CredAble Startup Story: An en-Abler of Working Capital

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Aug 6, 2022 14 min read
CredAble Startup Story: An en-Abler of Working Capital

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by CredAble.

CredAble provides working capital and related liquidity programs for enterprise supply chains, leveraging its trade finance expertise, partnerships with capital providers, and its world-class technology platform. Founded by Nirav Choksi, Rajiv Ramnarayan and Ram Kewalramani, the goal of this fintech startup is to make ‘CredAble’ synonymous with ‘Working Capital’ and hence the mission statement is Think Working capital... Think CredAble.

Since its inception in 2017, CredAble has enabled in excess of INR 6,000 crores and more than 11,000 borrowers covering over 100,000 transactions with 0% NPAs. This has culminated as an outcome of the team's single-minded focus on execution. CredAble aims to disburse in excess of USD 1 billion per month going to USD 2 billion per month.

StartupTalky interviewed the co-founders, Nirav Choksi & Ram Kewalramani to get insights on the Success Story and Growth Hacks of CredAble. Know all about CredAble funding, founders, business and revenue model, how it started, marketing strategies, and more.

CredAble - Company Highlights

Startup Name CredAble
Founders Nirav Choksi (CEO), Ram Kewalramani (MD) and Rajiv Ramnarayan (Founding Partner and Board Advisor)
Headquarters Mumbai
Founded 2017
Industry Fintech
Funding $58.59 mn (August 2022)
Current Team Size 112+ (as of August 2022)
Website credable.in

About CredAble - Mission & Vision
CredAble - Products/Services Offered
CredAble - Industry Details
CredAble - Founders & Team
CredAble History - How it Started?
Launch of CredAble
CredAble - Name, Tagline and Logo
CredAble - Business Model & Revenue Model
CredAble - Marketing Strategies
CredAble - Funding and Investors
CredAble - Growth and Revenue
CredAble - Challenges Faced
CredAble - Competitors
CredAble - Recognition and Achievements
CredAble - Future Plans

About CredAble - Mission & Vision

CredAble provides working capital and related liquidity programs for enterprise supply chains, leveraging its trade finance expertise, partnerships with capital providers, and its world-class technology platform.

The goal is to make ‘CredAble’ synonymous with ‘Working Capital’ and hence the mission statement is think Working capital... think CredAble.

CredAble’s vision is to create holistic financial inclusion that would triple the availability of working capital, wherein the ripple effect has a significant growth in India’s GDP.

The co-founders of CreAble highlight the Culture Statement of the company - "There are 6 Core Culture statements that we at CredAble completely align to and this is how we stay on our Mission", said they:

  1. We are Audaciously breaking boundaries
  • Proposing ‘out of the box’ solutions to customers
  • Solving big problems that matter

2. We are humbled

  • By the partnership and support of our shareholders
  • By the opportunity to make a difference in this world

3. We are Generous

  • We give ourselves fully
  • We share our knowledge and insights freely with all

4. We are enablers of Context to Content

  • We are aware of ‘Why’ of ‘What’ we do every day
  • Create a Powerful contextual relationship

5. We set the measure

  • Set the benchmark of excellence in everything we do
  • Highest standard of customer and employee satisfaction

6. We are responsible

  • For fulfilling our purpose
  • For transformation of our society and environment

Tools used by CredAble to run CredAble

CredAble - Products/Services Offered

CredAble’s focus is to expand financial inclusion for the MSME base through its solutions like:

  1. Post-Invoice Early Payment Program enables all suppliers, irrespective of size and stature, to get working capital against their invoices in exchange for a discount. These discounts are derived using CredAble’s proprietary credit assessment model that takes into consideration multiple data points, thereby, enabling the vendor to get access to working capital at their respective bankable rates. The program is designed for vendors to avail working capital on tap without collateral and recourse.
  2. Just in Time (JIT) Financing is a pre-invoice financing program designed to bridge the gap between payment obligations and receivables from Corporate. It is based on the occurrence of ‘billable events’ and funding milestones like Purchase Order, Proof of Delivery, Goods Received Note, Goods Acceptance Note, or client-approved MIS. CredAble’s platform automates financing and real-time tracking of such transactions.
  3. Financial inclusion through tokenization enables access to working capital for multi-layer supply chains encompassing vendors and sub-vendors. Each series of tokens issued through the CredAble platform represents an underlying invoice value and has a finite expiration period. Tokens can be encashed at any point by vendors and sub-vendors up to expiration at their specified cost of finance. This is enabled through CredAble’s proprietary platform which digitizes the entire process right from issuance to settlement. A first in the Indian industry.

