CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Ankur Bhageria, Founder & CEO, CashFlo
- Elaborate on CashFlo’s business – journey till now, milestones achieved, key offerings, targets, etc.
Launched in 2018, CashFlo is on a mission to catalyse India’s GDP growth by fundamentally transforming how businesses pay and get paid. On ground this manifests in the form of supply chain financing, payments and collection automation.
Journey and offerings: We started with ‘Dynamic discounting’ and ‘Vendor financing’ as the first suite of products. This enables us to reach scale and provide immediate credit relief to MSMEs across the country. We have scaled this over the past 4 years and now have over 50 corporates and more than 2 lakh suppliers in our network, with industry specific customisations. Going deeper into the supply chain, we realised that the payments and collections processes are fundamentally broken – hence the foray into B2B payments automation suite of products, which help the finance functions to be 100% compliant with government norms, make complex payment processes simpler and improve efficiency.
- Emphasize on the significance of dynamic discounting
Invoice discounting is not a new concept. Buyers typically have been offering invoice discounting at a fixed rate to their top vendors for the past 10-15 years. Buyers use either their own treasury or bank lines. Dynamic vendor discounting is an innovative concept, as it provides for capital against invoices to all vendors (including long tail) – when they need it, at the rate they want, and for the amount they need at that given point in time. It empowers the vendors to use this liquidity option as and when needed – effectively acting like an unsecured overdraft line, removing friction in interacting with the buyer organization. Buyers on the other hand, can leverage dynamic vendor financing to a) earn arbitrage on their own treasury or bank working capital lines and hence have better EBITDA margins b) Extend credit to their vendors to ensure liquidity in the supply chain c) Get extended credit periods from their vendors to improve their own working capital position
Hence, dynamic vendor financing creates a win-win scenario for both buyers and suppliers.
- How payments automation is critical for established and growing businesses
Payment automation is critical for established businesses. It helps in being compliant with government norms and regulations, simplifies the complex processes with minimal manual intervention and improves vendor experience of doing business with an organization. If we consider growing and scaling businesses, payment automation is not just hygiene but is critical. It enables better working capital management and to optimize days payables outstanding (DPO) thereby fueling growth. It also ensure better liquidity of working capital in the supply chain – ensuring the suppliers are growing with the growth of the brand.
- How is CashFlo’s superior technology enhancing vendor financing
Technology is at the core of transforming the traditional invoice discounting to dynamic vendor financing – which covers the entire supply chain and gives flexibility to every vendor to get access to this proposition as and when needed. Our platform is built on proprietary technology that uses public data, consent-based data, and network behavior data on platform, user patterns and the dynamic demand-supply of funds in a supply chain. This is used to determine the optimal rate of financing for each supplier. This pricing engine is the core which enables us to create a win-win situation for each buyer and seller and mobilize funds within the supply chain. We have built a modular and secure infrastructure with distinct product features and workflows that our customers can use based on their context – whether its receivables acceleration, payment via credit, automation SaaS etc. The algorithm works on a real-time basis and helps the users in finance teams in simplifying the otherwise lengthy and cumbersome processes e.g., reconciliations, data entry, manual negotiations, etc.
- Elucidate on the regulatory landscape: Assistance till now and required support for corporate finance
Two key areas where support will be required from regulators:
- The KYC for MSMEs continues to be a fairly cumbersome process. If you see, the e-KYC process for end consumers is fully digitized which has improved the user experience multifolds. The support in allowing for digital KYC for MSMEs will help in transforming the experience in B2B space as well.
- The other area is the B2B payments ecosystem. Extending the remit of payment aggregators to handle payouts of companies to their vendors as well, in addition to collections will enable fintechs to truly transform the way businesses pay and get paid.