Bengaluru-based fintech platform Signzy has raised Series A funding of $3.6 million led by Stellaris Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital. Angel investors like Rajan Anandan, Google India and South East Asia MD; Amrish Rau, PayU India CEO; Dilip Khandwelwal, SAP Labs India MD and Vikram Chachra, Partner, 8i Ventures participated in this round.
Signzy Technologies, helps banks solve customer authentication and onboarding problems with different technology-based services. The platform focuses on making compliance and onboarding processes digital and seamless, in a way that reduces fraud risk. The team believes that technology enables banks to reduce human interaction with their customers at various levels.
Signzy was founded in 2015 by IIT graduates and serial entrepreneurs Ankit Ratan, Ankur Pandey, and Arpit Ratan, a corporate lawyer. While Ankit and Ankur were well-versed with data sciences, APIs and app development, Arpit brought in the knowledge of financial regulations and the expertise of working with statutory bodies. Signzy developed blockchain and AI-based solutions to digitally identify, verify, and authenticate customers. Its onboarding solution, Real KYC, has now been deployed by more than 45 large clients, including leading banks, NBFCs, mutual funds, P2P lending platforms, payment wallets, and so on.
Ankit says with this round of funding the team intends to invest in technology and build stronger sales efforts across South East Asia and the US. "We have seen great success in processes where we have used AI and Machine Learning, and we want to continue exploring that front," he says.
Signzy’s proprietary tech platform simplifies the KYC process, runs background checks on customers, detects fraud, mitigates risks, provides contract management systems, and most importantly decreases operational expenditure by 75 percent. It also brings down customer dropouts by 66 percent and increases productivity by three times, according to the company.
Ankit explains that banks today use the centuries old trust mechanism of paper, seals and human checks for KYC for opening accounts or giving loans. "But when you give loan to a friend, there is no KYC or paperwork, because you trust them. At Signzy we are digitising this trust and delivering “trust as a service”, he says.
The use of AI at Signzy
The team is currently building a new trust protocol that uses AI to bring human like fraud detection capabilities and Blockchain to secure document and consent, instead of signature and seals, with a few clicks of the mobile camera. Currently, Signzy has onboarded over 50 financial institutions in India across banks, NBFCs, insurance companies, wallets, asset management companies and payment service providers. Some of their consumers include - Mswipe, PayU, SBI and ICICI Bank.
In a press statement shared by Signzy, Alok Goyal, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partner, who will be joining the board as part of the transaction said:
“We believe there is a huge opportunity in this space in India as well as globally. Penetration of digital technologies globally and rising customer expectations is forcing financial institutions to re- think their processes for scale and compliance. Signzy technology can provide trust solutions not just within onboarding but can be extended to trust solutions across many other transactional processes within financial services. The founders are repeat entrepreneurs and complement each other well with their skill set and have proven their capability with the strong traction in the market.”
Focus on South East Asia and India
Speaking of why they chose to focus on South East Asia and the US, Ankit says, "The South East Asian market has similar problems, time-frames and need for digitisations in India. It therefore makes sense for us to look closely at that market. And while the US is a large market and has tough competition, it is also a market that allows niche play and expansion unlike any other market."
Signzy’s online contracting system utilises biometric signatures and blockchain technology to onboard clients in a safe, smooth, secure and legal manner. Its API platform helps detect the authenticity of information and cracks down on digital forgery, which can often go unnoticed by the human eye.
Vikram Chachra, an early believer in Signzy, recounts that he became a convert after his first meeting with the founders. "Signzy replaced an onerous KYC process into a magical experience that is easy as taking selfies. I have no doubt that it will become a key enabler of India’s shift from a services led market to an intelligence based network.”
In June 2016, it won the RBI’s Payments Innovation Contest. In 2017, the three founders made it to the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list. The same year, Signzy was also listed among Top 30 Global Digital Financial Implementations by MAS Singapore.
“Singzy’s impeccable track record of providing continuous value to a wide array of companies is a testament to the product-first thinking exhibited by the team. We believe the company is well positioned for growth due to the increasing push towards digital adoption by Indian enterprises and the team’s ability to enable pilots on a global stage,” added Rajesh Raju, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital.
A lot of statutory data is available and Signzy wants to digitise it using Blockchain and AI. It will create risk profiles based on the data and help reduce instances of fraud and mismanagement.
Kstart, the seed fund of the Kalaari Capital platform, was the first institutional investor in the company back in December 2016, while the company was still at an idea stage. “Kstart felt that the combination of skills and experience of the founders made for the ideal team to deliver on the large vision of the company – to provide trust solutions based on superior technology, thereby solving a vast, age-old problem that lacked innovative solutions,” said Revant Bhate, Partner at Kstart in a press statement.
(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is an investor in YourStory)