WeRize: Lend Small Town Financial Inclusion
During his tenure as Commercial Director of Lendingkart, Vishal Chopra witnessed how underserved people in small Indian towns are in terms of credit facilities and SME loans. “I realized that private sector banks and insurance and investment companies are not designing products for this segment, which includes over 100 million families and 300 million customers in 4,000 small towns in India. . This is what made me found WeRize with Himanshu Gupta”, explains Chopra, its CEO.
WeRize is building what it claims to be India’s largest comprehensive financial services brand for the segment. “At WeRize, we manufacture credit, savings and group insurance products tailored to this segment. To acquire customers at an extremely low cost, we have built a social distribution technology platform where thousands of financially literate freelancers sell our bespoke products. Significantly, we don’t have local teams/branches to manage freelancers in over 1,000 cities, the same being done through technology. This makes it a very profitable business model.
WeRize is already operationally profitable and had an annualized gross revenue rate of $10 million in May 2022. “We are on track to achieve Ebitda profitability over the next few months. We are doubling our revenue every six months and will hit a $100 million run rate over the next two years,” he said. The company currently has 500,000 customers on the platform in over 1,000 cities. “We aim to onboard 5 million customers over the next three years and expand our presence in over 4,000 cities.”
WeRize has raised $10.25m so far, including the latest Series A funding round of $8m, which was led by 3one4 Capital, Kalaari Capital, Picus Capital and Orios Venture Partners.
For risk management, WeRize’s machine learning engine uses insights from over a billion data points collected from over 500,000 customers on its platform. Significantly, the company’s default rates are below 1%, which is rare in the industry today.
“WeRize’s proprietary technology platform enables freelancers to find business through online and offline channels. These social partners earn up to Rs 30,000 per month in commissions, qualitatively improving their standard of living,” adds Chopra.