Amazon-backed Bankbazaar CEO says he’s ready for funding round after 2 years to fuel co-branded credit card growth

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Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com, told CNBC-TV18.com that the company plans to raise funds later this year and that it will be a growth cycle.

“We hope it will be an excellent strategic investor. What we believe is that this is a 20 to 30 year old company. It’s not a 5-6 year old thing. So we’re here for the long haul, said Shetty, CEO of the 13-year-old fintech startup turned loan aggregator, which is backed by WSV, Experian, Eight Roads, Sequoia India, Walden International and Amazon.

The last time Shetty raised money was in 2020 when he raised $6 million from 8 investors including Amazon and Walden SKT Venture Fund. The next round will focus on funding its co-branded credit cards, for which Bankbazaar has partnered with YES Bank and RBL Bank and is looking for other banks to partner with.

BankBazaar.com also has non-co-branded businesses that involve 10 other banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered, HDFC and IndusInd Bank.

Just seven months ago, BankBazaar.com launched its first FinBooster co-branded credit card in partnership with YES Bank. The segment is already the company’s biggest revenue generator and it expects it to make 80% of revenue in the fiscal year ending March 2023. Shetty aspires to have 3 million of BankBazaar co-branded products in the market over the next 3 years.

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Trend in average spending per card over the last few months (with contributions from Abhishek Kothari)

At the end of March 2022, BankBazaar had an annualized rate of income of Rs 156 crore, growing at 100% compounded annually. Shetty added that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) exceed cost.

Here’s how co-branded credit cards work

For BankBazaar.com, it started by providing a platform for people to check their credit score.

The model is simple. Bankbazaar.com has 50 million users, according to the company’s website. Of these, 18 million signed up to check their credit score. With data at its disposal, the company is able to find and target customers who are off the radar of banks and sell them credit cards.

The money comes out of the bank’s pocket and if a credit card bill is not paid, the risk lies with the bank. BankBazaar simply gets a cut of the bank’s profits from the co-branded credit cards to help it find the customer.

Customers who purchase co-branded credit cards from BankBazaar already have a credit history and therefore are not first-time borrowers or individuals without access to banks or other types of formal lenders.

Risk is reduced by targeting customers with a minimum credit score of 700. According to Shetty, 150 million Indians, in a population of nearly 1.4 billion, are making the cut.

For example, people who can afford to buy household appliances online. In May 2022, BankBazaar was running several “Buy Now Pay Later” programs on Amazon for air conditioners, as demand for the product was huge. Offer may vary from month to month.

In such a model, the customer and the bank can benefit from it, because at an interest rate of 12% per annum, it is a very reasonable interest rate, but it also benefits the bank, because these customers have tendency to repay even if the economy or the situation were to tighten, because they are of high credit, he explained.

First post: STI


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