For over a decade, Sucharita Mukherjee and Puneet Gupta worked together at IFMR to make a tangible impact to the lives of millions of people, who have limited or no access to financial services. The same mission prompted the duo to start KaleidoFin in 2017.
KaleidoFin is essentially a fintech platform that cuts through the jargons, calculations and the pain involved in designing financial services. The start-up provides intuitive and tailored financial solutions after assessing the risk capacity of the household. These solutions are offered through its products — Ummeed, Lakshya and Udaan — each of which address different goals.
Ummeed has been designed with the objective of inculcating a habit of saving among the target audience. In this scheme, small amounts are invested as savings in high quality curated debt funds or recurring deposits as per the proprietary risk assessment of the underlying customer.
Lakshya has been designed as a plan for investment in debt funds, thereby restricting the risks. This solution is ideal for customers, who want to save for a minimum of two years. Through Lakshya, KaleidoFin provides a cushion during short volatility crisis, adds a goal protection insurance to safeguard against larger life shocks and provides a liquidity line for urgent needs. The customer may borrow up to 70% of the invested value in Lakshya.
Udaan is for customers who have a longer goal horizon and have the ability to take principal risk provided it offers them higher returns. It offers a loan against securities that allow customers to borrow against their own investments, should the need arise. “Our solution will combine a small amount of near-term liquid investment and an investment in balanced funds that gives the desired equity exposure which is continuously tracked by us,” Gupta explains.
To reach out to customers, KaleidoFin has partnered with entities such as Sewa Bank, Sonata, DSNL and Telekonnectors. It has also partnered with SenSei, a Bengaluru-based firm that helps KaleidoFin design technology that allows paperless transactions. A partnership with Digio has helped it provide its solutions electronically. The start-up has clocked revenue a of Rs.1 million for the year ended March 2018; which it earned from charging a small fee from its customers. It has also raised $2.8 million in a seed funding round led by Omidyar Network.
KaleidoFin has also partnered with ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, Bharti AXA life Insurance, Bharti AXA General Insurance and other AMCs such as UTI, SBI, Aditya Birla. “Each of these helps us design individual components of our solutions and has helped us reduce time to market. They have also brought in a high degree of professionalism and speed of execution,” says Mukherjee.
At present, KaleidoFin operates in Chennai, Bihar and Gujarat and has plans to expand to other states. Gupta states “We have however, chosen to start with customers engaged in the informal sector. This adds the pressure on us to work on a very slim margin but in the long run pushes us to create processes that can handle scale and work even when each transaction value is very small.” He further concludes how that in the long run, would make the budding enterprise "cost competitive" and relevant to everyone.