Today, I want to talk about a start up that tries to revolutionize the very competitive gold loan market. It is called Rupeek.
Rupeek is a platform for providing fast and accessible gold loans for its clients. Based in Bangalore, I stumbled across its website while surfing through some financial technology news and it caught my eye.
I remember the difficulty that I had to go through while I was in college to obtain a gold loan when I was in dire need of cash. Today, with Banks and NBFC’s competing with each other to provide gold loans, it is not a difficult proposition. Therefore, the question arises what is the need for another company in the already saturated space of gold loan providers. This is where I think Rupeek brings in some innovation.
Rupeek is a mobile app based business. To avail the company’s services, you first have to download the mobile app, and apply for a custom loan according to your needs. Currently loan is only provided against Gold Jewellery ( not coin or bars). After the application, a rupeek agent will come to your home with a gold kit and test the jewellery for authenticity. Only gold above 18 carot purity is accepted. Once the agent is satisfied of the purity of the gold, an immediate transfer of money to your bank account is effected.
The gold is insured and securely transferred and secured in a safe vault. The entire application process is paperless.
All this information, I have gathered from their website. What I want to introduce you to, is the idea of the start-up. The idea of Rupeek seems to be attractive. However, with the proliferation of companies like Manappuram Finance and Muthoot and their concepts like online gold loan, I am not sure how much product differentiation this start up will be able to achieve. Besides, I also think that Soverign Gold Bonds and Gold ETFs should also be accepted as collateral.
The company website also needs much revamp. Although a good portfolio design has been used, there is very little information about the founders, the lenders and the safety of the gold. These I think are very important considerations; Especially when an asset like gold, which carries a lot of emotional value, is involved.
Nevertheless, I think Rupeek is indeed is a startup worth watching. Keep your eyes open.