A marketplace for financial products, Chqbook brings banks, NBFCs and customers together.
At a glance
Founder: Rajat Kumar and Vipul Sharma
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Gurugram
The problem it solves: Helps customers select credit cards, personal loans and home loans
Funding: Funded by Startup Buddy and individual investors from Singapore and India.
Be it for that dream house or the much-needed holiday, finding the best loan plan that suits your requirements and payment schedules is not the easiest task. From searching a multitude of offers by various banks, comparing them, to meeting bank officials and finalising the loan is a daunting task, now made easier by Chqbook.
The fintech startup allows customers to search, compare, and get personal finance products such as home loans, personal loans and credit cards, all at one place. It also offers the services of loan counsellors and connects them with customers looking for financial products. The startup also tracks the loan approval process with the bank and updates customers about the same.
Chqbook Co-founders Rajat Kumar and Vipul Sharma are former bankers, and while the former has worked with Standard Chartered and IndusInd Bank for over 15 years, Vipul was with IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Citibank and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
Rajat and Vipul met while in IndusInd Bank, and decided to form a company together. Chqbook was registered in June 2016, and they started operations with Rajat as the COO and Vipul as the CEO in January 2017.
How Chqbook works
The startup uses Artificial Intelligence to assess the eligibility of a potential customer and demand fulfillment. Based on a customer’s inputs after he/she answers a set of questions, the software determines the eligibility for a particular financial product. Vipul says, “Our entire platform runs on our AI system called Tara. Customers seeking loans are guided through contextual questions which determine loan eligibility across 40 banks on our platform. Tara also recommends loans based on approval rates in the past for a certain demographic and income profile”.
He added, “Recommendations keep getting refined as more data gets added to Tara’s repository. Tara assigns an application to the right Chqbook expert. Tara AI also tracks customer communication and informs the customer about the status of his case. It also tracks every Chqbook expert across 100-plus data points, and reassigns cases to other experts in case of anomalies. The key goal is to provide fast and efficient service every time”.
Chqbook has two interfaces – an app-based interface for Chqbook Experts, and a web-based interface for customers.
Journey so far and revenues
With just a few hundred searches at the beginning, Chqbook.com now gets over 2.5 lakh searches per month on the website and the company claims to be scaling between 100 percent and 130 percent month-on-month. Speaking about the revenue, Vipul says, “Our annual revenue run rate will be over Rs 10 crore for FY19.” So far, the startup has served close to 12,000 customers.
The differentiating factor
Rajat, says “From a fintech point of view, our competitors are BankBazaar and PaisaBazaar because of their focus on lead generation. Our focus is not only lead generation but ensuring a customer’s loan or credit card requirement is fulfilled. Our Chqbook experts, vetted and verified by us, fulfil these applications while Chqbook’s Tara AI engine tracks the whole process until the customer gets the product they applied for.”
Chqbook experts are officials authorised by banks to complete documentation for customers, and they ensure that every step in the approval process is made more efficient and hence time-saving.
Chqbook has a 16-member team, including its two founders, while Myntra’s former CTO Sachin Arora is an advisor. Sachin and Vipul know each other since the last decade. Apurva Chamaria, the chief revenue officer at RateGain and former global head of marketing at HCL is also an advisor.
Rajat says, “We are on track to scale to two million visitors per month, and are also expanding into other cities. By the end of this year, we will be in over 50 cities providing personal loans and home loans and turning around approvals within 24 to 48 hours depending on the product, rather than the current three to 10 days it takes as of today. We already provide credit cards in over 300 cities. Our plan is to grow exponentially year-on-year.”
Currently, Chqbook has customers spread across over 100 cities.