Business Today

Revfin Green Lending

The Delhi-based firm finances owners of e-rickshaws and electric two-wheelers, and will soon support cleantech product manufacturers
Aprajita Sharma Print Edition: August 25, 2019
Revfin Green Lending
RevFin founder Sameer Aggarwal Photograph by Shekhar Ghosh

The Founder

Sameer Aggarwal, an engineering graduate who did his MBA from IIT-Kharagpur. Before launching RevFin, Aggarwal worked for HSBC in London.

The Trigger

After coming back to India in 2017, he was shocked to find how Delhi was engulfed in toxic air and wanted to start a green business. A chance meeting with an e-rickshaw manufacturer also made him realise how credit crunch plagued people keen on owning and driving e-rickshaws for a living, and RevFin was born.

The Business

The start-up has developed a digital lending platform to fund e-rickshaw and electric two-wheeler owners, and loan disbursement is done through its NBFC arm, Aristo Securities, which RevFin acquired last year. The company has also tied up with nine EV manufacturers whose dealers (a total of 20) help it reach out to people. "Our consumers mostly hail from Tier-II and Tier-III cities," says Aggarwal.

In a bid to mitigate credit risks, RevFin has implemented a four-pronged method, including documentation, biometric verification, psychometric assessment and even physical verification. Anyone looking for a loan must download the company's app and upload his/her identity proof and other relevant documents. Next, the applicant should record a video that captures all biometric details. Finally, there is a two-stage psychometric test. Initially, the potential customer has to undergo an online Q&A session regarding loan and repayment history. In the second stage, simple questions are asked to assess overall personality, based on which loan approval and credit limit are determined. "With psychometrics, we try to understand their attitude towards life. We often ask how the person spends the weekend. If someone is mostly sleeping during the weekend (which shows lack of initiative), he is less likely to repay the loan than someone who cleans the house."

The Road Ahead

RevFin is looking at a loan book of Rs 3,000 crore in the next five years and wants to enter the solar panel space in 2019. But the current liquidity crisis has hurt the company's expansion plans. "We are ready for the next phase of growth, but funding is not coming through," rues Aggarwal. "Also, 15 per cent of our total collection comes in cash as many of our customers are not conversant with digital payments, and that poses operational issues."

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