Credgenics Startup Story: SaaS-enabled Debt Recovery Platform

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Jul 15, 2021 18 min read
Credgenics Startup Story: SaaS-enabled Debt Recovery Platform

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 Credgenics.

In India, where the credit demand of more than $600 Billion is being met through informal sources, digital lending is set to cross the $100 Billion mark by the end of 2023. Credgenics is a part of the financial industry, especially the lending and debt recovery ecosystem. Anand Agrawal, Mayank Khera, and Rishabh Goel founded Credgenics in 2018.

The SaaS-enabled debt recovery platform of Credgenics was designed to help lessen the burden of the lenders (banks, NBFCs, FinTech) through better data management and ensuring lesser cost and time consumption in the recovery process. At present, over 50 lenders are using the platform, which includes 07 banks with notable names like ICICI, Axis, and HDFC and more than 40 NBFCs, such as LoanTap, Drip Capital, Udaan, among others. In the last three years, Credgenics has managed to grow MoM 80–100%.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Rishabh Goel, Co-founder & CEO of Credgenics to know the Startup Story and the roadmap of Credgenics. He also gave insights on the business model, when it was originated, funding, growth hacks, working model, and expansion plans.

Credgenics - Company Highlights

Startup Name Credgenics
Founders Rishabh Goel, Anand Agrawal, Mayank Khera
Founding Year 2018
Headquarters Delhi
Industry Fintech and Banking
Website credgenics.com

Credgenics - About the Product and How it Works
Credgenics - Financial Industry Details
Credgenics - Founders and Team
Credgenics History - How it Started?
Credgenics - USP
Credgenics - Name, Tagline and Logo
Credgenics - Business Model and Revenue Model
Strategies Adopted during Credgenics Launch
Credgenics - Startup Challenges Faced
Credgenics - Successful Marketing Campaigns
Credgenics - Growth
Credgenics - Funding and Investors
Credgenics - Competitors
Tools used by Credgenics to run the Startup
Credgenics - Awards and Recognitions
Credgenics - FAQs

Credgenics - About the Product and How it Works

At Credgenics, the core product is the SaaS platform that comes armed with two unique offerings, the Automated Communication and Digital Legal Notice Module. Its SaaS-enabled debt recovery platform was designed to help lessen the burden of the lenders (banks, NBFCs, FinTech) through better data management and ensuring lesser cost and time consumption in the recovery process. The legal module simplifies the entire journey of issuing a legal notice to the borrowers, sending a soft copy via digital channels (SMS, email, and WhatsApp) and physical modes (via courier partners).

Credgenics offers the creditors two solutions —

  1. Where the creditor can purchase its software and undertake the rest of the process, and
  2. The end-to-end recovery where the entire process from data management to Online Dispute Resolution and litigation processes are undertaken by Credgenics' designated teams.  

The process entails uploading the data on the platform, generating actions using automated rule defining widget, issuing notices, and then approaching borrowers using any of the five modules, such as cloud-based calling, automated communication, and field executive being tracked by the android app for on-field collection, legal notice, and litigation workflows. Thus, the Credgenics platform becomes a one-stop solution for the creditors and their debt recovery woes. Within just a couple of months from its inception, Credgenics could demonstrate a strong product market fit.

Credgenics

Credgenics long-term focus is also to strengthen and build further from its present position, which includes equipping with a better-enabled team, is on growing operations and business by expanding in multiple lending products, apart from the collection angle alone. The plans are also to continue researching and upgrading Credgenics platform features, offerings, and market presence because technology and legal, both fields require a constant upgrade. Research and strengthening the core also becomes vital as the judicial and fiscal regulations in the target geographies have to be thoroughly studied, followed by the design and implementation of the Credgenics platform and offerings.

"Our core belief is based on the principle of ethically resolving the bad debt crisis that the economies are dealing with" says Rishabh Goel, Co-founder & CEO, Credgenics.

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Credgenics - Financial Industry Details

Credgenics is a part of the financial industry, especially the lending and debt recovery ecosystem.

The Debt Recovery Market is expected to grow at a significant pace. The Debt Recovery market provides the various factors that form an important element of the market. It includes the definition and the scope of the market with a detailed explanation of the market drivers, opportunities, restraints, and threats. India has the worst bad-loan ratio after Italy among the world’s 20 largest economies.