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CredAble - Industry Details

CredAble is focused on enabling working capital for India Inc. Currently, there is a USD 75 billion working capital gap in India. Furthermore, there are approx. 75 million MSMEs, of which, only 16% have access to formal credit, thereby, creating a USD 350 billion credit gap.

The Covid 19 pandemic only exasperated the MSME sector, as major financial institutions such as banks started to reduce their MSME credit lines and diverted the same to large corporates, which further fueled the need to create financial inclusion for the MSME segment. With India’s current quarter-on-quarter GDP growth rate at 1.6% for FY 2021-22, of which the MSME contribution is approximately 30% will further fuel the requirement of working capital for India Inc.

Fintechs such as CredAble will become the backbone for working capital availability for India Inc going forward.

CredAble - Founders & Team

Nirav Choksi, Ram Kewalramani and Rajiv Ramnarayan are the founders of CredAble.

CredAble Team
CredAble Founders and Team

Nirav Choksi | Co-Founder & CEO, CredAble

He has been an entrepreneur for almost 25+ years and has incubated and scaled businesses raised debt and equity financing, and built multi-disciplinary global teams in the areas of technology, private equity, and international commodities. Nirav heads the Sales, FI Coverage, Tech & Human Capital functions at CredAble.

Prior to CredAble, Nirav co-founded and led Equentia Natural Resources Pte Ltd., a multi-commodity trading and structured finance company with offices in Singapore, Jakarta, Dubai, and Mumbai. ENR is amongst the top 5 importers of Indonesian Thermal Coal for the private sector in India with revenues in excess of $500 Million a year and trading volumes of over 10 Million MT. ENR also has a significant structured trade finance and debt arbitrage operation. Prior to that Nirav has founded several companies in the internet and technology space and has had 3 successful exits. He is an active early-stage investor in tech-enabled consumer-led ventures and has invested in over 25 opportunities. Nirav studied computer science and economics at the University of Michigan.

Ram Kewalramani | Co-Founder & Managing Director, CredAble

He has had a career spanning over 18 + years working in leadership positions. Ram has gained invaluable insight and expertise in the domains of Investment Banking, Marketing, Finance, and Operations. As an acknowledged veteran of the Employee Transportation industry, he brings valuable industry insights, experience, and connections to further the establishment of the vision behind CredAble. Ram heads the Fincon, Credit Risk & Risk Operations functions at CredAble.

Prior to founding CredAble, Ram spent 14 + years in investment banking and P&L leadership capacities. Previously, he was a shareholder and CEO of People Premier Logistics, a successful employee transportation business. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Ram was an investment banker with Centrum Capital and Grant Thornton.

Rajiv Ramnarayan | Founding Member and Board Advisor, CredAble

Rajiv Ramnarayan acts as a Founding Member and Board Advisor of CredAble. Ramnarayan has completed a BEng. (Hons.) in Electronic Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University. Starting as an Industrial Trainee with IBM, Ramnarayan has served as a Business Development Associate at Laing O'Rourke, a Partner at Doehle Danautic Logistics, and is still serving as a Co-Founder and CEO at Equentia Natural Resources Pte Ltd.

Current Company Size, Work Culture & Hiring Funda -

CredAble values employees like the way it values its clients and strongly follows the below-mentioned culture statements:

  • We are Audaciously breaking boundaries
  • We are humbled
  • We are Generous
  • We are enablers of Context to Content
  • We set the measure
  • We are responsible

At CredAble, the hiring process is efficiently streamlined to ensure to hire the right talent for the right job. They have detailed BEI interviews both at the Functional & HR interview evaluation stages. The CredAble team currently consists of a 51-200 member workforce.


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CredAble History - How it Started?

