The landscape of lending has been altered considerably over the recent span of years, largely owing to the wide acceptance of digitization in the banking, financial services and Insurance sector. While the conventional lending approach does indeed still continue to exist in several regions of the world, the perks offered by digital solutions have, to a great extent, been making the way for adopting digital lending solutions and services across the enterprises.
The rapid technological developments like the expansion of the adoption of smartphones has led to an enhancement in the use of digital banking across several end-user verticals.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprises of all sizes around the world have been encountering challenges when it comes to raising funds amidst the crisis to sustain their businesses, in particular amongst the SMEs for expansion and acceptance. An integral example is that of the digital lending and borrowing marketplace IndiaLends, that has recently introduced Digital Lending 2.0, a range of touchless and contactless products, that includes loans, insurance, and a line of credit.
In this blog we have discussed IndiaLends' leveraged technologies and offered systems and products in detail.
IndiaLends is an online marketplace that adopts a transparent and highly advanced automated processing system and offers its customers the access to the most relevant unsecured credit products offered by various financial institutions in accordance with the consumers’ credit profile.
This can range from personal loans, credit cards, to gold loans. Alongside these facilities the platform also provides its users with free credit reports and various other effective financial education tools.
Why should IndiaLends be chosen?
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The platform’s main focus is primarily on offering instant and affordable financial products and services to salaried and self-employed millennials, who are on the lookout for these facilities. These financial products and services include personal loans, unsecured loans, instalment loans and credit cards etc. in both metro and non-metro cities.
About Digital Lending 2.0
In April 2020, IndiaLends headed towards a whole new endeavor by launching Digital Lending 2.0 — a range of touchless and contactless products that include loans, insurance and a line of credit.
The procedure for opting for these products is fully contactless with there being no necessity for any phone calls or physical contact either for the purpose of the loan or KYC verification. These loans are offered at low interest rates in accordance with the consumer’s credit scores.
“We are also supporting our existing and potential lending partners by offering an open API service (plug-and-play solution) for touchless lending. Serving over a 100 million consumers via its B2B API solutions where it offers other consumer platforms a “Lending as a Service product”, we are providing these platforms the opportunity to offer personal credit products to their user base via lending products available from a wide range of Banks and NBFCs.”
Aside from traditional Banks and NBFCs, IndiaLends has also started facilitating pre-qualified loans from all major Fintech and P2P lenders to its customers – offering an advantage for both the process and eligibility.
Presently, the platform holds a customer-base of more than 8 million and partnerships with 50-plus bank and NBFC partners across the nation.
How IndiaLends came to be
“I have worked in the consumer credit industry since 2005. Soon after completing my higher education in the UK, I joined CapitalOne where I worked on everything related to underwriting, credit models and credit policies on the consumer lending front. In 2013, I moved back to India. After giving further thought to my previous observations on the gap between the demand and supply of lending in India, I decided to start IndiaLends.”
- Gaurav Chopra, Founder of IndiaLends
When Gaurav returned to India in 2013, he realized that the approval rate on loans was minimal in India. With banks generally focusing on higher ticket loans, only the ones with higher incomes could access them. Yet another issue encountered was the lack of data. In contrast with the U.K and U.S, India still continued to depend on manual underwriting processes.
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As a result, although credit was accessible in the market, it wasn’t easily available for everyone. Aiming to present a solution to this issue, Gaurav Chopra and Mayank Kachhwaha set out to establish IndiaLends in March 2015.
Business Model of IndiaLends
IndiaLends has partnered with more than 50 lenders, including the country’s leading banks and NBFCs. IndiaLends’ platform and technology is employed by these institutions for lending to the masses, and in turn, IndiaLends is paid for providing them with the platform’s services.
Benefits of Personal Loans
IndiaLends is uniquely positioned in the market to tap into the immense opportunity available by deploying technology, specifically by minimizing loan origination cost, better risk assessment capabilities by adopting alternate data captured during the customer’s digital journey, low customer acquisition cost, and faster loan processing owing to its entirely digital process.
Technology in IndiaLends
IndiaLends has left no stone unturned in exploring the latest technologies and services to facilitate optimum performance alongside automations and securities. The platform has been supporting their existing and potential lending partners by offering an open API service (plug-and-play solution) for touchless lending.
“The venture also provides technology, data and credit analytics solutions along with a loan management platform to financial institutions.”
IndiaLends abides by the ISO guidelines and the processes with code reviews alongside the automated DevOps CI/CD pipelines for the deployments. The platform carries out Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) for their web, api, mobile applications periodically for securities.
Local Infra is adopted as the calling software in accordance with the industry requirements and Azure Cloud hosting within India Data Centers.
“We also use Multi-layered, Event Driven, Micro Services with the Retry logics to improve the performance and securities of the systems. Using the latest hashing/masking algorithms at SSL certificates we protect User Personally Identifiable Information (PII).”
The platform also employs High Availability (HA) and Auto-Scale setup for efficiently operating their servers and systems.
COVID19 impact on IndiaLends
IndiaLends is one of the financial platforms that was highly impacted by the onset of COVID19 as the pandemic led to both the borrowers and lenders becoming cautious towards credit.
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“Almost all our lending partners slowed down their lending activities in response to the ongoing situation. At that time, multiple banks, NBFC’s, and Credit Card issuers completely stopped originating new business. Since our entire business depends on these financial institutions and consumer demand, this slow down by the lenders and borrowers during last year’s lockdown directly impacted our business.”
The upward trend for IndiaLends kick-started from August 2020, as the lockdown regulations began gradually relaxing.
Below are a handful of steps undertaken by the platform amidst the pandemic to place itself as a financially capable and stable organization
Minimizing variable cost: IndiaLends reduced its variable cost and ensured that it keeps a 12-month window for the platform function flawlessly and withstand the impact caused by the pandemic.
Digital Lending 2.0, a range of touchless and contactless products that include loans, insurance, and a line of credit was introduced by the platform. As we touched upon before, this process remains both touchless and contactless, with no phone calls or physical contact both in case of loan or KYC verification.
The platform has also been backing its lending partners by offering a plug-and-play solution for touchless lending. A simple API connection allows NBFCs and banks to lend digitally through the IndiaLends platform, while also simultaneously opening a gateway for other fintech lenders to lend via the company’s platform.
IndiaLends recently raised $5.1 million in a financing round led by existing investors ACP Partners and DSG Consumer Partners in the month of March, 2021.
Prior to this, it had raised $10M in July 2018 in its Series B round led by London-based ACP Partners along with participation from existing investors American Express Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners and AdvantEdge Partners along with the India-focused Chinese fund, Ganesh Ventures.
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The platform has raised $25M till date.
Through their raised funds, IndiaLends has resolute plans of improving their tech infrastructure in the upcoming year, while also aiming at further flourishing their engineering and product team.
“We have already won the trust and confidence of over 8 million customers and disbursed more than INR 2,000 crores in personal loans since our launch via our technology platform and API-based lending solutions that we offer to other B2C companies. “
The digital lender aspires to pave its way to become a leading financial marketplace in India, while doubling their disbursements in the coming 18-24 months with a focused outreach towards retail consumers living across tier I-II cities and tier III towns.
The platform also plans to prolong its outreach to the less served consumers, i.e to the people that deserve the credit yet get excluded owing to their lack of trustworthy credit history. The platform aims to achieve a cash break even towards the end of FY 2021-22.