In terms of the industry and its growth, since Credgenics has a unique offering, it does not see much competition, especially given its USPs. About Credgenics performance and the metrics, it can be described one by one. Let's begin with the resolution rate, which has improved by 15–20%. The collection rates are measured in the terms of each DPD resolved within the stipulated time and the success-based module ensures data transparency. Resolution time has improved by 20 days for Credgenics' clients. The average resolution time is measured by providing concentrated efforts from tele-calling, digital reminders through WhatsApp and Digital Notices, and tracking the EMI repayment and E-mediation. The collection time has improved by 5 times.

The digital disruption introduced by Credgenics saves efficiency in data management and tracking the cases, with dedicated teams per case, ROI for the creditors is compared to the error-prone erstwhile practices.

Credgenics - Founders and Team

Anand Agrawal, Mayank Khera, and Rishabh Goel are the co-founders of Credgenics.

Founders and Owners of Credgenics
Anand Agrawal, Mayank Khera, Rishabh Goel - Credgenics Founders

How the Founding Team was formed?

Anand has a strong Computer Science background (owing to B.Tech and M.Tech, both from IIT-Delhi). IIT-D is their alma mater and that is how Rishabh and Anand knew each other. While Rishabh was making his way through Deutsche Bank and Blackrock as an Investment Banker, Anand was working with the founding team of 1mg. Mayank, whom they knew through common friends, has been on the panel of NHRC, he is a certified mediation and a fellow at World Mediation Organization, Berlin. This resulted in the best fit.

Anand Agrawal | Co-founder & CTO of Credgenics

Anand emancipated as an entrepreneur after accumulating years of experience in product technology and engineering. Before embarking on this SaaS-based journey, he gained experience as a Lead in the data science team of 1MG and worked with Urban Company. With a keen interest in the fintech ecosystem, Anand is now the Co-Founder and CTO of Credgenics. With a focus on team building, he exhibits thoughtful leadership and entrepreneurship - be it customizing the platform features and offerings (which includes the communication and data projections), or the designing and integration of the website for the company, he ensures that the technology can boost the software-based collection process to reduce bad debts.

An Advocate, a certified mediator, and a fellow World Mediation Organisation, Berlin, Mayank has been associated with many social initiatives with the aim to provide justice to the underserved. As part of his dedication to giving back to the society, he has regularly visited many jails, including Tihar, Jaipur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jodhpur, among others to provide legal assistance to prisoners. For Credgenics, he is the legal brain who helps with the litigations and the legal notices. Be it the case of e-mediations and settlements, or taking the right legal remedy for the defaulters, his word holds weightage.

Rishabh Goel | Co-founder & CEO of Credgenics

Rishabh handles the marketing, business development, customer engagement, apart from the overall decision-making and risk analysis. For this, he is armed with his Charter in Risk Analysis through the U.S. GAARP courses, namely CFA and FRM. This skill added to his B.Tech helps him understand the business and technology aspects.

"Since, all three of us take care of the three important verticals, we take decisions in unison and exhibit the proof of ‘united we stand’ philosophy" Rishabh added.

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Credgenics Hiring Culture and Team

Credgenics has hired from the fintech and consulting firms, and with more clients being onboarded, it aims to increase its team and establish an organizational culture, where each joiner comes with zeal and expertise. The right attitude also matters and the Credgenics' HR ensures that the new people enhance the culture.

Currently, Credgenics team comprises 170+ members, where its legal team has more than 8 in-house lawyers including Mayank, as the leader and mentor, and they collaborate with 2200+ lawyers pan India. With the future forecast, Credgenics aims to grow with a direction and enhance its offerings and be more customer-oriented.

Credgenics History - How it Started?

Reminiscing the Initial journey of Credgenics, Rishabh Goel (Co-founder& CEO of Credgenics) says -

"The inspiration came back in 2017 when I was working with Blackrock, where I garnered a better understanding of the lending process, specifically from the recovery and collections angle. The realizations continued while working with Deutsche Bank. The collection processes were still age-old and led to poor recovery rates, thereby leading to the constant increase in the NPA with each loan adding up to delinquency. The whole process was taxing the economy and increasing the judicial load (from the recovery angle). Being good with research and risk analysis, I (Rishabh) researched the problem and solution for two years.

