Startup Sunday Season 3 Episode 16(Rubique- Matchmaker between the Lender and the Borrower)

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In today’s world of technological disruption and a drive towards a digital revolution, there is hardly any sector left, which has not seen the intervention of technology. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and concepts like Blockchain technology has touched all aspects of our daily lives. Technological advancement since the ancient ages has reduced human efforts and led towards the progress of civilizations around the globe. Presently the Fourth Industrial Revolution has dawned upon us bringing considerable progress making our lives easier and better, altogether driving the new age of evolution.

The concept of trade and currency has been conceptualized since man invented the wheel. Even today the digital revolution had most of its impact on the Banking and Financial sector. Mobile Banking, Digital Wallets, Mobile Point of Sale (POS) etc. have made their way into our pockets through our smartphones and tablets. We can now transfer money, pay our bills, buy grocery, order food online by just touching our mobile screens. At such a juncture, the startup world has seen the advent of a number of FinTech startups promoted and backed up by big names of the Credit and Finance markets.

Rubique, founded by ex-banker Manav Jeet, is one such startup that is set to redefine the way credit is given to SMEs’ and the general public. Backed up by the integration of AI, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Blockchain, this startup provides a platform wherein borrowers can find the perfect match of the credit scheme as per his/her requirement. The ONLINE PLUS MODEL and SPOT (Single Point Of Truth) feature forms the company’s core competency in making the process of credit lending more efficient and transparent.

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Journey So Far

Rubique was founded in 2014 by Manav Jeet, a banking veteran who has worked with various types of products ranging from microfinance, retail and SME-loans to unsecured business including Credit Cards. Since its inception, the company has aimed to build a platform wherein customers can avail various financial products and credit services with informed decision making and seamless approval. According to the founder Manav, “for every borrower, there is a lender willing to lend him.”

Since its start, Rubique has roped in over 100 thousand customers and disbursed loans worth $407 million (Rs.2642 crores). It has generated revenue of $7 million (Rs. 47 crores). Presently it generates monthly revenue of Rs 3 crore through its business of loan disbursements and issuance of credit cards. The company has seen a Y-o-Y growth of 400% in the FinTech space. Rubique currently has a presence in over 32 cities across the country. The startup which has already set up office spaces in the metro cities of India now aims to penetrate the Tier I and Tier II cities with its range of financial products and financial solutions which would eventually ease the process of loan approval and disbursements in these areas.

The four-year-old startup has already attracted a funding of over $10 million till date from some of the big shot investors such as Kalahari Capital, Globevestor and YourNest Angel to name a few.  The founder is very positive in terms of scaling his business to cater to the needs of the Indian credit market in the next decade.

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What does Rubique Offer?

Rubique looks to transform the lending market by not limiting the use of advanced technology as in the case of the lead generation/ self-promoting model, but use the Online Plus model which enables technological intervention at each and every step of the loan journey right from sourcing to fulfilment. The use of the ONLINE PLUS model has enabled Rubique to provide various services along with empowering the customer, be it an individual borrower or an MSME, to choose from a wide range of products. This model has created strategic technology solutions at each and every stage for the stakeholders some of which have been defined as follows

  • Sourcing PLUS: Rubique has gone ahead to work on the efficient distribution to reach maximum customer base to facilitate bridging the gap in the lending space along with creating online credit marketplace for Tech-savvy customers.
  • Discovery PLUS: Unlike aggregator websites showing product listing leading to confusing the customer, Rubique does matchmaking between borrower requirement and the financial institutions’ lending criteria.
  • Paperless PLUS: Rubique’s SPOT platform provides paperless approvals of loans along with an end to end transaction leading to transparency through advanced technology.
  • SME PLUS: Providing the platform for SMEs’ which needs base assessment and suggest the right kind of products. It focuses on reducing the loan approval and disbursal time.
  • Partner PLUS: Every online player would like to hold on to every single customer who lands on to their website. Growing need to provide stickiness to their customers and ensure minimum drop off, the financing needs originator websites like e-commerce, housing/ car selling portals are looking for a partner who provides the wide range of financing options to all customer profiles and Rubique is creating lending gateway offering such alliances.
  • Customer PLUS: Unlike any other online platform, the Rubique platform offers an online experience end to end. Matchmaking brings certainty and helps take informed decision leading to instant approval. Machine learning and AI (WIP) is used to study customer profile in advance and suggest the customer apt solution during his/her life cycle.

