How credit lending startup Money View grew 4X in one year and became profitable
In 2014, Puneet Agarwal and Sanjay Aggarwal launched personal financial management solution for its customers. The idea was to educate people and bring some financial discipline into their lives.as a
Over time, the founders saw a larger opportunity in loans and in 2016, the Bengaluru-based startup pivoted to offering credit to its customers as its main offering.
And successfully so.
Last week, Money View announced it has turned profitable—but did not share the exact profit amount. The startup reported an annualised revenue run rate of Rs 600 crore ($80 million) for the financial year (FY) 2022.
“One of the primary reasons behind Money View’s growth and profitability is the robust risk management capabilities that allows us to service a wide range of users across income range and bureau scores while maintaining positive economics for our loans,” Puneet said in a statement.
Between March 2017 and March 2021, financial inclusion in India grew by 24 percent, according to a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). But while 80 percent of Indians have a bank account and the use of digital payments is also rising in the country, “For broader financial services access, they still struggle,” Puneet tells YourStory.
More importantly, very few have access to formal credit.
“It's hard for them [customers] to get a credit card, access to unsecured loans, and create insurance products or wealth management solutions,” he adds.
The Financial Inclusion Index of 2021, a quantifier introduced by the RBI to measure financial inclusion—on factors such as ease of access, the extent of usage, inequality and deficiency in services, the extent of financial literacy, and consumer protection—stood at 53.9 out of 100 for India.
“What we are trying to do is building a platform that provides access to world-class financial products to everyone who has a smartphone,” Puneet says.
What it offers
Money View is among about a thousand startups offering credit products to customers, such as instant personal loans, cards, BNPL (buy now, pay later), and personal financial management solutions to people who have bank accounts and access to smartphones.
“It is the everyday Indian. The large middle-class is essentially our target segment,” says Puneet.
The startup aims to go beyond the top 10 percent of the economic class in the country. And to do so, it has partnered with 15-plus financial institutions.
On the Money View app, a customer can fill out an application—with details such as their credit score, income, and age—and check their eligibility for a loan within minutes.
They can then select the duration of the repayment, upload necessary documents to complete their KYC (Know Your Customer) process and verify their income, and the amount borrowed is disbursed into their bank account within 24 hours.
Usually, a customer needs to provide proof of identity, address, and salary for salaried professionals while bank account statements suffice for self-employed users.
The Money View app has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store. The startup claims it gets more than 1 million downloads every month, and caters to more than 200 million underserved customers in total who are often ignored by banks and other formal financial institutions.
The platform supports eight languages—including Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu—that help it cover a wide range of customers 75 percent of whom are from Tier II and III areas.
Money View earns its revenue via sharing arrangements with its lending partners and bears the cost of acquiring and servicing the customers. In case a customer is unable to pay the loan back, it reflects as a default on the lender’s books and on the customer's credit score too.
Solving credit with tech
While an absence of credit history is a factor that makes it difficult for this segment of users to avail of loans, Money View is solving this challenge with its “proprietary technology-based underwriting capability,” says Puneet.
Money View collects anywhere between 100 and 1,000 data points from the information it receives from users and their documents. It then uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to get a better understanding of the risk profile by diving deeper into the credit and other data users provide during the application process.
“We create a custom product for the user based on the risk assessment and their affordability,” Puneet says.
This works well for Money View as its customers with lower income are able to avail of smaller ticket loans instead of no loan at all. The loans can be as low as Rs 5,000 and can go up to Rs 5 lakh. The startup charges an annual interest rate of 16-39 percent for a duration of 3 months to up to 5 years.
“Our cost structure is very low. So even for a small ticket loan, we can approve users. Most other banks cannot afford users to take loans that are very small because their cost structure is very, very high,” he explains.
Additionally, banks also prefer to lend to low-risk customers.
Growth and plans
In the last year, Money View has grown 4X year-over-year in terms of credit disbursals. The startup claims to be disbursing loans at an annualised run rate of $850 million. Puneet says this number is growing 15-20 percent every month.
Earlier this year, Money View raised $75 million in a Series D round from Tiger Global, Winter Capital, Evolvence India, and Accel, along with existing investors including South Park Commons, Trusted Insight, and Dream Incubator.
“The fresh funding will be used as growth capital to scale the core credit business, grow the team, and expand its product portfolio with services like digital bank accounts, insurance, and wealth management solutions,” the startup had said at the time.
Money View is now valued at $625 million and competes with the likes of CASHe, MoneyTap, KreditBee, and Lendingkart.
But the competition is not worrying the team.
“India is such a large market, and it's such an untapped market. There is room for several large companies to actually be there and coexist,” Puneet says.
In fact, India’s domestic consumer credit market is projected to grow at a higher rate than most major economies worldwide, according to a report by Experian-Invest on India Credit Ecosystem. The report further adds that it has grown at an average rate of 15.1 percent from March 2000 to March 2021.
In the next one year, Money View aims to reach $1 billion in assets over management. In terms of the number of customers, it aims to grow 10X in the next three years.
In the statement shared last week, Puneet had said, “We expect to end FY 2023 with more than Rs 1,500 crore in revenue run rate.”
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta