The brainchild of former Citrus Pay execs, EnKash gives ‘freedom’ of credit to startups, SMBs
In 2017, colleagues Yadvendra Tyagi (42), Hemant Vishnoi (41), and Naveen Bindal (40) at online payment gateway Citrus Pay (later acquired by PayU) wanted to create fintech solutions for the underserved B2B segment.
Founded by the trio in the same year, EnKash today has a range of offerings targeting this segment, including corporate credit cards.
“Our aim and vision are to offer technology-enabled innovative solutions to streamline connectivity amongst multiple stakeholders and offer innovative financial instruments,” says Naveen, Co-founder of EnKash.
In August this year, the startup launched ‘Freedom’, its corporate credit card for Small and Medium Enterprises or Businesses (SMBs). The card enables businesses to avail credit facility for their immediate needs.
This newest offering of EnKash provides customised billing cycles based on the repayment ability of businesses, going against the traditional 30-plus-15-days credit cycle.
With their product offering for digital banking, EnKash connects the buyers and suppliers registered on its system with businesses’ internal systems like ERP and accounting. It is currently serving more than 50,000 businesses, including Bajaj Finserv, IIFL, Grofers, Milkbasket, and Future Group.
Registered as a unit of Nehat Tech Solutions, EnKash is headquartered in Mumbai, with a product and tech-innovation hub in Pune.
The founding team has a combined experience of over 50 years in the cards and payment industry. Prior to starting EnKash, all of them held senior leadership positions in Citrus Pay. Yadvendra was a founding team member of Citrus Pay and before that, he had held roles at NPCI, HDFC, and Global Blue.
Hemant was the Vice-President at PayU India, and had also served as the Regional Manager, Card Acceptance and Ecommerce, at ICICI Bank.
Naveen was the global CTO for the PayU hub and had headed Citrus Pay’s product and technology division. He has also worked with Citibank and DBS Bank in Singapore.
“We have known each other for a long time and were always aware that we have a lot of common interest points and thought processes. At the same time, we have strong individual views and complement each other. Overall, it was an excellent choice for us to continue working and starting up as co-founders,” says Naveen.
The trio started ideating on their venture in June 2016, got on-board more than a thousand businesses through their network, and founded the company in 2017.
Soon after, EnKash partnered with Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank to make their services available for its customers. At the time, cards offered by banks to enterprises were essentially used for travel and entertainment transactions.
“We enabled the enterprise users of these partner banks to automate their other expenses using the credit cards,” says Naveen.
EnKash has a 30-plus member team at present, across its offices in India. “We are in a phase to further build our team strength across geographies. We believe in quality over quantity,” adds Naveen.
Solutions for all businesses
EnKash connects corporates, vendors, and credit providers. Businesses can use EnKash’s software and platform to automate B2B payments. The startup essentially enables other startups, SMBs, and enterprises to manage their purchase orders, invoices, and enable and track payments to suppliers or from buyers.
Citing an example, Naveen explains that, for one of its customers in the banking and financial sector, the startup automates the electricity bills for all of its 1,600 branches across the country.
“We simply pull out the electricity bill for all 1,600 branches and consolidate it in one transaction,” he says.
Startups, SMBs, and other enterprises can apply for the Freedom card through the startup’s website. After collecting the necessary KYC documents, GST number, and bank account details, EnKash ensures ‘green flags’ for the applicant and assigns a card.
The Freedom card’s advantages are that it does not require personal guarantee, has a faster approval process, and integrates faster reconciliation.
In the first two months of the launch, EnKash has allotted 500 cards already, says the team.
“We are emerging as one of the fastest-growing corporate credit card platforms connecting businesses to their suppliers and buyers and automating their payables and collections,” claims Naveen.
EnKash has partnered with 15 banks, including Kotak Mahindra and ICICI. Its monthly transaction volume is Rs 1250 crore. The startup charges a 1.5 percent margin on the total transaction volume.
Overall, EnKash is growing at 25 percent month-on-month and is currently working on building other revenue streams.
Initially bootstrapped with Rs 25 lakh, EnKash recently raised $3 million in its Series A round from Mayfield India and Axilor Ventures. As a part of the transaction, Vikram Godse, Managing Partner of Mayfield, joined the startup’s Board of Directors.
The startup plans to use the funds for the growth of the company, strengthening its existing technologies, and building the leadership team.
Market overview and future plans
According to Statista, the Indian fintech market’s largest segment constitutes digital payments, and its total transactional value currently stands at $64,787 million. This is expected to record an annual growth at 20.1 percent.
Players like Brex, BankBazaar, and Freecharge have launched their own credit cards too. However, the opportunities in the B2B segment are huge, says EnKash’s founder, adding,
“All of us are working towards making life simpler and easy for businesses – working towards a common goal. It will be unfair to call anyone a competition.”
EnKash claims to be the only company having a corporate credit card in the ‘true sense’.
The startup has huge inbound interests and is in talks with a few marquee names for on-boarding them as clients. While the company is planning to raise another round of funds soon, it will be “focusing on providing solutions that add value to enterprises,” says Naveen.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)