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How this neobank startup helping SMBs find new paths to growth

Today, small businesses are facing huge credit gap. FloBiz with its machine learning algorithms is trying to the fix this gap

Aditya Naik, Rahul Raj & Rakesh Yadav, co-founders of FioBiz
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Aditya Naik, Rahul Raj & Rakesh Yadav, co-founders of FioBiz

How are neobanks placed in the large financial landscape of India?

Neobanking is transforming banking in India. It aims to provide convenient and hassle-free financial services to digital native customers. Today neo-bank is disrupting the banking system by leveraging technology and artificial intelligence unlike traditional banks which follow an omni-channel approach. It is five years since the term neobank gained prominence globally as it started emerging as a challenge to the traditional banking system. The rising internet and smartphone penetration globally has further fuelled the growth for the concept. By 2026 the global neo-banking market is expected to become $333.4 billion, rising at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.1 per cent.

Neobanks have become important for small businesses, and the disruption is evident with their customer centric digital offering that these neobanks are providing. Small businesses face a huge credit gap as the traditional lenders are not able to underwrite the credit risk due to varied cash inflow-outflow cycles and almost no visibility on financial data. Neobanks like FloBiz will help alleviate this to a large extent with their machine learning algorithms and also by extending a seamless interface when it comes to personal finance, utility payments, money transfers, remittances etc.

How did the pandemic boost the need for the country to go digital?

During the pandemic all of us identified that the small businesses around us were the actual enterprises that came to our rescue. Whether it was for grocery delivery or for getting medicines delivered at home, the local businesses were actually the ones who saved the day when many big enterprises failed to deliver. There are many powerful tales of small and medium business owners who went digital in terms of their product offerings and for conducting their operations during the pandemic. Manual activities like creating a paper-based invoice and delivering it to the customer, collecting payments in cash or through cheque were hindered during the lockdown days. And this is when myBillBook's capability to create digital vouchers, automate payment reminders, create payment links and QR codes which can be sent over WhatsApp and also to collect payments digitally without the hassle of reconciliation came to the rescue of SMBs.

myBillBook during this time, saw an exponential growth in terms of adoption as well as usage which still continues as more and more customers are finding value in our product. The product adoption has multiplied due to a very strong and positive word of mouth generating trust within the community. There is a growing trend of adopting digital ways of doing business in order to sustain, scale up and streamline business operations. Going digital has also helped businesses grow by improving performance and reducing costs, thus positively impacting the profit and loss.

What is FloBiz's flagship product- myBillBook? And how will it help with banking services for SMBs

myBillBook is a complete GST billing and accounting solution designed exclusively for aspirational small-medium business owners. It is available on both mobile & desktop and offers capabilities to digitize various business operations like creating professional invoices, managing inventory, collecting payments, keeping a track of payables and receivables, sending invoices and payment reminders via WhatsApp, generating 25 business reports and a lot more. myBillBook also offers a very easy-to-use POS billing solution for franchises & organised retail along with features like printer support, barcode scanning & generation and sending customised bulk SMS. The product also supports offline billing and works beautifully without any latency even without internet. A very interesting and unique feature on myBillBook allows business owners to create customised greetings & business cards to establish their professional identity.

SMB Neobank FloBiz has branched out into banking services with the launch of Smart Collect - part of the Smart Banking module on myBillBook. Smart Collect supports UPI and bank transfer transactions to collect payments from customers and automatically reconciles the payments against the pending invoices. The broader Smart Banking module will allow SMBs to collect payments from customers and make outward transactions towards suppliers, vendors and day-to-day business expenses. It will also bring current account management capabilities directly on myBillBook, making it a one-stop solution for all invoicing, accounting, inventory management, business reporting and banking needs for businesses.

The growth that the brand witnessed in the last 4 years along with their funding and roadmap in the next 3 years

myBillBook was launched in January 2020 and in the last 2 years we have earned the trust of more than 65 lakh business owners across the length and breadth of the country. The platform records trade upwards of $1.5 billion every month with more than a million active users actively transacting and creating multiple invoices and digital vouchers. The product is consistently highest rated on Google Play Store and has close to 1 lakh product reviews. Being a product operating at this scale and still being loved by customers is a testament to the fact that myBillBook has been successfully able to add value and ease away the business pain points by digitizing the day-to-day operations and helping SMBs grow their enterprises by taking their first steps to digitisation. FloBiz last year raised $31 million in Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India, Think Investments and its existing investors Elevation Capital & Beenext. Earlier FloBiz had raised $10 million in Series A round in November 2020.

What's FloBiz recent innovation in contributing towards ease of doing business through quick billing and payment systems

In line with our product roadmap to become a one-stop solution for all business accounting, invoicing and banking needs, we have recently added Smart Collect to the smart banking module on myBillBook. Smart Collect is a first-of-its-kind payments solution for SMBs and offers vastly superior collections capabilities compared to the alternatives in the market today:

• Supports several payment modes like UPI, NEFT, IMPS and RTGS

• Instantaneous settlements into destination accounts for improved cash flow

• Automated reconciliations of transactions against customer-wise invoices

• Free to use with no additional charges on collection transactions

• Payment links & QR codes can be shared with customers directly on WhatsApp

• Lucrative cashbacks and rewards for myBillBook users and their customers

Smart Collect has an intuitive design, which is easy to enable and begin using. In addition to existing capabilities, myBillBook also launched its Point-of-Sale (POS) invoicing interface in December last year for organized retail and franchise businesses, thereby making Smart Collect a powerful payments solution for both non-retail and retail SMBs on myBillBook.

What is FloBiz's evolving business strategies and expansion plans?

As a business we always believed in creating value for our customers through technology coming at an affordable price point. Our business model allows users to experience myBillBook for 14 days free of cost and then buy a plan suitable for their requirements if they want to continue to avail certain features. We will continue focussing on generating revenue through our paid subscriptions through online, offline and channel sales. Coming up with a POS billing solution opens up the doors to the huge franchise and organised retail sector. We are also focussing on strategic relationships with medium to large scale enterprises where we will offer them a customised solution as per their brand requirements.

Kumud Das
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