[The Turning Point] For example, CASHe built an AI-based lending platform
While attending a conference around 2015, entrepreneur V Raman Kumar was impressed with the way SoFi, a San Francisco-based personal finance firm and online bank, works. SoFi offered financial products including student and auto loan refinance, mortgages, personal loans, etc. It was also a lender to the top 10 percentiles of IVY-League schools based on their employability.
Inspired by SoFi’s business model, Raman wanted to set up a similar business in India. However, he realized there was one credit needs, especially for the underserved younger generation in the Indian market. This prompted him to get up and find a solution to the problem.
In 2016 he founded loans to young salaried millennials across India.an AI-driven financial lending platform offering fast, flexible and unsecured personal
structure of the product
Using his background in technology, Raman and his team have developed a prediction algorithm that can estimate with optimal precision whether the prospective borrower would repay the loan on time, supported by historical data from a fairly uniform demographic cohort — the millennials.
By late 2016, the team built a Social Behavior Center algorithm patented by TSLC, its Singapore-based holding company. Then they built a quality measure algorithm and combined it with the Social Behavior Center and thus came up with their USP – Social Credit Quotient (SLQ) Algorithm.
“It’s our secret sauce. If our business has grown the way it has grown, that’s because of SLQ,” says Raman.
He adds the purpose of CASHe was to offer India’s urban working millennials a path to better financial health through technology through their smartphones.
The digital lending startup has also developed an automated lending system using an AI-based algorithm to assess a borrower’s risk based on the user’s social and mobile data footprints.
What does it offer?
Initially, CASHe introduced short-term lending, offering 15-30 day loan products with loan values of up to Rs. 10,000 to about 50,000 customers.
Now the company offers 90, 120 and 360 day loan products. It also has a line of credit that makes funds available to customers based on their eligibility and a buy-now-pay-later credit option.
It charges a monthly interest rate of 1.5 to 2.5 percent, depending on the loan and borrowing of the customers.
The startup claims monthly revenue growth of 10 percent and turned profitable in the third quarter of 2018.
CASHe was the first fintech lender to debut on Google Pay, offering short-term loans to Google Pay customers.
According to Raman, 15,000 to 18,000 customers are added every day, from which 1,800 to 2,000 loans are issued every day.
It has an active customer base of four lakh, with 1.3 million monthly active customersand 21 million app downloads, half of which have used CASHe’s services.
According to the company, it has disbursed loan values of nearly Rs 4,000 crore, of which 70 per cent are regular customers and over 1.1 million loans have been disbursed.
In January 2022, CASHe raised Rs 140 crore from TSLC, bringing its total assets to over Rs 800 crore. Of this, Rs 500 crore was raised through debts from private banks and NBFCs.
Earlier this month, CASHe acquired Gurugram-based Sqrrl and said it plans to move into the wealth management space.
During the announcement, Raman Kumar said, “The acquisition of Sqrrl is an important milestone on CASHe’s Vision 3.0 roadmap as it sets the stage for the next phase of our growth through our foray into WealthTech.”
“We want to be a complete wellness platform and would like to apply for a digital banking license,” says Raman. “Until then, we are ready to support any partner bank that wants to go truly digital. We will transfer them to the digital format,” he adds.
The company plans to partner with a bank later this year to offer digital banking facilities to its customers. It also aims to become a digital bank after applying for a license and being approved.
CASHe currently operates under an NBFC license and is audited by the RBI.