FlexiLoans targets 10 times growth in lending

Fintech player FlexiLoans, which focuses on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), aims to grow its loan disbursement book by 10 times this year.

NEW DELHI: Fintech player FlexiLoans, which focuses on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), aims to grow its loan disbursement book by 10 times this year. In the 2018-19 fiscal, the digital lender had disbursed 10,000 loans; meaning, it has a set target for disbursement of over one lakh loans by the end of FY 2019-20.  

Since its inception in February 2016, the start-up has disbursed loans worth `500 crore and boasts of processing 50 per cent of its loans within 24 hours via use of Artificial Intelligence. It charges an interest of 1-2 per cent per month on a loan, which the founders say, is much less than the interest charged by unorganised players in the informal sector.

“We cater to the section, which by and large is avoided by established banking institutions. Hence, the scope for growth is infinity… This year, we will form collaborations with corporates and institutions to expand our reach,” said Abhishek Kothari, co-founder of FlexiLoans.

Recently, FlexiLoans has collaborated with e-commerce giant Amazon for the second year by integrating its platform with Amazon Lending Marketplace, helping vendors of the e-tailor to apply for loans. It has similar partnership with other e-commerce firms. Going forward, the start-up would disburse loan in partnership with three banking firms this year. 

“The tech expertise we acquired in such a short span is revolutionising the lending process… The small-ticket loans provided by us at easy interest rates need no collateral. For vendors, loans can be provided against invoices,” said Kothari, who co-founded the firm with three Indian School of Business alumnus.
Besides partnership and supply, the start-up is also engaged in processing direct loans via its app, mainly to business owners who do not have a credit history. This segment constitutes 25 per cent of its business and makes heavy use of AI.  

“Instead of evaluating loan applications based on the applicant’s CIBIL score, we seek certain information and documents from them. Our AI processes this information and documents, and let us know whether the applicant deserves a loan or not… This has helped us to have one of the lowest non-performing assets in the industry,” Kothari said.

“Our AI capabilities range from image recognition and OCR to do automated onboarding; anomaly detection to identify frauds; statistical models to eliminate human bias and increased conversions and collections efficiency; deep learning to analyse speech; conversational intelligence in chatbots using NLP and scorecards to extract value and reduce risk at every step,” he added.

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The New Indian Express