During the research, I studied the mechanics of resolving the debt cases using technology-driven amicable methods and analyzing their efficacy in long term. Though the process is dynamic and the research and problem-solving is still an everyday process, yet back then I started wondering about the technology-aided solutions and started lending some outline to the idea of what has now become Credgenics.

At this point in time, I came in touch with the Co-founder and CTO Anand Agrawal. IIT Delhi being our alma mater, we together started working on the SaaS platform. Anand had experience owing to his M.Tech and then his work with 1MG and Urban Company. He and I started working on a prototype. At this point, we came in touch with Mayank, an advocate, and the idea of legal tech added. In 2019 we got our first client and that was where we tested our platform for the first time.

The moratorium in 2020 became the testing time and we got plenitude in terms of clients. Since we work on a success-based module, we charge our clients per the success rate."

Rishabh continues on Credgenics' Interesting Investor Journey -

"Credgenics team completed the seed round led by Titan Capital along with a few seasoned investors in May 2020. This was where we had garnered the faith of our investors and began gaining the faith of our lenders.

With growing success, within six months, the young and innovative SaaS platform received INR 27 crore (US$3.5 Million) in a pre-Series A round led by Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund with participation from existing investors Titan Capital besides marquee angel investors like Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), Dilip Khandelwal (MD & Global CIO, Deutsche Bank), Sumit Maniyar (Founder, Rupeek), Ramakanth Sharma (Co-founder, Livspace), Gaurav Agarwal (Co-founder, 1mg), Vivek (Founder, Bounce), Akhil Paul (MD, Caparo Group), Nitin Gupta (ex-Founder, PayU) and Karthik (Ubiquity Capital)."

Credgenics - USP

In India, where the credit demand of more than $600 Billion is being met through informal sources, digital lending is set to cross the $100 Billion mark by the end of 2023. Increased disbursement of credit has also led to a spike in NPAs for both NBFCs and banks. This was an opportunity for Rishabh to put across his knowledge and skillset to work in the Indian market to launch Credgenics, which is at a confluence of legal, technology, and finance.

The biggest challenge the stakeholders noticed was in the data management, which was hardly being updated, and the process was not streamlined. But now, the platform assists lenders in streamlining and digitizing their collections and legal workflows with customized strategies and faster legal solutions for stressed assets.

It also offers Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and mediation services by becoming an intermediary between its clients and borrowers. The 'plug and play' SaaS solution digitizes the entire collections process on an easy-to-use interface and provides an AI-powered personalized collections strategy, which optimizes and automates action through automated communication, field agencies, and legal notices.

There are certain USPs that Credgenics bank on:

  1. Updated Dashboards: The Data Analysis team maintains the data and keeps it organized. This data is then analyzed and the results are reflected on its dashboards that keep the internal teams informed about the status of each borrower case, and the lenders also can keep track of each case’s position. This helps to decide the future course of action.
  2. Automated Communication Model: One ingredient Credgenics vouch for is the communication channels that it uses which include telecommunication, SMS, online legal notices (which are duly tracked), and the data is updated.
  3. Digital Notices: The other USP is the digital notices model where the defaulters are sent digital notices. They are given the notice through a URL which when clicked helps the team also to track the status. This also helps them to identify the nervousness factor of the borrower. In the future, this becomes potential digital evidence if the creditor files for judicial remedy.
  4. Lawyers on-board: Credgenics not only has its own Legal Team but also has empaneled lawyers pan India who help them with mediation and litigation services, in case the borrower account turns delinquent or if the borrower seeks mediation due to a genuine reason behind the inability to pay. During the COVID-19 crisis and the resultant job and market recession, the team has even advised loan restructuring to their client for sensitive cases, so that the client’s risk profile does not suffer, nor does the borrower get entangled in mentally strenuous legal situations.
Credgenics SaaS Platform

The name is very self-explanatory in a way. Cred comes from ‘credit’, which stands for not only the credible platform and services that the team were building, but also for the credit building through the technology-aided debt collection for the lending institutions. The ‘Genics’ represents the idea of genesis or evolution of the first such platform that aims at creating dents on the NPA crisis and supports the economy as a debt recovery platform. Also, ‘genics’ in the scientific language means producing, so to the two IIT-ian Co-founders this came as a natural addition to the ‘cred’.

