[Turning Point] How a failed payment lead to fintech startup ePayLater

Turning Point is a series of short articles that focusses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at Mumbai-based fintech startup ePayLater, which lets consumers ‘buy now, pay later.’

In 2015, Uday Somayajula, a resident of Mumbai, was planning to visit his college friend Akshat Saxena in Delhi.

“I tried booking the flight tickets from a notable ticket-booking platform thrice. While the amount was deducted from my account, the transactions failed,” Uday recalls. 

With not enough money remaining in his debit card, Uday had to finally use his credit card to book the flights.

“It then struck me that most of India’s population did not own a credit card,” he adds.

Uday Somayajula, Co-founder of ePayLater

Every problem, an opportunity

At the time, while ecommerce was already booming, transacting online was still a hustle. The fintech industry was grappling with up to 80 percent dropout rate at check-out. Additionally, entering the 16-digits card number and CVV for every transaction was a point of friction. Thus, COD or cash-on-delivery was still prevalent then. 

Availing credit at the point of sale was very slim. “In fact, it continues to remain so, even today,” Uday says.

“When I wanted to get a credit card, I had to go through multiple hassles and paperwork. It took me three-four weeks to get a credit card in hand,” he recalls.

The whole check-out process, and the unavailability of credit, deserved a lot of attention. Mulling over this, Uday contacted Akshat and Aurko Bhattacharya, his former colleague at ICICI Bank.

The trio ended up founding fintech startup ePayLater in 2015.

Success story

Incorporated in Mumbai, ePayLater lets customers to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ for frequent online purchases, enabling them to get access to instant credit limits. With an interest-free credit term of 14-days, ePayLater has partnered with several companies, including IRCTC, PVR, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, and Tata Croma

The fintech startup, which also has a branch office in Gurugram, also allows its customers to avail its services on BHIM UPI, extending ePayLater to major ecommerce platforms including Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, and Uber

According to the founders, the startup processes monthly transaction volumes of Rs 100 crore. 

Besides this, ePayLater also provides B2B solutions. The platform allows small and individual merchants to avail instant credits to either set up or get their businesses running.

In 2016, ePayLater raised seed funding worth $2 million from three HNIs. It has also been backed by ICICI Bank and Japan’s GMO Global Fintech Fund. So far, the startup has raised $3.3 million. Additionally, ePayLater was also recognised by the MeitY Startup Summit 2019, where it won the DigiDhan Mission Fintech Award. 

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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