Lending

Empowering Lending Institutions with Cloud-Based Solutions – Interview with Karza, YES FINTECH Accelerator Autumn Cohort Finalist

MEDICIResearch Analyst

The MEDICI Team had the pleasure of interviewing Omkar Shirhatti, CEO & one of the co-founders of Karza Technologies, along with Gaurav Samdaria and Alok Kumar. Karza Technologies is set out to create products that transform the way banking and financial institutions lend. Karza aims to empower lending institutions with integrated cloud-based solutions for informed and intelligent lending decisions. The company assists lending institutions in addressing critical issues of NPAs and loan frauds by unleashing the potential of Big Data.

Karza Technologies is one of the startups selected for the Autumn Cohort of YES FINTECH Accelerator (YFA). YES BANK, India’s fifth-largest private sector bank, has been a pioneer of several key technology innovations since its inception in 2004. Continuing to be at the forefront of technology innovation and endeavors, YES BANK, along with MEDICI (formerly Let’s Talk Payments – LTP) and PwC India, opened applications to select startups for the Autumn 2018 cohort of YES FINTECH Accelerator.

A total of seven startups have been selected for the Autumn Cohort 2018, gaining an opportunity to get access to funding of $1 million – all without any upfront equity commitment. YES FINTECH Accelerator gives startups an unencumbered opportunity to innovate with the bank and leverage access to VCs, technology, and 20+ global markets through its ecosystem partners.

MEDICI: Thank you for speaking to us. Can you please tell us what Karza Technologies is all about?

Omkar Shirhatti: Karza Technologies is a FinTech solutions provider to BFSIs. The company leverages 1,000+ publicly available databases to provide authentication, analytics, and recovery services to 50+ clients. Our solutions are built on big data systems and advanced machine learning algorithms that enable institutions to automate and retrieve stitched data through the most credible sources for internal consumption, risk mitigation, recoveries, and fraud detection.

MEDICI: Tell us about the use case(s) which you’re targeting at YES FINTECH Accelerator.

Omkar Shirhatti: We are one of the only companies that have been chosen for multiple use cases for the bank. We are currently looking at RCU/CPU automation, data retrieval through GST regarding purchase/sales for proprietorships/partnerships, and recoveries (asset tracing and skip tracing) using AI-enabled deep web searches.

MEDICI: Do you think YFA is different from other accelerators? How?

Omkar Shirhatti: Our experience with each bank’s accelerator/innovation team has been different. YFA’s monthly meetings with the senior staff, project tracking, understanding of the use cases, and insights for furthering the products & partnership would definitely be the key differentiating factor.

MEDICI: On a scale of 1-10, how important are partnerships with FIs as a part of your strategic roadmap?

Omkar Shirhatti: Definitely a 10. No one knows their problems better than the FIs themselves. We rely on our clients to share their problem statements to build solutions around them, in consultation with them. Otherwise, you are creating award-winning technology with no one to use it.

MEDICI: What were your expectations from the accelerator? Can you describe your experience so far?

Omkar Shirhatti: Our expectation from the accelerator from Day 1 was to be able to present our solutions and figure out the best way to merge them with YBL’s existing processes. We were extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with various YBL teams through the accelerator and be able to deliver to their expectations.

MEDICI: What led you to apply to YFA? Describe your application experience.

Omkar Shirhatti: We read about the experiences of the startups during the first cohort and decided that YFA is something we must be a part of. The application process was seamless and the panel discussions extremely coherent for us to showcase the value-add.

MEDICI: How do you see the future of due diligence in India?

Omkar Shirhatti: With the Digital India Initiative, increasing transparency, and technology advancements, due diligence in all its formats: verification of document submissions by borrowers, income and address verifications, business lending, etc., will become increasingly digital.

MEDICI: How do you think bank-FinTech collaboration is changing in India?

Omkar Shirhatti: With the advent of FinTechs, banks have become increasingly receptive to the solutions and are adopting them as a priority. The change one can see is INTERNAL through process automation, reduction of TAT, costs, NPAs, and increasing efficiency, and EXTERNAL such as faster responses, processing of requests, and personalized experiences.

MEDICI: What is the most transformative change coming to your industry in the next three to five years?

Omkar Shirhatti: Banks will focus mainly on API-driven solutions and will look at expansion without branches.

MEDICI: What milestones do you have for the company in the next year?

Omkar Shirhatti: We will be launching Kscan, a holistic due diligence utility for providing forensic insights to a borrower, and formally launch Klookup, a skip tracing utility to trace absconders.

Learn more about Karza Technologies at karza.in.

Sumit Gilitwala

MEDICIResearch Analyst

An economist and management graduate, Sumit Gilitwala is currently associated with MEDICI – Global FinTech Market Network as a Research Analyst. Sumit helps banks and other financial institutions with their Digital and FinTech Strategy through their innovation programs. He is also closely associated with the research team at MEDICI and is interested in upcoming FinTech trends. In the past, he has worked with venture capital funds for fundraising and PE investments.\ \ Working with different teams over a period of time, he has built expertise in research, economic forecasting, business strategy, private equity valuation, digital strategy, and program management.