is to bridge the current gap in the market with innovative and flexible credit products for online enterprises like yours. That said, Online Seller Finance is just the product you need to fulfill your finance requirements in a smooth, hassle-free manner.

Wait no more. Take your online business to the next level with our online seller loans. Click here to apply.

Card image cap
September 7, 2016
Capital Float Partners With Of Business to Provide Easy Finance to Online B2B Merchants

Capital Float, the largest digital lender to SMEs in India, has partnered with OfBusiness, a leading B2B e-commerce marketplace, to help small scale Indian manufacturers and traders avail easy funding for expanding their business. Through this partnership, buyers on the OfBusiness platform can leverage Capital Float’s Pay Later product to avail instant funds for procuring industrial materials.

Capital Float has enabled purchase financing for small scale manufacturing companies and assists them in growing their business on OfBusiness. This partnership will help in bringing these informal borrowers into the mainstream credit ecosystem. Buyers on this platform often face hurdles in obtaining timely finance to operate and expand their business, due to their lack of credit history based on traditional credit parameters. However, Capital Float’s tech and big data-driven algorithms uniquely underwrite applicants, confirming their eligibility in minutes, while also offering credit limits in real time. Some of the factors taken into consideration during the decision-making process include transaction history, cancellation rate and customer rating on the platform.

“For the first time, a partnership of this scale is focussed on enabling B2B e-commerce buyers in India. We are the pioneers of digital lending in India and the first movers in the online seller financing space. The insights we have gained by closely working with online sellers has aided us in developing this best-in-class product, custom-built to address the needs of buyers on the OfBusiness platform,” said Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-Founder, Capital Float. “Through this partnership, we aim to diversify our customer portfolio and strengthen our position in this space. Our target is to increase our present loan disbursement by three times by the end of September 2016,” he added.

Capital Float has strategic partnerships with some of the largest online marketplaces. Equipped with this rich experience in the online selling space, Capital Float is augmenting its reach by penetrating into the B2B e-commerce segment. The company is aptly placed to serve the unique needs of the sector with it’s highly customized credit offerings and swift processes.

"SME financing in the manufacturing space requires deep understanding of SME's cash flows. We at OfBusiness, are committed to building a tech-enabled ecosystem for SMEs for all their commerce and credit needs. Partnering with Capital Float has enabled us to bring customized financing solutions in the manufacturing space," said Ruchi Kalra, Co-founder, OfBusiness.

Publications that have covered the release: 

Capital Float partners with OfBusiness for B2B finance UNI

Capital Float partners with OfBusiness to provide easy finance to online B2B merchants Express Computer

Capital Float Join Hands with OfBusiness for Efficient B2B Finance SME Street

Capital Float Partners With OfBusiness To Provide Easy Finance To Online B2b Merchants Digital Conqurer

Capital Float Partners With OfBusiness To Provide Easy Finance To SMEs Channel Times

Capital Float partners with B2B e-marketplace OfBusiness My Big Plunge

Capital Float partners with OfBusiness for B2B finance Webindia123

Card image cap
August 31, 2016
The Challenges of Interpreting Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is one of the most universal return concepts, and rightly so because of its effectiveness in interpreting returns from an investment. However, it is also one of the most difficult concepts to wrap your head around. In my personal opinion, the difficulty arises primarily due to the understanding of the fundamental underpinnings of the definition. It is not my intention to turn this discussion into a technical one; since the objective is to demystify, I will break it down for simpler understanding.

Firstly, the IRR is better understood when used to compare returns from two or more investments. The decision rule is rather simple – the higher the IRR, the better. The confusion arises when investors look at the IRR in isolation i.e. an investment yields a 20% IRR so what does that mean? The answer is a complicated one and often leads to more questions.

Secondly, the IRR is a multi-period return measure. What this means is that when investors would like to compare investments that span different time periods, IRR becomes the best tool for this purpose. For instance, investment A returns 20% in X years whereas investment B returns 25% in Y years. The question as to which investment performs better is best answered by the IRR.

Thirdly, the IRR works best when investments have conventional cash flows patterns i.e. a negative cash flow followed by multiple positive cash flows. Any variations herein are bound to be detrimental to the IRR calculation. For instance, you buy a stock (negative cash flow) and receive dividends (positive cash flow) during the holding period. The IRR works well in this scenario. However, if you short a stock (positive cash flow) and buy another one (negative cash flow) with the proceeds and finally square of the transaction (positive or negative cash flow) later on, the IRR may not necessarily yield desired results.

Lastly, due to its very definition, in some instances an investment may have no IRR at all or at least one that can be determined! Obviously, in such instances, the IRR is of no use and creates confusion in the mind of the investor. Therefore, the challenges in interpreting IRR arise when investors use the IRR for purposes other than those mentioned above.