Credgenics tagline ‘Converting Bad Debts into Good Assets’ is based on the basic principles on which the research and the final outcome of what they call Credgenics, and "I would humbly state that this tagline is what we would like to grow further with" says Rishabh.

Credgenics
Credgenics Logo

About the logo, initially, they just had the CG from CredGenics as its logo. But as Credgenics got bigger and designers joined the team, they decided to redo its logo, and the circular motive where C is wrapped around G, is not only symbolic of the name but also of the dent they intend to make on the said vicious loan cycle.


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Credgenics - Business Model and Revenue Model

Business Model of Credgenics:

The business model of Credgenics revolves around the SaaS platform, which is a one-stop solution for banks, NBFCs, and fintech, among others who are unable to recover the loan amounts from their borrowers. There are two proposals that it presents to its clients -

  1. One of which is the Software platform alone. Here, the client can choose to use the software model, and using the API integration they can put their data and the platform arranges and manages the data. This data then is used by their in-house calling or legal team to communicate with the borrowers.
  2. The second proposal is to use both its software and the collection services. In this, Credgenics seek their data and integrates it using its API. The data is then used by the telecommunication team initially. Where the data for each payment is managed by the Data Analyst teams and the future plan is discussed by the respective collections and legal teams, whereby, if the borrowers refuse to pay, then legal notices are sent and tracked by Credgenics teams. It offers the Online Dispute Resolutions (ODR) to those interested or maintains the data for its clients if they need to present it as evidence in the court of law.

Revenue Model of Credgenics | Charges and Payments:

When it comes to Credgenics charges, it charges a lump sum amount for the software platform alone. However, if the client seeks the second proposal which is software and services, then it takes specific numbers of cases from the client and then charges a certain percentage over the entire loan amount recovered.

What helps the client with loan recovery is the automated platform that makes data management and communication tracking an easy process. Credgenics also customizes solutions for each client and the challenge is actually with the unsecured loans, where the communication really is the secret ingredient and the riskier tiers and lack of documentation often makes the data a mammoth task.

Strategies Adopted during Credgenics Launch

"To be fairly honest, when the moratorium was announced, we thought that for a few months we would have to lie low, however, with the collection becoming challenging in the moratorium and post-moratorium phase, we started getting more clients" Rishabh added.

Initially, Credgenics clients came to them to test its platform. It was the performance that not only made them stay but earned them more clients.

Rishabh says - "Word of mouth our name spread. The present success owes a great deal of accolades to the Business Development and Customer Management team as well, who help us spread our reach and retain those we have on-board"

The strategies were fairly uncomplicated. The team demonstrated its platform and features, then they would onboard the client with a set of cases on trial. Once that would shine, they would go further.

Now the team has more strategies, such as newsletters, social media engagements, constant customer engagements and problem-solving, and other such channels that help Credgenics with the recognition. As Credgenics is growing, the team aims to involve better engagement strategies.


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Credgenics - Startup Challenges Faced

The biggest challenge that Credgenics faced was reaching out to the borrowers within ethical measures, owing to the pandemic and the pay cuts and job losses it brought along. The other problem that the team identified is language. India is a land of 18 official languages and many dialects. For this, the team brought native speakers, and its notices are also drafted in local languages. This strategy of globalization has not only helped Credgenics bridge a mental distance between the borrowers and collection agents but also make the process more vernacular-oriented, thereby supporting India’s rich ethnic legacy as well.

Legal notices also become a problem because the borrower would either change residence, contact, etc. or can outright deny the receipt of the notices. This makes the door-to-door movement of legal agents a problem and also causes issues in accumulating evidence for the court proceedings. With its URL-enabled digital notices, Credgenics helps the creditors with both notices and evidences.

From the same or similar perspective comes the problem of collection. Credgenics digitized the repayment, thereby reducing the door-to-door collection. This saves the borrowers from embarrassment and saves costs for its clients.

A constant cash flow from the borrower to the creditor is needed to combat the alarming 14.8% NPA, which might grow owing to the global pandemic crisis. Here also, Credgenics process allows the flow to stay alive, the risk profiles of the creditors stay afloat, and the CIBIL scores of the borrowers remain decent.

