Fintech platform True Balance aims to hit break-even by the end of the year and go for a potential IPO (initial public offering) by 2024 on the back of strong growth in business in the country, its founder Charlie Lee said.
Backed by investors like SoftBank, Daesung Private Equity and Naver, True Balance is witnessing a strong uptake of its small-sized loans - which has helped the platform clock a 3x rise in revenues.
"India has a huge potential for the consumer credit and the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns caused a heavy financial strain for consumers and the need for short-term loans were filled by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and fintech startups," True Balance founder and Global CEO Charlie Lee told PTI.
True Balance has seen a 3X growth in revenues and by November-December this calendar year, the expectation is to be EBITDA positive and attain break-even, he added.
True Balance India is the wholly owned subsidiary of Balancehero Co Ltd, Korea which runs and operates the lending platform - 'True Balance'.
True Balance is an RBI-authorised digital platform which facilitates loans through its safe, RBI licensed NBFC - True Credits.
Founded in Korea in 2014 by Cheolwon 'Charlie' Lee, Balancehero had launched the True Balance app in 2016 in India to help users to efficiently manage their phone recharge, bill payments and balance check. In 2019, True Credits received their licence from the RBI, post which True Balance started the lending business.
"Our vision is to make finance accessible to the next billion users in India, who despite having a bank account have limited access to credit. We at, True Balance have built a next-generation financial platform that will help us penetrate the untapped market in India," Lee said.
Asked about IPO plans, Lee said the company is open to listing in India and internationally.
"We are looking at listing three years after we achieve BEP (break even point). We have set a very clear target for ourselves and our road map is such that we can achieve BEP by the end of this calendar year. We have seen 180 million transactions over the last two years," he said.
The company expects to double its revenue in 2021 from USD 10 million that was clocked in 2020.
True Balance, which has over 200 employees - a significant part of which is based in India, is also looking at ramping up its staff strength.
Lee noted that the company has seen 30-50 per cent month-on-month growth, and the aim is to continue focusing on non-online payment users, non-credit score users.
"Since our unit economies have grown exponentially, we are seeing fast-paced growth despite the brief lull caused due to the pandemic. We have disbursed more than Rs 250 crore across the nation up to the last quarter. We have more than 6.7 million Indians as our beneficiaries who have availed loans in the range of Rs 1,000 (starting range for LevelUp Loan) - up to Rs 50,000 (maximum amount for cash loan)," Lee said.
Lee pointed out that many of True Balance's borrowers are gig workers, who were affected badly during the pandemic. This segment has very specific needs - small-ticket loans, short repayment tenure.
"We saw a lot more customers availing loans from us especially migrant workers and people who needed small loans. Our loan product - Level-up loan has seen 1,500 per cent growth in these times," he said.
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