The SPOT (Single Point Of Truth) feature facilitates the availability of customer and related creditworthiness information on a single portal for all the stakeholders by ensuring data security. It covers the entire journey right from customer sourcing to loan disbursals and paperless approvals making the process seamless and hassle-free. According to Manav Jeet, the entire SPOT ecosystem brings down cost without compromising on efficiency and data security. Not only this, the SPOT platform shows real-time status tracking of the loan, provides online training, payout calculation, meeting scheduler and rewards platform for the business associate network.

Some of the key features of the SPOT platform include Rubique Wallet, Provision of CIBIL score, Blockchain based Smart KYC, Efficient Reporting and Tracking and Credit Assessment Memo (CAM).  Apart from SPOT and ONLINE PLUS models, Rubique has taken up credit policy digitization and deep integration with banks and NBFCs’ to find the correct match of loan policy as per the requirement of the customer.

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How does Rubique help Small Businesses in India

As per FinTech trend reports India, 2017 around 37% of the country’s GDP is contributed by the MSME sector. But the credit channel is blocked by information asymmetry and cost of delivery. India has a total of 50 million SMEs’ with an unmet debt of $198 billion. While an individual can go online to find the right loan match for him, the case for SMEs is a tad bit different. Awareness of the financial products available for setting up and scaling of small industries in India is a major hindrance to the growth of such business entities in India. For MSME customers who are not so comfortable with the online platform, Rubique has created a TAB (Tech Assisted Business) solution for influencers who can help their MSME customers to search for the right product as per their capital requirement. This solution has also been extended as a white-label platform for financial institutions for better underwriting decision making etc.  The need assessment tool and the creditworthiness assessment tool both act as perpetrators for bringing the lender and the borrower closer with minimum exposure to risk and maximum interaction for facilitating the entire loan approval and disbursement process. Currently, over 65% of the startup’s business comes from SMEs.

How is Rubique different?

Rubique, unlike other aggregator websites, provides a platform wherein there is real-time processing of data. When the customer fills his requirement at the front end, the high-end technology works at the back end in understanding the customer profile and needs and subsequently offers him financial products that suit his/her needs.  The SPOT feature enables data security and an in-house data assembly to help both the creditor and borrower understand each other’s requirement. Such feature reduces the rejection ratios from both ends improving the stickiness of the customer which serves the ultimate goal of the financial institutions. The Match Making algorithm, as well as Blockchain technology, enables faster access to credits along with a large degree of certainty.

Future Vision and Plans

With the ONLINE PLUS model and the SPOT feature, Rubique aims to differentiate itself from its competitors in terms of offering a range of financial products and easing the process with which the customer can actually avail them. According to Manav, Rubique aims to continue as a leading financial matchmaking platform for all financial requirements of its customers during his/her lifecycle. Rubique also looks forward to facilitating credit borrowing to the MSME sector through its enhanced product offering for setting and scaling up small and medium-sized businesses. It aims to bridge the gap between credit assessment and loan disbursal leveraging Big Data Analytics and Blockchain Technology.

The company doesn’t believe in aggressive marketing and focuses on a more strategic marketing to increase its customer base. Rubique has already started collaborating with different State governments to bring more and more SMEs’ under its umbrella as well as boosting the financial inclusion through special projects with the government. The startup is planning to scale in the next five years by breaking even in the year 2019 and generating Rs. 100 crore per month by 2021. Lack of awareness and speculative outlook of the mass of this country is, of course, a major hurdle but the company believes that the future is bright owing to the easy to use technological penetration all around.

All in all, Rubique is looking to be the next big aggregator in the Credit Financing industry through its robust technology and variety of product offering, looking to tap both the tech-savvy individuals and the entities who access market loans offline compared to the online platform.

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