"We do not intend to see a huge list of defaulters, and that is one problem we combat every day" Rishabh added.

Credgenics - Successful Marketing Campaigns

Since the platform and the offerings were unique and were already a disruption, hence the team did not need an elaborate GTM (go-to-market strategy). The extensive research and the foundational work on the platform and the prevalent condition of the lending ecosystem gave enough inputs to the founders. Rishabh’s research showed him the loopholes, while Anand’s and Mayank’s expertise helped him fill the gaping holes.

Since research itself, the founding team kept getting data. This data was utilized and to launch Credgenics as a unique offering, the prospective clients were found using available leads, while for newer leads the professional network over the ecosystem was reached out to. The demonstration sessions were conducted. This GTM was later substantiated by reaching out to more people by virtue of content or investor and existing client networks. The implementation of core marketing strategies began later.

The existing lending ecosystem is being disrupted in many ways. To begin with, SaaS platforms are not used to date, as the age-old process of manually floating the data is still being followed by most of the creditors. The platform features data management, which involves tracking the entire system of collection and recovery that each case is going through. The data is then analyzed and shared with the internal teams and the clients. This data also helps in assessing the recovery progress and predicting future possibilities.

The automated communication system is a disruption, where the messages and calls are timely, tracked, and yet the privacy measures are duly followed. The other disruption is in the form of Digital Notices. Reducing the manual and strenuous process of lawyers drafting and sending notices, without a proper track of those being received and adhered to had to be reduced. Thus, they came up with digital notices that are triggered when a defaulter case is identified. The notices are tracked through a URL, whereby the receipt is not only recorded but the number of times it is clicked is recorded to predict the nervousness of the borrower. This can also be used in court as evidence if needed.

Credgenics - Growth

Credgenics is located in Delhi and operates its working SaaS-based model from there. At present, It helps more than 40 NBFCs/Fintechs and 7 Banks including HDFC, ICICI Bank, Clix Capital, Shubh Loans, LoanTap, Udaan, MoneyTap, etc., streamline their recovery section with a blend of data-driven technology and legal solutions.

Credgenics - Funding and Investors

Credgenics team completed the seed round led by Titan Capital along with a few seasoned investors in May 2020

In 2020, Credgenics raised $3.5 million in a pre-Series-A round led by Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund with participation from existing angel investors Titan Capital.


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Credgenics - Competitors

Credgenics does not consider anyone as a direct competition who can provide both collection and legal combined recovery suites on a single SaaS platform but can claim CreditMate as one of the competitors.

Tools used by Credgenics to run the Startup

The SaaS platform is Credgenics' basic tool, where automated communication through SMS, cloud-based telephone calls, and WhatsApp messages are the other tools. For the data integration, the team relies on API, and AI and ML are the key instruments in the platform and the digital processes. The technology-driven team constantly uses permutations and combinations to keep the dashboards, websites, and communication smooth and personalized. Since servers are decentralized, they are relatively worry-free of data calamities.

Credgenics - Awards and Recognitions

Recently, Credgenics founders got featured in Forbes 30 under 30, and have won the Young Entrepreneur awards from Business Mint for two years in a row.

Credgenics - FAQs

What is Credgenics?

At Credgenics, the core product is the SaaS platform that comes armed with two unique offerings, the Automated Communication and Digital Legal Notice Module. Its SaaS-enabled debt recovery platform was designed to help lessen the burden of the lenders

Who are the founders of Credgenics?

Anand Agrawal, Mayank Khera, and Rishabh Goel are the co-founders of Credgenics.

When was Credgenics founded?

Credgenics was founded in 2018.

How much funding has Credgenics raised?

In 2020, Credgenics raised $3.5 million in a pre-Series-A round led by Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund with participation from existing angel investors Titan Capital, among others.

How does Credgenics make money?

When it comes to Credgenics’ charges, it charges a lump sum amount for the software platform alone. However, if the client seeks the complete recovery solution, then it takes specific numbers of cases from the client and then charges a certain percentage over the recovered loan amount.

Is Credgenics an Indian Company?

Yes, Credgenics is an Indian company and the headquarters in Delhi, India.

Who is Credgenics' competitors?

Credgenics claims CreditMate as one of the competitors.

Who are the investors in Credgenics?

Titan Capital, Accel Partners, DMI Alternatives fund

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