Although this list is by no means exhaustive, it captures the salient features of the IRR. Hope this piece has helped simplify the concept and gives you confidence to seamlessly compare investments using IRR. Vinay Basavaraj
Vinay boasts of a decade of experience working in both large and small organizations. His roles have ranged from sales to operations and even a stint in academia. He currently manages affairs in capital markets in Capital Float.
Card image cap
August 31, 2016
Capital Float looks to expand to over 100 cities – Livemint

Capital Float plans expansion in over 100 cities as it bids to offer loans for small brick-and-mortar store owners for a bigger share of the growing financial lending market

Capital Float, which is currently focused on offering loans to small and medium merchants in Tier 1 and metro cities, is now looking to concentrate more on tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Mumbai: SME lending platform Capital Float, run by Zen Lefin Pvt. Ltd, is looking to expand its reach to over 100 cities and venture into newer categories like loan for small brick-and-mortar store owners, as it eyes a bigger share of the growing financial lending market in the country.

“We are expecting a 10 times growth by the end of March 2017, adding 15,000-20,000 customers (borrowers) cumulatively across all the loan products segment,” said co-founder and managing director Sashank Rishyasringa.

The company has offered loans to 3,000 borrowers until now.

Founded in 2013 by Rishyasringa and Gaurav Hinduja, Capital Float has disbursed loans amounting to over Rs.400 crore.

A technology-led non-banking financial company (NBFC) underwrites unsecured loans online to start-ups, business-to-business (B2B) providers, manufacturers and e-commerce merchants through its own books.

It currently gets 33% of the business from online vendors.

With the aim of extending its focus to small mom-and-pop or kirana shops along with micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the company has already made a mobile application that approves loans in less than eight minutes.

Loans to kirana shops could be in the range of Rs.50,000-100,000.

India currently has minimal lending options for small businesses. These businesses are largely ineligible to receive any financing from banks or NBFCs.

Traditional banks ask for collateral, financial statements and bank statements and do not offer small ticket size loans.

Capital Float is trying to solve the problem by lending money to small businesses that might not have collateral, significant revenues or years of experience.

The company offers an alternative for these small traditional business houses that have largely banked on chit funds and local money lenders to borrow money from.

Identifying a need to extend credit to such under-served, Rata Tata, Vijay Kelkar (former finance secretary and chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy) and Nandan Nilekani (co-founder of Infosys Ltd and the architect of Aadhaar) will soon start a microfinance institution named Avanti Finance, Mint reported on Monday.

Capital Float, which is currently focused on offering loans to small and medium merchants in Tier 1 and metro cities, is now looking to concentrate more on tier 2 and tier 3 cities. “I expect a significant contribution of these cities (tier 2 and tier 3) to the company’s growth, which could be around 33% by next year,” Rishyasringa added.

The loan products currently include working capital finance to online sellers for 90-180 days, long-term finance to merchants for six months to three years, bill discounting and taxi financing (loans for cab drivers), among others.

Broadly, the company has partnered with e-commerce websites, payment gateways, cab services, amounting to 50 partnerships, including with Snapdeal, Shopclues, Paytm and Uber to offer loans to a large pool of small businesses and merchants who work with these partners.

The company is also eyeing profitability in the next 12 months on the back of a robust demand for loans by SMEs.

To enable faster disbursal of loans, the company launched its mobile application two to three months ago, which is privately available to businesses through partners.

While loan applications were initially accessible only through the website, Capital Float is now seeing that mobile application and mobile browsing has grown to contribute 50% of loan applications, said Rishyasringa.

The mobile application is built on four technology pillars of India Stack—Aadhaar-based authentication, an electronic process of know-your-customer (e-KYC), electronic signature (e-Sign) and unified payment interface (UPI).

India Stack is a set of publicly available application programming interface (API)—that enable companies to build applications and businesses based on these four pillars.

The fin-tech company receives a loan enquiry every three minutes, said Rishyasringa. An inquiry implies a prospective borrower initiating a loan application process.

While the company remains stringent in extending loans, by approving 20% of the applications, total loan disbursal amounts to an average of Rs.70 crore per month.

Additionally, the average loan amount extended to a merchant is Rs.10 lakh at an interest rate of 16-19%, for a tenure of between 60 days to 2-3 years. The company maintains and targets to continue to maintain a non-performing asset (NPA) proportion of less than 1% of its total loan amount.

NPA is the proportion of the amount of bad loans to the total amount of loan disbursed.

Backed by George Soros’s Aspada Investment Co., SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital, the company has raised $42 million, including $25 million in series B round of funding in May.

