Alok Mittal, former managing director of venture capital firm Canaan Partners, has launched his new technology startup called Indifi Technologies. The Gurgaon-based startup enables quick access to debt financing to the various small and medium enterprises in the country.
Alok is once again an entrepreneur with this new venture after long gap of almost 10 years. He exited his earlier startup JobsAhead, an e-recruitment startup that was acquired by Monster for about $6 Mn, in February 2005.
I am glad to share with my friends that my instincts have led me towards attempting to do another startup, instead of continuing with the venture investing business. At Canaan, we have built partnerships with entrepreneurs who we feel very proud to be associated with. We will continue to back and support those relationships, both institutionally and personally. However, I will not be making fresh venture investments. I am now on a lookout for a co-founder and an opportunity, which provide me with an uncompromising mix of fun and challenge over next many years. I look forward to help, support and guidance from my friends in startup, investing and corporate world, as I charter into what is always an unknown territory.
“MSMEs contribute to nearly 38% of the country’s GDP, but at the same time, suffer from $380B formal debt financing gap. Proliferation of data in this space has created a unique opportunity to address this gap. At Indifi, we collect demographic, business and financial data, and analyze it to assist these businesses in securing credit from banks and NBFCs. Backed by innovation and technology, we seek to improve access, reduce the overall credit operations cost by 50-60% and enable disbursements within a mere 4 days from application,” said Alok in a statement.
Alok is joined by Siddharth Mahanot as the cofounder of Indifi, along with Sundeep Sahi who is also the CTO. Siddharth has formerly worked with companies like Indiabulls Housing Finance, Edelweiss Financial Services and Citibank; Sundeep, on the other hand, was earlier with a mobile internet company called IgniteWorld, a joint venture between Yahoo Japan, Bharti and Softbank.
The startup has already partnered with three organizations including a travel and ticketing platform, a cab aggregator and an ecommerce company. The company names were not disclosed because of non-disclosure agreements signed between the parties.
“We will, essentially, work with anyone who has built marketing and finance platforms, including online travel agencies, B2B platforms for traders and ecommerce companies,” Alok said.
The company has also signed up with a few lenders. It provides them services like data aggregation and analysis, loan monitoring, payment management, marketing and CRM.
“There are two major issues on the lending side – origination and underwriting. The Indifi platform connects lenders as well as our partners,” Alok said.
According to a World Bank Report, about 87% of Indian MSMEs do not have any access to finance and were self-financed. Indifi aims to tackle this issue.
The startup has been bootstrapped till now, but is exploring alternative funding options.
Alok left Canaan Partners after it sold its entire Indian portfolio to JP Morgan Asset Management for over $200 Mn.