1) Founders: Manish Lunia, Ritesh Jain, Deepak Jain and Abhishek Kothari went to the Indian School of Business together in 2009. They worked on multiple projects at the ISB and then pursued different careers. Lunia worked with the Aditya Birla Group; Ritesh was with Housing.com; Deepak was with Axis Capital, and Kothari worked for Fractal Analytics. Finally, they came together to start FlexiLoans Technologies in 2016, an online financing platform that provides quick and easy loans to micro and small businesses.
2) Big idea: By 2016, the Indian banks’ NPA crisis had hit the peak, and small businesses without adequate assets were struggling to raise loans. Plus, no bank would give a business loan below Rs 10 lakh, took 30 days to process it and there was little transparency. The foursome decided to improve the process, and their start-up promised business loans without collateral within 48 hours. FlexiLoans has adopted a B2B model and tied up with e-commerce marketplaces such as Flipkart and ShopClues to lend to their suppliers and sellers.
3) Backers: The company raised a seed round of Rs 100 crore from a group of eight investors. In January 2018, it raised Rs 45 crore in debt funding.
4) What sets it apart: The low ticket size is helpful as the company caters to small businesses. Next comes the digital advantage. Both lead generation and application processes are online. The third differentiator is technology. The credit manager can figure out loan eligibility in five seconds from the time a bank statement is uploaded by the customer. The algorithms can break down a 500-page bank statement into several categories, analysing a seller’s sales from e-commerce sites, transactions in cheque and cash, cheque bounces, top five creditors and other aberrations. Much of the transaction data is provided by e-commerce firms, helping FlexiLoans in decision-making.