Small businesses in India, such as kirana stores, chemists, and other proprietorship businesses, contribute 30% to India's GDP. However, these businesses often face multiple challenges in accessing financial services, including business banking, formal lending, and insurance. Fintech startup Chqbook is on a mission to empower small business owners with access to financial services, and it is making significant strides towards achieving that goal.
Chqbook offers a mobile app that provides small business owners with a digital current account, business loans, and insurance. The app is designed to cater to the specific needs of small businesses, including sole proprietorships, who often face financial constraints and struggle to access affordable credit and insurance.
One of the key features of the Chqbook app is the zero-balance digital current account, which makes it accessible for businesses of all sizes. Small business owners can open an account easily through the app, which is available in eight languages. The app also offers a range of other features, including digital and physical debit cards, bank statements, and the ability to add and manage beneficiaries.
Chqbook has also recently tied up with ICICI Lombard to offer insurance cover to small businesses. The `shop insurance cover’ for digital current account customers has been launched in association with ICICI Lombard. Under this insurance, losses incurred by shop owners due to floods, earthquakes, lightening, storms, cyclones, fire and other climate risks will be covered, including any loss due to burglary of contents in the shop. This offering is particularly important since only 20% of small business owners have insured their shops and contents, despite potential risks.
Chqbook has already raised $12 million in funding from investors, including Aavishkaar Capital, Rajiv Dadlani Group, Earlsfield Capital UK and angel investors such as Harsha Bhogle, Bharat Shyam, Ken Glass, Rohit Chanana, Bhupesh Kumar, Amit Manocha, Amit Singal, Nilesh Shrivastava, and Sakshi Vij. Currently, the company is in early discussions with potential investors for its Series B fundraise to provide the necessary capital to support its growth plans.
Chqbook's founder and CEO, Vipul Sharma, aims to be the primary fintech partner for small businesses in India, providing them with a tech-enabled, fast app that helps them grow. The company plans to onboard 2 million customers over the next 2 years and provide them with accounts, loans, and insurance.
In summary, Chqbook is making significant strides towards empowering small business owners in India with access to financial services. Its mobile app is designed to cater to the specific needs of small businesses, and its tie-up with ICICI Lombard offers insurance cover to small businesses, which is particularly important since only a small percentage of small business owners have insured their shops and contents. With its Series B fundraise on the horizon, Chqbook is well-positioned to continue its growth and expansion in the coming years.