[The Turning Point] How this husband and wife took a problem statement from their previous startup to start Crediwatch
The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at Bengaluru-based Crediwatch, a data insights-as-a-service company providing lenders and businesses with actionable credit intelligence on private entities.
Meghna Suryakumar and Sandeep Anandampillai, the co-founders of Crediwatch, while working on their earlier startup, which offered services to legal firms, realised there are broader use cases of corporate due-diligence in the credit disbursement and monitoring at financial institutions.
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Meghna refers to some data, which says India has over 50 million unregistered businesses and 1.13 million active registered companies.
She tells YourStory, “A mere 7,000 of these are listed, offering detailed disclosure, while the rest exist in the realm of information ‘dark space’.”
An estimated $1.5 trillion of annual business with such companies was as a combination of credit, trading, and other agency-related activities. This kind of business, according to Meghna, resulted in revenue leakages of $50 to $100 billion annually due to challenges of identifying the right clients and leads, tracking these clients, associated risks of bad debts, and fraud.
While Sandeep and Meghna started the venture in September 2016, which laid a strong foundation, the initial team came together from friend circles, investor referrals, and industry expert recommendations.
Working with industry experts and subject matter experts, who eventually joined them as early investors, the duo envisaged the Crediwatch platform.
As part of the Barclays Accelerator Program, they received recognition of their platform and multiple use cases possible in the financial domain.
Meghna said, “We saw a significant opportunity to fill this gap when the Indian government started to encourage transparency amongst businesses and digitised several government data sources as a part of their open-data commitment.”
This led to the genesis of the startup and its suite of solutions across the entire credit lifecycle of a borrower at a financial institution.
The Bengaluru-based startup is an insights platform providing big data risk analysis to lenders and corporates, helping them in the process to deploy intelligence while making credit decisions.
The startup provides ‘data insights-as-a-service’ to enable lenders and businesses with actionable credit intelligence on private entities to improve trust and increase their lending and trading activity.
In October 2019, Crediwatch raised $3.2 million in its Series A round, led by ARTIS Labs. The round also saw participation from San Francisco-based Abstract Ventures.
Earlier, the co-founders raised seed funding of $1.6 million from Modern India Limited, Family Offices of VK Jatia, Contrarian Vriddhi Fund, Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better Capital, Mekin Maheshwari of Flipkart, and Pithambar Gona, former MD of Blackstone Pvt Equity Asia.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
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