Peer-to-peer lender Faircent is looking to on-board institutions on its platform and has already started with a few small non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), founder and chief executive officer Rajat Gandhi tells Shritama Bose. The company expects to break even in the next three-four years, he added. Edited excerpts:
How has growth been for you since the beginning of FY18?
We are a small company, so growth comes quite naturally. We are growing at a steady pace — nearly 10-15% month-on-month.
How much would you have disbursed in FY18 so far?
We are doing approximately an average of Rs 3 crore a month now. It has been four-five months, so that’s about Rs 10-12 crore.
Roughly how many applications a day are you getting now?
We are getting about 1,000 loan applications.
Do you continue to host only individual lenders?
Individuals, yes, and some 15-20 very small institutions, not large banks. These are small NBFCs who function in a localised fashion. They are finding value on our platform. They understand lending and the platform gives them a national footprint. We charge a little more from them than from individual lenders. It would be around 2%.
Do you plan to dive deeper into that model and have more institutions lending on your platform?
Yeah, we are open to that. We are agnostic to that. It’s just that they have to come and lend and participate in the fractionalised loans (a single lender can account for only 20% of a loan on Faircent). They compete with the individual lenders to lend money. It’s just that they are able to grow much faster. We are also talking to larger institutions, but there’s nothing has got closed so far. Let’s see.
What is the rate of retention of lenders?
On a quarterly cycle, nearly 65-66% remain on the platform. They may not
come every month. They may turn up every second or third month. We charge them on a quarterly basis. So the repeat rate is
How many lenders do you currently have on board?
Right now, we have about 3,000 active lenders.
Apart from algorithms, what are the other methods of risk assessment do you use?
We also look at social data, we look at psychometric data, we look at Android data and surfing data. Of course, financial data is the main bit here. The data sources would be Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. We use these to verify data such as whether he works for a certain company or not or whether he is likely to switch jobs.
You have earlier expressed intention to increase your presence in secured loans. Any update on that?
We have been working on that in products like LAP (loan against property). But, that product is just being rolled out. So we haven’t disbursed anything. Bike loans that we were doing are still there.