Techfin firm Crediwatch raises ₹23-crore Series A funding

Thomas Abraham Bengaluru | Updated on October 22, 2019

Meghna Suryakumar, founder and CEO, Crediwatch

Bengaluru-based Crediwatch, a techfin company that builds artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools to help the financial services industry reduce credit risk, has raised $3.2 million (about ₹23 crore) in Series A funding.

This is the fourth round of funding for the company, said Meghna Suryakumar, founder and CEO.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Suryakumar said the funds raised will be used to accelerate research and development (R&D) and commercialisation of AI platform and to get more clients.

The current round of funding is led by Artis Labs. Other new investors in the round include Abstract Ventures. Earlier, Crediwatch had raised $1.6 million (about ₹10 crore) funding from Modern India Limited, family offices of VK Jatia, Contrarian Vriddhi Fund, Vaibhav Domkundwar of Better Capital, Mekin Maheshwari (Flipkart), and Pithambar Gona (former MD of Blackstone Private Equity Asia). Crediwatch has developed an early warning system (EWS) for banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) that can help monitor their loan portfolios in near real-time by using both public and private data.

The company’s offering assumes importance in the background of the huge pile of bad loans at most of India’s banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

State Bank of India, Karur Vysya Bank, Aditya Birla Finance, and RBL use the system for credit appraisal.

According to Crediwatch, less than 15 per cent of the over five crore small businesses in India have access to formal credit. Crediwatch says it offers a dynamic ‘Trust Score’, which is derived from millions of data points that are extracted and analysed from across thousands of formal and alternative sources to help lenders assess borrowers and monitor them at near real-time.

Such an environment requires a dynamic business information exchange that can create transparency and continuous monitoring of borrowers with a veiw to weed out bad cases early on. “Our work helps measure trust through verifiable data, insights and good behaviour,” said Suryakumar.

Crediwatch began working with SBI in the October to December quarter of 2018 for testing of the new system – credit review process.

The company was onboarded with SBI starting January 2019. Beginning the current financial year, Crediwatch has a full-fledged relationship with SBI. The team based in Mumbai will review every proposal that every branch gives out for a certain value.

“SBI is leading the way for others; they are ensuring that issues (of bad debt) don’t arise or repeat,” said Suryakumar.

Published on October 22, 2019

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