How This Supply Chain Finance Platform Helps Banks Finance SMEs
While working with International Finance Corporation (ICF)a World Bank Group organization, Raja Debnath noticed a gap in the supply chain finance platforms available in the market.
In supply chain finance, a third party facilitates an exchange by financing the supplier on behalf of the customer.
For Raja, who previously worked as Global specialist in SME banking advisory services in Asia at ICFhis job was to advise banks on supply chain finance as part of ICF’s vision to encourage private sector development in less developed countries in Asia.
During the process, he realized that the platforms available did not provide end-to-end solutions for digital lending and that there were very few technology providers with non-compliant products or those that existed were very expensive.
Motivated to seek new solutions in the same space, in 2018 he began working with Gaurav Adani to create enterprise technology solutions for lenders offering supply chain finance. This led to the launch of Veefin.
Interestingly, Gautam Adani had founded Veefin, formerly known as Infini Systems, in 2010. Until 2018, the company specialized in digital transformation with data processing offerings.
It was in 2018 that he pivoted when he saw an opportunity to solve supply chain finance technology issues. Raja Debnath joined as co-founder in 2019.
Led by Gautam, in 2018 the Veefin team began working on the technology suites it offers today for the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry.
Raja, who joined Veefin in 2019, began leading product and business development for the Mumbai-based company.
Veefin’s main target customers are lenders, including banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs).
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the past two years have shone a spotlight on the issues facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) due to the unorganized nature of the sector. Funding is one area where they struggle, and while many fintech platforms in the country directly address this need through their SME-focused solutions, Veefin aims to help solve this problem through funding.
Banks and other financial institutions, due to the lack of data availability, find it riskier to approve loans for SMEs than for large corporations.
According to Raja, this risk profile trickles down to SMEs that deal in supply chain with large corporations, which has brought many more banks into the supply chain finance spectrum in recent years.
This, in turn, has compelled lenders to be equipped with better technology platforms that offer multiple offerings rather than one or two functions.
Veefin’s offerings – a wider range of products with an end-to-end stack including onboarding, underwriting, loan origination, transaction and transaction management modules with all necessary integrations for eKYC and the authentication, promise to solve this problem.
According to Raja, the platform is flexible with omnichannel onboarding and allows financial institutions to design and modify workflows and processes to suit their unique needs. “We would like to offer our platform to banks and lenders of all sizes,” says Raja, adding, “We offer modules based on the needs of our customers and the market they serve.”
Veefin’s software works for both on-premise and cloud models. Through the use of data and analytics, the company also enables smart credit decision-making, which promises faster implementation than traditional technology platforms.
With regard to the pricing, which it adopted taking into account the size and activities of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), which may or may not necessarily be able to pay high one-time fees,
Raja says, “Our pricing models are very different from normal pricing models.”
Veefin offers a subscription model for its platform, where banks can use the software either on a monthly pay-as-you-go basis based on transaction volume or on a one-time license basis with maintenance fees. annual.
This flexibility and the revenue model is what sets Veefin apart from big global players such as PrimeRevenue, Demica and Finastra, among others, Raja explains.
Raja having spent a few years in Bangladesh, Veefin began by focusing on banks in the country, whose market has grown rapidly in recent years.
Raja, drawing on his experience, network and understanding of the market, says the country does not have many options when it comes to supply chain finance technology. In December 2021, the startup partnered with a Bangladesh-based company to launch an integrated digital invoice auction platform in the local market, based on Bangladesh Bank’s recently released guidelines on local factoring.
Currently, the company has clients in India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, with clients including Adani Capital, Hero FinCorp, IndusInd Bank, BRAC Bank, City Bank, Eastern Bank Ltd., Mintfi, KafLah, VP Bank.
Raja says the company intends to expand across the world and further domestically.
Growth and the road ahead
While the supply chain finance industry struggled during the early months of the pandemic, it has grown over the past year. says Raja. “In retrospect, the pandemic helped because banks thought they had to go digital.”
He claims that in the last year alone, the company has multiplied its order book by more than 2.5 times.
“Even now our pipeline is strong. We now have a waiting period for customers,” says Raja.
Earlier in December 2021, the company raised $3 million in funding from Rajesh Rajendran, a Dubai-based High Income Individual (HNI). He plans to use the funds “to build the company’s product and engineering teams.”
The startup also plans to double the size of its team in the next five months to 180 employees.
At the time of the funding, Rajesh Rajendran, said, “Financial institutions have recently focused on lending to SMEs and as such there is huge interest in SCF (supply chain finance). Veefin is one of the few names in the world to put supply chain finance under the microscope and provide relevant and smart solutions to lenders. I am happy to support this razor-focused program aimed at simplifying the SCF journey for businesses and lenders.”