OkCredit is a digital book-keeping solution for small business owners and their customers to enable recording of credit/ payment transactions
Harsh Pokharna, co-founder & CEO, OkCredit
The “bahi-khata” or ledger book has been an intrinsic part of businesses in India since times immemorial. While large businesses deploy expensive software to manage their accounts, small shop owners did not have such tools available, making them resort to registers. The manual process of record keeping not just requires effort, but also has a high margin of error.
Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kunwar and Aditya Prasad, the three co-founders at OkCredit, understood this through their own experience with a neighbourhood grocery store. Settling the credit every month with the storeowner was a painful exercise, as he would go through scraps of paper and registers to sum up the outstanding. Often there was a mismatch, leading to a spoilt customer experience. That’s when OkCredit was born, the idea being to help small store owners manage their bookkeeping function through technology and thus improve customer experience.
“The app helps small businesses keep track of credit transactions – both payments and receivables,” says Pokharna, co-founder & CEO, OkCredit. “It enables merchants to record transactions digitally and send timely reminders to their frequent customers every time a credit purchase happens, thereby solving problems of mismatch between customer’s and shopkeeper’s accounts.”
The app also allows the end-customer to view his/ her outstanding balance with a particular merchant via a web page link which provides a monthly breakdown of credit purchases, says Pokharna. “This improves transparency in business transactions and facilitates a higher degree of trust among the participating individuals, making it easier for merchants to collect and settle balance amounts quickly.”
In 2020, OkCredit captured 0.5% of India’s $2.6 trillion GDP in terms of the total value of the transaction, says Pokharana. This has been achieved through 800 million transactions on the OkCredit platform and amounted to $40 billion worth of transactions. “With a reach across 95% pincodes in India, we are helping small shop owners expand their business by assisting them to keep a track of their borrowers and get their credit back on time, without having to leave the shop. This has played a huge role in bringing the small and medium business (SMB) community back on their feet during the Covid times by helping them get back their outstanding business,” he says.
OkCredit currently has over 2.4 crore registered users, of which 5.5 million customers are recording transactions on the platform daily. These customers include over 100 types of businesses such as kirana store owners, mobile recharge shops, medical stores, apparel amongst others.
OkCredit has raised $83 million from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tiger Global, and Y Combinator. According to Pokharna, SMBs are increasingly exploring digital solutions to meet their business objectives. “Towards this, we aim to become a 360-degree business solution for SMBs by empowering them with tools in the form of OK apps. We have scaled up from a single product company to a multi-product company solving problems for different segments of the diverse SMB base. In 2020, we bolstered our solutions for SMBs by launching two more products—OkStaff and OkShop. OkShop helps a merchant to create his own digital shop while OKStaff acts as a means to manage its employees,” he adds.
The fact that SMBs are looking for digital solutions that make key business tasks simpler, digitised, and secure will form the crux of increased demand for OkCredit’s solutions going forward.