Fintech Asia features ePaylater, an Indian fintech startup that provides micro-credit to consumers while making payments on online platforms. Most recently, the solution was enabled as a pilot project on IRCTC – the ticketing platform of Indian Railways which is one of the world’s largest railway networks. Aurko Bhattacharya, co-founder of ePaylater, shares more about the journey so far…
This interview is part of the ongoing Fintech India series.
Aurko holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Roorkee and management degree from IIM Kolkata. Has worked with leading financial institutions like ICICI Bank and Barclays.
ePaylater is a FinTech platform that processes credit worthiness for individuals basis alternate data points. We have leveraged the platform capabilities to enable first of its kind Buy Now Pay Later checkout service to online shoppers in India. We are live on few of the largest merchants in the country like IRCTC (Indian Railways ticketing system, PVR, Indiamart etc.
How did you come about setting your focus on this particular category? Please tell us a little more about the company’s beginnings as well.
It was a blend of our individual experiences of friction ridden online purchases, awareness about the issues in availability and access to credit in the country and combined expertise in credit/alternate lending space (the founding team comes from backgrounds in Banking, Payments, Technology and Ecommerce). Friendly debates and brainstorming led us to thinking of the underlying opportunity and how alternate-data led credit could help bridge the gap between market offerings and customer expectations. We soon realized that if we look at the same as a platform rather than a product, and evolve accordingly, it can help us solve related and equally pertinent use cases.
What transformations have you undergone as a company since starting up?
Role-responsibility or segregation of duties has been more clearly mapped.
From a humble start with our first merchant in Feb 2016, we have more than 1200 today. We are a reasonably well known brand in consumer internet space in India. Better still, we seem to be having good workplace reputation and get applications from some of the best talent in the country.
Thoughts on the present Indian fintech landscape? How does it compare to the rest of the fintech majors in the world like Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom, Sweden, etc. according to you?
India has a huge yet highly under-penetrated market. This makes it very germane for innovations. Especially in the alternate lending space where we operate, the opportunity is phenomenally big as credit here is a payment option. For a country with 1.3 billion individuals and 40 million SMEs, this is as big as it can get.
Which are the sectors in Indian fintech where you think there are untapped opportunities? How does it fit in with your product and growth plans for the immediate future?
Although there have been new entrants and continuous innovation, there are quite a few untapped opportunities in the following sectors:
Fraud assessment etc.
Our product and growth plans – We have been working on enhancing access to digital credit suited to the millennial way of shopping through our product. Reusability of technology gives us scale as well ability to quickly roll out solutions in case we identify new opportunities.
Please tell us a little about your funding journey – the requirements & objectives in mind when you decided to raise a round/s; the fit you found or were looking for with your investors; what would you be looking for in the future as the business grows?
We were looking at a high ticket size (upwards of $ 1 million) so that we can have a runway to work on a platform roadmap. We found alignment of thoughts with our investors as for one they have deep experience in Finance sector and also believe in building a long term differentiator. We will be raising a fresh round in some time. This would be fuel our growth engine further.
As a founder, what advice would you give to other fintech entrepreneurs?
Stay true to your strengths, concept and people and dare to dream.
Anything else you’d like to add… 🙂
We prefer “Multiplication” to “Addition” :). On a more serious note, thank you for reaching out and providing us with this opportunity.