Making Customer Onboarding Simpler, Faster and More Secure With Tech
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A few years ago, Ankit Ratan and twin brother Arpit would often debate over why legal documentation was such a cumbersome process. While Ankit is a tech graduate from IIT Delhi, Arpit is a lawyer. One debate led to another before they realized that this was a problem that needed solving, and they dived right in.
In 2015, they started Signzy - the name was a play of words around ‘signing made easy’ - and built a platform that was initially designed to just digitize contract signing. They were joined by their third co-founder Ankur Pandey, who was responsible for everything tech.
“Over time, (we) realized that signing was merely the last part of the process of verifying,” says Ankit, explaining that one needed to offer solutions for each part of the ecosystem to truly disrupt it.
To make a larger impact, the trio decided to build and offer solutions for all three parts of the equation - identity verification, background checks and the eventual contract signing.
“So today, for a customer, they don't have to go to three different providers, they can just come to Signzy and get all their compliance or regulatory services from a single player,” he says.
Working With Financial Institutions
Bengaluru-based Signzy works with several financial institutions in the country including the likes of ICICI Bank and the State Bank of India, helping reduce the time and workforce required during several parts of an onboarding process.
“Not that we are the ones who are making the credit decision for these banks...but what we are able to do is digitize things that would have been otherwise painful,” Ankit says, explaining how things such as skimming through bank statements and finding the relevant information would earlier require a well-trained human.
“We enable them to go live in an operation less way by just using pure technology,” he adds.
The company’s core technology revolves around computer vision, which essentially helps computers process and gain an understanding of information from visuals. In case of Signzy, this could range from judging the genuineness of a document to simply finding out a certain kind of information from the input provided. After the extraction is done, the end customer is able to view the output in an easily understandable format.
While several things vary on a case-to-case basis, for each new customer, roughly 200 sample documents can get the system working, according to Ankit.
“What we are able to do is reduce 95 per cent of the time (required),” he says, adding that the use of deep learning is also able to bypass the invariable error that would come in case of human intervention.
While the company does charge some monthly or annual fee to the customers, that is not their main source of revenue.
“Major part (of the revenue) is from onboarding of each new customer,” he says.
The fact that they work with banks has helped their steady growth, as most of them already have a large customer base and are now pushing more into digitization, says Ankit.
Currently, the company’s platform helps onboard anywhere between 600,000 to 900,000 customers a month. In 2018, that number was around 80,000 per month.
Signzy raised a $3.6 million Series A round late last year, led by Stellaris Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital, and Ankit says despite being in the fintech space, which is considered hot property in the Indian start-up ecosystem, it wasn’t too easy.
For business to business operators like them, Ankit says it is still difficult to raise funds. “The reason why B2B is challenging in India is because unlike in (the) US, there aren't these great B2B companies,” he says.
However, he also believes that the times are changing and India too is beginning to throw up some good companies in the space.
Going forward, the company will continue to invest into developing their technology as they look to scale across geographies.
“Our current huge focus is how to create extremely efficient self learning models, where it takes me eight hours to get live in a new country,” says Ankit.
Eventually, they wish to get their product to a point where the “product can be self-customized by the end client, to be compliant to his geography and compliant to his use case without any intervention,” from their side.
While it plans to deepen its presence within India, the company is also looking to expand into Dubai and the United States.
Ankit says that they expect the monthly onboarding numbers to grow to about five to six million in the next two years.