Other players in this segment that Capital Float competes with are Capital First Ltd, NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd and SMEcorner.in (Amadeus Advisors Pvt. Ltd). In July, NeoGrowth raised $35 million from IIFL Asset Management, Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund managed by (Quona Capital) and Aspada Investments, along with other investors, reported PTI.

The original article is written by Arushi Chopra. Click here to read the original article.

Card image cap
August 18, 2016
Capital Float partners with Payworld to boost business of kirana stores in India
Capital Float, the largest digital lender in India, has partnered with Payworld to provide kirana store owners with convenient financing options, enabling them to expand business operations. Small retailers are often underserved by traditional financial institutions because of their limited credit history. These retailers can now avail hassle-free working capital from Capital Float, which will help them manage inventory and cash flows with added scalability. There are more than 12 million small retailers in India. Many of these businessmen put decision-making on hold because of traditional credit barriers. Through this partnership, Capital Float will provide small retailers with collateral-free loans, which will help to exponentially increase their capacity to do business on the Payworld platform. Once the loan is approved, the retailer can request for funds using the Capital Float mobile app and the funds are disbursed within 10 minutes. “Due to the lack of established lending norms and consequent delay in financing activity, existing and new players in the retail space have lesser access to credit, which affects their growth and expansion plans”, said Gaurav Hinduja, Co-Founder, Capital Float. “With Payworld, we have simplified the lending process so that neighbourhood kirana stores are able to fulfil their financial needs and better service their customers,” he added. With India becoming digital, Payworld helps customers in remote locations with limited access to electronic payment methods, perform daily transactions like booking bus tickets or paying mobile bills via Payworld’s network of retail points, which includes kirana stores. A proprietary algorithm developed by Capital Float uses non-traditional, surrogate data sources, including each retailer’s performance on the Payworld platform, to build a personalized credit profile and provide customized finance options to the retailer. In the long term, this will also develop an official credit profile for these retailers, thereby increasing their chances of availing credit products from traditional financiers. “In keeping with our business philosophy of ‘Making Life Simple’, we have partnered with Capital Float to provide the retailers in our network the support they require to boost their business. This is critical in building retailer loyalty to our platform, giving them the confidence to increase the number of transactions, positively impacting revenues for them and us” said Praveen Dhabhai, COO , Payworld. Click here to read the full press release on The Economic Times
Card image cap
July 27, 2016
Advent of the Business Technologist

The tech revolution has caused several traditional roles to evolve and assume new dimensions and responsibilities in recent years. One such role is that of the Business Analyst (BA). Larger multinational companies were the original movers behind the creation of this unique role. All these organisations inevitably had one thing in common - meticulously planned and detailed organisation structures. In such an environment, BAs were tasked with continuously improving systems and processes while driving IT adoption across the board to govern the same.

The recent waves of start-ups resulted in the organic transformation of this traditionally vertical-based specialist into that of cross-functional professional with the expectation of being able to deliver on all fronts, cutting across business verticals. The prominence and necessity of such a role to drive strategic, tactical and operational excellence in the start-up environment, is now seen as more of a necessity than a luxury. These individuals, with evolved professional capabilities, are akin to the 'Smart Creative' that Google has postulated. They are hands on, driven by data analytics and are known to bring a fresh perspective to the table, consequently making them one of the most sought after employees in the market.

The advent of the Business Technologist has been triggered by the rise of sophisticated challenges that require a nimble response mechanism from a technological perspective. Businesses are constantly attempting to overcome new challenges as they arise. Technology, which is advancing at an exponential rate, becomes the perfect vehicle to address these challenges. Establishing a robust response mechanism to resolve them prepares the organisation to swiftly move on to the next challenge. Business technologists often become the architects and propagators of this change within organisations.

The stark contrast between the BA and the BT is highlighted in the overall responsibilities assumed by them. For instance, BAs are responsible for overseeing a process and ensuring that they optimise it to a state of best practice. BTs on the other hand are in a position to innovate and redesign the underlying process itself. This redesign can be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from lack of IT adoption, the existence of better delivery models, to uneconomic business practices. It can even be a consequence of the process not being in line with the overall strategy of the organisation. Such is the liberty that is given to the BT.

The emergence of this professional leads us to the conclusion that success of technology does not depend merely on its adoption - it is more dependent on understanding the implications of its deployment in the most complex business environments. All this while ensuring that maximum value is being derived from these potentially capital intensive technology 'solutions'. One may argue that this is the responsibility of the CIO or her team - someone whose role in the organisation is to work primarily on strategy or the execution of technology. However, given the dynamic nature of roles and responsibilities in the modern-day work environment, organisations must have BTs spread across business functions, as well as lines of business. The failure to do so is likely to result in sub-optimal efficiencies.

