Loan frame is India’s leading fintech marketplace for SME lending which makes obtaining credit for an SME a lot easier and efficient. The team has merged world class technology, processes of global financial institutions with deep Indian SME lending experience.
Led by Shailesh Jacob, who has previously helped Copal Amba transform itself from a start-up to the #1 firm globally in the outsourced research & analytics industry with over 2900 professionals and 200 institutional clients, Loan Frame has even before commencing full scale operations acquired funding of US$ 2.25 million in its seed round.
An angel investor himself, Shailesh is not new to entrepreneurship with investment in over 20 start-ups. His leadership and the business model of Loan Frame has already won many admirers in the financial services community with people like Toos Daruvala, Co-Chief Executive Officer of MIO partners Inc, former Senior Partner and Board Member of McKinsey & Co; Parag Saxena, Co-founder Vedanta Capital and CEO and Founding General Partner of New Silk Route along with William (Bill) Campbell former chairman of Visa International and CEO of Citibank Global, having agreed to come on board as investors and board members.
In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal, Shailesh Jacob, Founder and CEO, Loan Frame shares more insights about his venture and future goals.
ST: What was your inspiration behind starting up a new venture?
Shailesh Jacob: With more than 36 million MSMEs, small business lending in India is one of the single largest untapped lending opportunities in the world. Financing for SMEs, one of the biggest drivers of India’s growth story even after 70 years of independence still remains a huge challenge.
We wanted to create a differentiated funding platform that offers customized financing solutions for SMEs that provides speed, transparency and wider choice. Loan Frame provides a hassle-free financing experience with the entire process taking only a few days versus traditional financing solutions that takes months.
ST: Please tell us more about your organization.
Shailesh Jacob: Loan Frame is a fintech company. We focus on lending to small and medium enterprises (SME) and aspire to be the country’s largest technology enabled SME lending marketplace. We believe that through technology we can solve one of India’s biggest economic problems.
We provide a platform where the lenders and borrowers can connect and the best possible loan products can be offered to the borrower at most competitive interest rate in a highly efficient manner.
ST: What business opportunities do you see particularly in your sector-SME Lending?
Shailesh Jacob: Indian economic progress can be accelerated by developing SMEs. Today, they employ over 80 million and contribute as much as 9% to the Indian GDP. Now, consider these statistics, as many as 90% of these institutions don’t get access to institutional credit. It is not always because there is a dearth of credit options but because there exists institutional apathy and distribution challenges when it comes to lending to an SME.
Even when the credit is made available it is usually against security. We believe that every enterprise has diverse needs and the products should suit the business rather than the opposite. This is a INR 32.5 trillion opportunity that can be a catalyst for India’s economic progress. We believe that there is fortune at the bottom of this pyramid that’s waiting to be tapped.
ST: How has been your entrepreneurship journey so far?
Shailesh Jacob: Loan Frame has grown rapidly since 2016. A year seems to have gone by quickly and we have already received loan requests summing up to thousands of crores. In a very short span of time, we have been able to win the trust and confidence of borrowers and lenders from across the country; who realize the value addition offered by our technology, credit assessment and lender match algorithms. We are introducing some very exciting small business loan products next quarter that will allow many of our customers to get quick funding.
ST: As an entrepreneur, what challenges do you face in your day to day professional life, if any?
Shailesh Jacob: You are always faced with limited resources whether it is time, money, people or other resources. We are creating a new industry and it takes time to educate and convince various stakeholders on our value proposition to each of them.
ST: How big is your team? Are you planning to hire more?
Shailesh Jacob: Currently we are team of around 30 members. We are immediately looking for high potential talent across sales, technology, credit and other functions.
ST: What are your future plans?
Shailesh Jacob: We are aiming to build the largest SME lending marketplace in the country. We want to be the preferred choice for SMEs seeking financing. We want to give SME loan borrowers the much-needed transparency in their borrowing choice, and make obtaining business finance a more pleasant experience. We aspire to reach hundreds of thousands of business and for this, we are expanding our Corporate Partner Program, wherein corporates partner with us to meet the financing needs of their vendors, dealers, distributors, merchants and other ecosystem participants.
Loan Frame also has a Business Partner Program, wherein we partner with CAs, Company Secretaries, Wealth Managers, and small financial advisory firms to help them meet their clients’ borrowing requirements.
The article was authored by STBureau for Startup Terminal on March 28, 2017