Exclusive: Emergent Ventures Powers Kuliza’s Lending Dreams With $3 Mn Funding

Exclusive: Emergent Ventures Powers Kuliza’s Lending Dreams With $3 Mn Funding


The fresh funds will enable research and development for Kuliza's flagship product Lend.in

Kuliza's clients include Capital First etc

The company is looking to expand globally with the funding

Bengaluru-headquartered provider of software development tools Kuliza has raised $3 Mn in fresh funding from Emergent Ventures, Kaushal Sarda, CEO of Kuliza told Inc42.

Sarda said that the company will use the fresh funds to fuel research and development for its flagship product— Lend.in and assist its customers and partners better.

Founded in 2006 by Aparna Sharma and Anand, Kuliza Technologies enables backend operations to lending institutions, insurance providers, as well as banking companies, with its software. With a focus on digital transformation and operational intelligence of financial enterprises, Kuliza has executed more than 120 digital transformation projects for global startups and leading global enterprises.

Kuliza: 60% Y-o-Y Growth With Service To Product Transition

What started with a focus on providing solutions to the mobile and social commerce space has now transformed to a full-stack enabler of software development for financial companies.

The company’s main challenge has been developing the expertise domain expertise for financial services domain and also transitioning from a service-based organisation to the product-based company.

Sarda, who joined Kuliza as chief evangelist in 2010 and was promoted to CEO in 2013 has been driving the growth strategy of the organization.

“Lower Disbursal Time, Easier Approval Process and more customised products are making it difficult for Banks and NBFCs to compete with the new age Fintech. We intend to help global financial enterprises with Lend.In and enable digital and algorithm-driven lending in changing landscape and make them future ready,” Sarda explained.

The company had last raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Blume Ventures in August 2013. Since then it has grown over 60% Y-o-Y without any capital requirements and being profitable.

Kuliza’s other suite of transformation solutions also help financial enterprises design and build end-to-end mutual funds commerce platforms and insurance commerce platforms.

Enabling Lending Through Lend.In

Introduced in 2017, Lend.in is an end-to-end robust lending solution that enables banks and lending businesses for digital and omnichannel origination of loans which is ‘Direct to Customer’.

With Lend.in, the company is looking to increase the overall efficiencies while decreasing the cost and go-to-market time for customers. Some of the Lend.in customers include IntelleCap etc. The company claims to have processed over a billion dollars worth loans via leading financial enterprises using Kuliza’s flagship product Lend.In.

Aparna Sharma, Chief Operating Officer at Kuliza said, “Adding several new global financial enterprise logos is a  testament to our flagship product Lend.In. Our product team has also grown by over 150% to serve our growing base of customers.”

Lend.in has helped different clients in various ways. For example, while Kuliza helped Aditya Birla Finance Ltd their end-to-end loan process, it also helped Capital First build its mobile app to transform product discovery.

Sarda emphasised that key differentiations of Lend.in supported systems from other lending system players include seamless launch of targeted & personalized digital journeys, robust architecture ready for scale, flexibility and need to give more control to business teams and compliance ready systems.

At the same time, Lend.in separates itself from other traditional BPM players with robust lending symantec layer, lending business intelligence layer, fully configurable robotic credit and rules engine as well as digital experience manager.

Future Plans With $3 Mn Funding

Sarda told Inc42, “Currently, our presence spreads across India, Singapore and Malaysia and we are planning to expand our global footprint in the emerging markets in the coming few quarters.”

Explaining further, Gaurav Jain, chief technology officer, Kuliza Technologies said that they have established a set of milestones that they seek to achieve in the coming few months.

“With regards to product innovation, we are looking at advancing towards a No-Code platform for financial enterprises. We will also focus on building a business user-driven lending system with unit intelligence,” he said.

Recognising the growth potential of the company, Ankur Jain, founder and partner, Emergent Ventures said that they see a great potential in Kuliza which has established a strong foundation for rapid and sustainable growth.

“Their products are driving significant value for their customers and Kuliza is capturing market share from incumbents. Their culture, innovation and expertise gives us immense confidence about the organization,” he said.

Digital Lending Revolution And Fintech In India

Digital lending is huge opportunity in India. As it is still a cash-based economy, there is a tremendous scope of growth in digital payments which according to Orbis Research is expected to reach $700 Bn by 2022 in terms of value of transactions.

However, a recent study revealed that more than half of the shops in Indian cities want to stay away from digital payments. What added more pain to digital lending startups was the reported liquidity crunch affecting India’s banking and related sectors that has limited access to credit which was especially induced by the crisis at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

Sarda explained to Inc42, “Digital Lending is a trillion dollar market opportunity and initiatives like Aadhaar, BBPS, India Stack, GSTN, and consent Architecture are acting as a catalyst to the digital economy. In the next few decades, we are estimated to see more than 3.5 Bn people joining the middle class. This is going to create a demand growth 1000 times larger than that of the industrial era and we will evolve from a high value and low volume Transactions.”

He believes there is an innate and massive opportunity to educate, impact financial sector to adapt to constant change in emerging markets and embrace modern technology.

The Boston Consulting Group estimates that because of these developments, India’s digital lending market represents a $1 Tn (approx INR 68 Tn) opportunity in the next five years.

According to Inc42 DataLabs Indian Tech Startup Funding Report 2018, fintech startups gained $1.4 Bn in funding last year, making it one of the top-funded sectors in 2018.  Lending startups like Lendingkart and Incred were among the top funding grossers in the lending-tech segment.

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