This Fintech startup is nurturing very audacious goal of financial inclusion

By: | Published: March 11, 2019 1:27 AM

The startup offers short-term personal loans and loan against gold to individuals.

Senthil Natarajan, co-founder & CEO, OpenTap

Chennai-headquartered fintech startup OpenTap is nurturing a very audacious goal of financial inclusion of the over 70 million underserved population of the country. And to realise this ambitious aim, it is embarking on a two-fold expansion plan. One is to spread geographically so it reaches out to a wider base. Western Maharashtra and Gujarat are on the cards which will be done over the next few months. Two, to introduce new products in line with requirements of the consumers, in order to become a one-stop-shop for all their financial needs.

Senthil Natarajan, co-founder and CEO of OpenTap, said that in this way, the firm not only addresses new consumers and new markets, but also opens up new avenues to work closer with existing consumers. “Our partnerships are driven by our customers’ requirements. OpenTap is working towards becoming a one-stop-shop for our customers. Basis that need, new partnerships and new products will be introduced. Our current product line includes short-term personal loans and loan against gold,” he said.

It has tied up with three financial organisations—a large financial conglomerate, a small finance bank and a mid-sized NBFC. Two more partnerships are in the pipeline. The startup will also be getting into affordable housing and two-wheeler loans soon.

OpenTap offers alternate financial services by way of short-term credit to salaried under-banked people. It was founded in 2015 by a trio of former investment bankers—Senthil Natarajan, Suresh Venkataramani and Harish Devarajan—who spent most of their service years in Wall Street, before venturing into the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship.

In the beta phase from August 2015 to December 2016, OpenTap worked with 40 organisations across Chennai, Bengaluru and Nashik. The startup helped 120 individuals from a registered population of over 8,000. Its total loan book size was at Rs 30 lakh till December 2016.

Today, OpenTap has an active borrower base of over 1200 individuals, a loan book size of over Rs 3.5 crore and a presence across 18 different regions—with headquarters in Chennai and regional offices in Chennai, Greater Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune.

It raised Rs 3 crore from high networth individuals in May 2018. “As a growth-stage startup, we are constantly looking to increase the loan book and expand operations so we can touch more lives. For this, we are certainly in the market for raising additional funds,” he said.

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