The founders in their previous avatar, have had a great deal of exposure to the working capital gap in India. Nirav, who comes with over 25 years of work experience across IT Services, Commodity trading, Trade Finance, was dealing with banks to create structured trade finance flows for his trading business. Ram, who comes with over 18 years of work experience, was the CEO of a large logistics business which required him to constantly focus on raising working capital, but always found it difficult given the traditional approach used by banks and NBFCs. This amalgamation of experience made both the founders believe that they were the most pertinent people to co-create programs that would enable working capital for India inc.

CredAble started its journey to enable working capital within the logistics sector. The product was split into two categories namely JIT financing and post invoice financing. This permutation & combination of the product reduced the cash-to-cash cycle of the logistics borrowers from an average of 110 days to under 24 hours! All of this was enabled through technology without any human intervention. Once this model was proven, these offerings were expanded to multiple sectors.

Their initial conversations were with CFOs/procurement heads of large corporates who were extensively outsourcing their logistics requirements and were facing multiple challenges from their vendors, who were unable to cope with the clients’ requirements due to the shortfall of working capital. With the validation from the success of these programs, CredAble’s model expanded to include all types of vendors and not only logistics vendors.


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Launch of CredAble

The team's strategy has always been to enable working capital using the Anchor down approach wherein they were looking to tie up with large corporates to enable working capital for their entire supply chain ecosystem.

While it was a new concept in India, the founders were extremely confident of the programs and value add that they were creating for all the stakeholders. The initial approach was to reach out to all connections and showcase CredAble’s value proposition. While the response was positive the preliminary movement was slow. As they demonstrated the impact, there were higher levels of acknowledgment & acceptance which catapulted CredAble's outreach. Word of mouth quickly enabled CredAble to onboard multiple large and multi-national clients.

"While we have a large coverage team as well as partnerships, our largest clients have been converted through existing referrals and word of mouth"  Co-founders of CredAble added.

Since its inception, CredAble has enabled in excess of INR 6,000 crores and more than 11,000 borrowers covering over 100,000 transactions with 0% NPAs. This has culminated as an outcome of the team's single-minded focus on execution.

CredAble - Name, Tagline and Logo

Given the focus of the business was to “enable credit” the name CredAble was apt.

The tag line - We Must because…. We Can, symbolizes the company's approach – "Nothing is impossible as long as we believe we can!!!" In order to change the existing traditional mindsets, the first step is to believe we can.

CredAble Logo
CredAble Logo

While they were designing the logo it was important that all stakeholders understand who they are and what they do. The emphasis of ‘A’ in CredAble is to showcase it as -

  1. An en-Abler of working capital, and
  2. To depict upward growth “↑”. This in turn would create an impact not only for India Inc but the GDP as a whole.

CredAble - Business Model & Revenue Model

CredAble is a B2B supply chain finance company that develops partnerships with corporate entities to "extend a scalable supplier and dealer/distributor financing platform."

The CredAble revenue model is a fee-based model. Here, we should understand that CredAble doesn't levy any fixed, upfront or registration costs for either the corporate or their suppliers and distributors. Besides, the company's own NBFC also participates in some of its supply chain financing programmes, which helps create a yield-based income.


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CredAble - Marketing Strategies

CredAble's Marketing campaigns have been holistic in approach with key properties introduced to cater to each business need.

Some of its well-received marketing properties include –

  • Insights by CredAble – It takes interesting popular concepts in today’s day and age, and tries to come up with its working capital assessment for people to understand its importance and potential. CredAble's recent coverage on IPL working capital was well-received (One can get more information on CredAble Case studies here -  credable.in/credable-case-studies/)                  
CredAble Marketing
An excerpt of CredAble's recent coverage on IPL working capital
  • Candid by CredAble – In this interesting talk show, CredAble's CEO and host Nirav Choksi talks to industry leaders within enterprise ecosystems to get into their thought process, it’s fun and engaging content filled with interesting anecdotes. This has gained traction and the company has already rolled out 3 episodes.
  • Working Capital 101 – The company deems it to be its responsibility to share knowledge around new concepts around working capital which can be very helpful for businesses. Hence, as a step – it launched working capital 101 under business insights which churn out content weekly around helpful concepts around working capital and financing.
CredAble Working Capital 101
  • Extensive organic marketing initiatives on professional social media platforms like LinkedIn for both Talent & the organization success stories.
  • Product Explainer videos to educate CFOs, Vendors, Banks, Financial Institutes on how CredAble programs have been enabling working capital.

