L to R: Numberz Co-Founders – Aditya Tulsian, Rajeev Chari & Baskar Ganapathy
Aditya Tulsian and Baskar Ganapathy were colleagues at global tech giant Intuit (that was ranked number 1 by Great Place to Work in India for 2017). Both were crucial to the launch of Intuit’s flagship accounting, taxation and payroll product for small businesses in India – Quickbooks. As colleagues, enjoying their successful corporate careers and achieving milestones for their employer, they spent considerable time understanding the challenges that Indian small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) face in managing day to day finances.
Witnessing SMB pain points on the demand as well as supply sides, the two had an urge to innovate on their own and began building Numberz – a unique financial product that integrates day to day banking within core business workflows which established large banks often fail to offer to SMBs. Along the way, they found their third co-founder Rajeev Chari who instead of being just a good friend and a guinea pig consumer (for he ran an advertising agency at that time) went on to join the team as he saw tremendous value in the offering!
In February 2016, Numberz launched its version 1.0 and since then, already has over 14,000 small businesses as customers.
“We are solving 3 critical financial workflows for any business:
Get Paid faster: Invoicing and Collection tools to help an SMB’s customers pay anytime, anywhere
Seamless Business Payments: Track, make and reconcile business payments, all in a few clicks
Working Capital: Collateral-free credit line so that SMBs never run out of cash” says Aditya.
Helping SMBs with managing the cash flow
Lack of efficient financial management is one of the critical factors leading to the failure of a small business.
Baskar says, “An SMB’s real problem is cashflow i.e. “getting paid” & “making payments” and banking is a key part of their day-to-day cashflow process. However, currently it’s a disintegrated and standalone activity. Thus, the process becomes highly manual and inefficient, resulting in financial mismanagement.”
This mismanagement of finances in turn leads to a need for external credit and at the same time, a lack of proper financial data and books lead banks to mistrust SMBs and avoid lending to them.
Numberz offers a unique value proposition by integrating various financial tools with SMB workflows hence enhancing their cash flow management, improving their credit ratings in the process and solving financial management for an SMB’s multiple stakeholders – the promoter, the book keeper and the chartered accountant!
Getting SMBs to be GST compliant
As the biggest financial reform in our nation since independence unfolds, small businesses have been hit the hardest.
According to Rajeev, “The Goods & Services Tax is not just about filing, but it’s a significant change in the day-2-day business operations. It changes the way businesses manage their invoicing process, the way they coordinate & make/receive payments across their ecosystem and the way they manage their working capital. At Numberz we are trying to help them across all three challenges on the same platform.”
Making hay while the sun shines
As demonetization and GST implementation force businesses of all shapes and sizes to join the digital bandwagon, the opportunity is ripe for companies like Numberz to gain traction. Partnering with banks and other financial institutions and aiming to serve over 1 lakh small businesses over the next 3 years, the 40 member team at Numberz follows two core product philosophies – “Less is More” and “Great first use is the best retention strategy!”
Footnote: Numberz is funded by Kae Capital and Khosla Ventures and is fast moving towards profitability.