After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have been among the most affected. This has prompted government institutions, fintech startups and even large companies to take initiatives to support the sector towards digital transformation.
MSMEs play a crucial role in the Indian economy not only contributing 30% of GDP, but also generating jobs for 111.4 million people. Although MSMEs are the backbone of the country and fuel the growth of large companies by often being their main sources of raw materials, the sector faces an acute financial crisis, including lack of working capital.
For a business to be viable, a constant flow of capital is needed to make routine payments, cover unforeseen costs, purchase basic materials, produce goods, etc. However, most of the MSMEs that operate their business traditionally find it difficult to adapt to the changing ecosystem and face a growth challenge.
Over the past two years, many startups have come forward to support MSMEs and boost their financial health by launching various campaigns and initiatives.
CredAble, a Mumbai-based fintech startup founded in 2017, enables working capital financing by providing liquidity programs for enterprise ecosystems using technology, KYC and integration platforms digital, in-depth ERP, banking integrations, digital documentation and transaction management.
Keeping in mind the financial and operational needs of MSMEs, the startup recently launched Top of scale, a solution that connects to the company’s existing accounting software, synchronizes transaction details, connects to bank accounts and credit bureaus, and provides instant access to working capital with the help of partner financial institutions .
Talk to SMBShistory, Nirav Choksi, co-founder and CEO of, and Nitin Sharma, who leads the UpScale vertical, talks about his vision to help MSMEs, create and manage the growth of their businesses, and the enabling solutions they have to offer.
SMBShistory [SMBS]: Small businesses and MSMEs face extreme working capital challenges. How does CredAble solve this problem?
Nirav Choksi [NC]: CredAble has worked with hundreds of thousands of SMEs in India, with a particular focus on solving their working capital issues. In fact, CredAble has enabled over $ 2 billion per year in working capital for Indian businesses, including large, medium and emerging companies, MSMEs and financial institutions. The platform now hosts more than 50 corporate clients, more than a lakh borrowers and 25 major financial institutions and banks. For example, in September 2021, we disbursed 3,500 crore rupees to over a lakh of small businesses and expect even higher disbursement in the coming months.
However, during our interaction with these companies, it became very clear that while raising capital is difficult and remains the biggest obstacle to growth, the current inefficient system of cash flow management is a major contributing factor. why businesses are facing a cash shortage in the first place. .
The fintech industry has seen rapid advancement in recent years, with cutting-edge technologies available that can dramatically increase the efficiency of financial operations and fuel growth. However, most of these technologies are not focused on the SME ecosystem or are sold individually in silos, making it difficult for SMEs to create a suitable solution.
It has become very clear to us that small and medium-sized businesses need an efficient and intuitive credit and cash management system. This is exactly why we built UpScale, our latest offering from the CredAble family.
By combining banking and payments, accounting and reporting, access to instant and unsecured working capital and growth tools, UpScale helps MSME business owners grow their businesses.
SMBS: CredAble offers an AI-powered tool through UpScale. Tell us about the response you get from traditional businesses located in Tier II and III cities.
Nitin Sharma [NS]: When we surveyed MSMEs to understand their issues, we found that many SMEs struggle to access real-time data of their financial health for many reasons such as late payments, late payments, etc. This prevents them from accessing the capital of the lenders. We thought that if a solution could help them integrate their accounting data from start to finish, it would help streamline their business process and access credit faster.
UpScale has the ability to serve all kinds of businesses, even those that are traditionally offline. Since it can synchronize accounting and transaction details through accounting software to produce analytical business reports, it also allows the user to access their accounting data in real time, both online and offline. line.
The bottom line is that while UpScale has an AI-powered technology infrastructure, it works with existing accounting software available from SMBs and builds information with AI on top of that. In other words, an SME can leverage the benefits of modern technologies such as AI-driven information without any additional learning curve, as it can be operated in a simple and intuitive way through the UpScale dashboard.
For example, the platform uses platform analysis of massive time series data that results in automatic cash flow projections, allowing the business to assess its current situation and preventative actions that need to be taken.
Likewise, through AI-based credit score monitoring and banking transaction analysis, a user can know exactly what to work on if they want to improve their chances of getting a loan.
Considering that UpScale is an online application accessible to anyone with a smartphone or desktop computer with an internet connection, it offers a fully digital business loan application process.
For a business, traditional or not, what matters most is the way the data is presented to it. It should be correct but also presented in a way that is easy to understand and allows for faster decision making. With UpScale, businesses have access to the required information that helps the user make informed financial decisions for growth, and our users so far have really enjoyed it.
So far we have seen a very positive response from our users spread across India. After our beta launch in October and our official launch in November, we received 20,000 registrations from MSME, with an average of 5,000 registrations per week.
SMBS: How does CredAble make a difference for the small business and MSME sector?
NOT. : With offerings such as just-in-time financing, receivables financing, purchase order financing, prepayment programs, and more, CredAble has always been at the forefront of enabling liquidity in the business. of the supply chain in all sectors. With the arrival of UpScale, we are leveling the playing field for the growth of small and medium-sized businesses.
UpScale gives a business a 360-degree view of its financial health and operations, which it previously lacked. Businesses today operate in a very fragmented fashion, where their banking, payment, accounting and reporting systems do not communicate with each other. By bringing all of these features and more into one platform, UpScale helps manage a company’s financial operations.
Features like sending payment due reminders with a payment link and smart reconciliation allow a business to collect payments faster and reduce the headache of manual reconciliation for the accounting team.
Basically, UpScale complements CredAble’s full product line and the entire supply chain finance ecosystem.
Using cutting-edge technology platforms, digital KYC and integration, deep ERP and banking integrations, as well as digital documentation and transaction management, we have been able to deliver liquidity programs for them. business ecosystems and help SME suppliers and distributors finance.
Penetrating deeper into local markets is on our roadmap to ensure that small businesses can benefit from the platform’s functionality on a larger scale, creating an impact on the overall growth of the country’s SME sector.
SMEs: What other solutions does CredAble envisage for SMEs in the future?
NC: We have a three-way approach to reaching our target customers: through digital marketing, a personal approach, and the ecosystem connected through our salespeople. We want UpScale to be the only application a small business will need for their business.
Currently, an UpScale user can easily access their sales, inventory, reports, reconciliations, compliances, payments, and even cash positions.
In addition to bank payments, accounting reports, and automating business operations with growth tools, the user can instantly secure unsecured working capital and manage business cash flow as well as cash flow. ‘other financial transactions.
We are also working to make UpScale a great app for SMEs in India where a business can get fast and accurate analysis of their financial operations, make informed decisions and access working capital credit in various forms. We already provide working capital in the form of term loans, buy it now, down payment, and sales invoice discount.
In short, UpScale works like a fully sufficient GIS and gives the user, i.e. the business owner, the ease to make informed business decisions, focusing on growth.