"The success of our marketing lies in growing organically and giving tangible results to our clientele" as said by the founders of CredAble.

CredAble - Funding and Investors

CredAble last raised $9 mn from a Corporate Round on August 2nd, 2022, led by Axis Bank and OAKS Asset Management. CredAble last raised around $30 mn in its Series B funding round led by Plutus Wealth Management and the existing investor, OAKS Assets Management (formerly known as Alpha Capital).

The company has raised $58.59 mn so far, which includes its bridge round worth $4.42 mn (Rs 33.18 cr) in October 2020, its Series A round of $12.59 mn (Rs 100 cr), and its primary seed round of $2.5 mn.

Date Name of the Funding Round Deal Value Lead Investors
August 2, 2022 Corporate Round $9 mn Axis Bank and OAKS Asset Management
October 19, 2021 Series B OAKS Asset Management and Plutus Wealth Management
October 29, 2020 Series A -
June 12, 2018 Series A Alpha Capital
March 17, 2017 Seed Round -

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CredAble - Growth and Revenue

Starting with 3 employees, initially, when it was launched in March 2017, CredAble now has somewhere between 51-200 employees, which indicates that it has grown strong year-on-year. CredAble's employee count rose to 12 by March 2018, and with the passage of another year, this went up to become 70 employees.  

CredAble went live in October 2018, and since then, it has processed Rs 300 crore+ worth of transactions on a monthly basis. Furthermore, CredAble boasts of boarding more than 100 corporate customers, 300K+ small business borrowers, and 30+ financial institutions as well as banks on its platform. CredAble has witnessed 500% YoY growth, as per the platform's statements.  

CredAble's total income has been reported to be registered at Rs 8.35 crore in FY22, which earlier stood at 2.46 crore in FY21 and Rs 27.64 crore in FY20.

CredAble - Challenges Faced

"It was a new concept and hence took time to be understood and accepted. The solutioning aptitude versus selling a product worked well for us to showcase the value we created to make working capital accessible to all" Co-founders of CredAble added.

CredAble, as an early-stage business, has had its own challenges along the way. Fostering a widespread acceptance of the non-traditional supply chain finance programmes, long sales cycles, long turnaround time in technology integration and others of CredAble, was tough indeed.

"However, customer acquisition follows a domino effect on our business. After securing our first few clients, which took a bit of time, the rest have started to follow at a much faster pace,’ added the Co-founder of CredAble.

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CredAble - Competitors

Competitors of CredAble are:

  • CreditFair
  • ZestMoney
  • Aye Finance
  • KredX
  • Taulia
  • Demica

CredAble - Recognition and Achievements

  • The Fintech and Deep Tech categories at NASSCOM Emerge 50 Awards 2020
  • The Best Supply Chain Finance Solution of the Year 2019 at the Inflection 2019, a leading supply chain summit.
  • The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program 2018
  • SAP Startup Studio Cohort 2020
  • The Best FinTech Startup 2018 at by the Maharashtra Government

CredAble - Future Plans

The future plan is to cover all aspects of Working Capital by the means of enabling true financial inclusion for millions of MSMEs. "We are already covering all metro cities within India and have set up business teams to increase our outreach. The goal is to disburse in excess of USD 1 billion per month going to USD 2 billion per month" the Co-founders of CredAble mentioned.

FAQs

What is CredAble?

CredAble provides working capital and related liquidity programs for enterprise supply chains, leveraging its trade finance expertise, partnerships with capital providers, and its world-class technology platform.

Where is the headquarters of CredAble?

The CredAble headquarters are located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Who are the founders of CredAble?

Nirav Choksi, Ram Kewalramani, and Rajiv Ramnarayan are the founders of CredAble.

What is CredAble's tagline?

CredAble's tagline - We Must because…. We Can, symbolizes the company's approach – "Nothing is impossible as long as we believe we can!!!" In order to change the existing traditional mindsets, the first step is to believe we can.

How does CredAble make money?

  • Early - Fees percentage over the savings generated for the Anchor.
  • Lending - Net Interest Margin and upfront processing fees on the Asset Under Management (AUM)

Who is the CEO of CredAble?

Nirav Choksi is the Co-founder & CEO of CredAble.

How much funding has CredAble raised?

CredAble raised $58.59 mn in funding to date, as of August 2022.

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