How Bengaluru-based KreditBee is leveraging AI and ML to democratize credit



Founded in 2018, Bengaluru-based fintech startup KreditBee is registered as Finnovation Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd. Founders Madhusudan Ekambaram, Karthikeyan Krishnaswamy and Vivek Veda started the company with the mission of democratizing credit. However, its broader goal is the financial inclusion of the underserved population, including self-employed and salaried professionals.

KreditBee offers loans of different sizes and repayment terms. The startup’s digital platforms allow clients to benefit from loans directly from their smartphones without any paperwork or branch visits. The entire procedure, from checking eligibility to disbursement and reimbursement of the request, is digitized and put online. In addition, KreditBee takes note of alternative loan data points in addition to salary and office scores for granting loans to people new to credit who are not employed (self-employed, part-time and self-employed).

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Recently, Analytics India Magazine was in conversation with the co-founder and the CTO Karthikeyan Krishnaswamy to understand the technology behind KreditBee. Karthikeyan holds a master’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore. He started his career as a technical manager for Innova Systems, then as a system architect for Huawei Technologies. He is three times an entrepreneur and before KreditBee, Karthikeyan had co-founded NTT Solutions and KrazyBee. Unofficially, Karthikeyan started working on KreditBee, with his co-founders, in March 2016.

Edited excerpts from the conversation:

OBJECTIVE: What are your main roles and responsibilities as CTO of KreditBee?

Karthikeyan K: Roles and responsibilities as CTO at KreditBee were constantly evolving as the product went through the different stages of its life cycle. Initially, this was to ensure that the version of the minimum viable product (MVP) was released. Currently we have a much larger team comprising almost 20 sub-teams. Therefore, the responsibilities have also changed. Right now it’s more about making sure the team has the right contours, balances design / technology and deadlines to deliver business value faster, launches new products, and integrations, neglects overall governance and strategy, and improves performance.

OBJECTIVE: Who is your target audience?

Karthikeyan K: KreditBee is a personal loan platform for young professionals. As an internet platform, we host several NBFCs which are licensed from the RBI.

We aspire to help the newly credited population by becoming a one-stop solution for digital lending in the Indian ecosystem. These clients include underserved young professionals and the self-employed, including part-time workers, the self-employed and the self-employed. We’re also reaching out to near-privileged and privileged clients with complete digital lending solutions, which they don’t get from traditional banks and NBFCs.

With our meticulously designed offerings, we aim to become the # 1 choice for fast and convenient personal loans. In addition to the opportunity to apply for a loan, we ensure that our clients build a strong credit history during this time and become eligible for larger loans from banks.

OBJECTIVE: What are your products and services?

Karthikeyan K: We offer different categories of credit products, each aimed at a different target segment, as follows:

  • Personal Flexi Loans – Small loans ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 with short repayment terms (62 days to six months). You need a PAN card and proof of address to benefit from a flexible loan option.
  • Personal Loans for Employees – Salary loan options from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh with a term ranging from three to 15 months. Requirements include PAN card, proof of address and proof of salary.
  • Online Shopping Loans – An EMI Buy It Now and Pay Later Option. In such loans, electronic vouchers from KreditBee are used, which can be used to purchase on partner platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa and MakeMyTrip.
  • The PPLSE (Premium Personal Loan for Independents) aims to help the self-employed to meet all their professional expenses. They can benefit from a loan between Rs 4,000 and Rs 2 lakh at one time and repay it on flexible loan terms.

One of our recent launches is the KreditBee Card, a virtual credit card that allows users to withdraw money from their bank account or buy anything online like a regular credit card. We also offer various value-added services:

  • Loan-linked insurance: An insurance product linked to short-term loans offered on the KreditBee platform, with coverage beyond repayment of the loan.
  • Credit Score Report – A free Experian report for all KreditBee credit users.

OBJECTIVE: Explain the technology stack.

Karthikeyan K: We have several tech stacks running in KreditBee. The client-facing stack is visible from the outside, where we use a jam stack with a touch of serverless microservices.

We use React for the frontend and Go for a backend which is deployed on AWS Lambda. Additionally, there are layers within the stack for security, authentication, and authorization. We have several other stacks that are used internally by data science, data engineering, and business intelligence teams. We mainly try to use serverless or other managed services so that the core team can focus on creating continuous business value.

Karthikeyan K: There is a fairly diverse set of internal open source, enterprise, and proprietary tools used by different teams.

We have proprietary tools to run the entire customer-centric stack for each developer in our development, stage, UAT, multi-lambda deployment, message queue creation and environment environments. subscription. Open source tools / specifications like OpenAPI are used for API management, MySQL and Percona tools for databases and Redash for business intelligence. Enterprise tools such as CloudWatch events for monitoring, Cloudflare for CDN, DNS security, and Firebase for authentication and analysis.

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AIM: How do you leverage AI and ML technologies in the underwriting process?

Karthikeyan K: At KreditBee we have an important section called Price Discovery where customers have various options to provide more details about themselves. There is an element of gamification in the form of rewards such as reduced fees, among other things, for information provided by the customer.

Once the customer begins to interact, AI / ML technologies begin to update to update the customer’s intent score. Then other scores are updated based on the actual information provided by the customer. In total, all of the AI ​​technologies / ML models are used to update approximately 15,000 variables and more for each customer.

OBJECTIVE: How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Karthikeyan K: KreditBee’s business model, built on its strong technology stack, is its main differentiator. At KreditBee, we use a combination of technological expertise, a powerful underwriting model and the digitalized global lending process across a range of specialty products. This allows us to effectively meet the varied financing needs of our clients, which also include new borrowers on credit.

We are constantly improving the usefulness of AI, ML, and analytics, in order to improve its efficiency. Additionally, collection practices at KreditBee utilize an efficient integration of robotics, automation and other facets of technology, moving away from traditional agent calls, which greatly increase customer reach and offer various metrics of collection. This leads to building a fully digital loan lifecycle – with origination, application, disbursement and repayment being fully online, which is our value proposition.

OBJECTIVE: What does the road ahead for KreditBee look like?

Karthikeyan K: At present, KreditBee has over 30 million users with over five million credit customers. We will focus on diversification and variety over the next few years – a holistic set of lending-oriented financial services.

We have recently added KreditBee Card, KreditBee Pay (BNPL), Loan-Linked Micro-Insurance and Credit Score report ideas to our portfolio. The idea is to consolidate and saturate the market with the existing loan portfolio with the idea of ​​full digital loans and to look at secured loan options like two wheel loans.

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