Much like the 'rise' of the 'Business Analyst', which was a direct consequence of the tech revolution, the age of the start-up has led to the advent of the Business Technologist. Sure, it's not how you can expect anyone to introduce themselves in a corporate context. As a matter of fact, until a few years ago, the BT didn’t even exist. Today we can go ahead and safely say that such individuals must be well versed in a variety of disciplines - ranging from operations, business strategy, unit economics and talent development - to core technical areas such as IT, engineering architecture and others.

This distinctive role can also be compared to that of an in-house management consultant. The key difference between the two professionals is that the business technologists are not afraid to roll-up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They will not stop at a prescriptive solution, but will get knee deep in the problem while attempting to solve it. The quicker the organisations embrace this evolved being, the faster these organisations can become flagbearers of the new phase of the technological revolution.

Arjun Nair

Arjun has a deep understanding of the Indian SME universe as a consequence of having dealt with this juggernaut for the last 5 years. Starting off his career at Tally, where he gained insight into this industry in a variety of areas including IT adoption, overall size of universe, etc. He now spends his days at Capital Float leveraging this information to increase customer acquisition. True to the article, he also spends his time ensuring cross functional synergy across functions in the organisation. From enabling the SME universe with IT at Tally he now wishes to empower them through financial inclusion. Arjun is a Business Technologist at Capital Float

Card image cap
May 16, 2016
How to cater and scale technology for a start-up in rapid growth

There are multiple stages in a start-up. At an early stage, most tech start-ups usually include two founding members - a business head and a tech head leading the validation efforts. Further down the line, we notice parallel and vertical streams of teams leading the initial growth of the company. It’s usually at this stage or after this stage, where the business has some solidarity to it and the focus on building tech for a large and scalable model begins. The following points made in this post have been laid out in view of a mature start-up.

Be Agile

Following an agile methodology for development is a no-brainer for any start-up. The environment is fast paced, catering to a dynamic business where release cycles are frequent. Often, the common pitfalls of this method also show a lack of emphasis on planning and documentation while customer expectations sometimes are not clear. To mitigate this, a hybrid of agile and waterfall approaches enables start-ups to move towards a mature business. To do so, the start-up must;

- Identify problems of the business

- Prioritize the need of the hour for the business

- Allow for high level architected solutions for each problem

- Build feature specs

- Execute in sprints (ideally 2 weeks) for maximum output to customers

Extensibility

Your business logic and data is your Intellectual Property. As a Fintech company, this becomes the most critical piece of software development. It is important to protect your data while also facilitating growth with the exact same data. How do you draw this balance?

Build your logic and algorithmic layer around your data and an external layer that does not directly interact with your data set. This permits external endpoints to be consumed by growth partners as well as reduces development efforts for building tech for internal teams.

Micro-services

Enterprise applications are often built using a monolithic approach or as a single unit. Although it’s a natural approach to development, it can be frustrating because of multiple dependencies on modular structure and deployment to the cloud also becomes a challenge.

In contrast, Micro-services architecture equips you to independently deploy services or pieces of software without large dependencies on other services. These services or pieces of software ultimately add up to become a single application while running its own suite of processes and mechanisms.

Additionally, in a Fintech setup, technology is built to cater multiple teams - both internal and external and having a micro-services architecture easily allows horizontal scaling.

Reusable code

In a start-up, it’s a good idea to prototype development. Prototyping facilitates quick delivery of a piece of software and a better understanding of future product development.

Post prototyping, it’s important to pick the right framework for a full-fledged and scaled application. This is where building code that can be re-used in multiple services becomes a factor of efficiency in development. Building custom libraries (back-end or front-end) and even choosing the right frameworks ensure ease of development across resources and knowledge transfer. A choice of using AngularJS as a front-end framework allows for creating directives specific to custom applications and promotes reusable components.

Build vs Buy

A classic point of debate and contention is always build versus buy. There are multiple points to consider while making such decisions in a growth stage start up to create a fine balance between the two.

Often, out of the box or integrated solutions provide quick solutions for increased productivity to a business need but come at several costs, such as pricing and rigidity of use. Sometimes these solutions are not compatible with existing software or custom solutions.

Custom-built solutions provide competitive advantages, builds intellectual property and fit a specific business need but also comes at several costs, such as time for development and uncertainty in product definition.

A hybrid approach can be an effective way of mitigating the disadvantages of build or buy approaches. At times, building on top of or integrating an existing product into your custom built solution adds greater value to the overall business product. An example of such a solution can be integrating a good workflow management tool into your custom CRM application.

Dev Pathi

Dev has been involved with startups for the past 5 years since he returned from US. He has launched several mobile apps that have been well accepted in the Indian startup scene.

In New York, he worked with Conde Nast helping them move their web infrastructure from an enterprise setup to an open source setup.
Dev manages the technology development initiatives at Capital Float.