Rukula was born out of the need to include the excluded. Rukula (loosely translated from Sinhala to mean a ‘small support’) offers small loans for household consumer durables and electronic items to financially excluded communities in Sri Lanka to enhance their quality of life.
CEO: Reeza Zarook
Market: Sri Lanka
Product: Households goods credit provider
Sponsor: Gray Ghost Ventures
THE Problem and Solution
To put it simply, being poor is expensive.
Rukula was created to offer credit to overlooked populations in an easy, transparent and safe manner. Rukula’s network of nationwide retailers provides people with access to credit for the purchase of low-value household durables and electronic items. Using a proprietary credit scoring algorithm which calculates a “family-stability” score as a proxy for the likelihood of repayment as the basis for customer screening, customers of these retailers can walk out of the store with their new product within 15 minutes of handing over their documentation. This also allows small and medium-sized merchants to gain customers that otherwise could not have made a purchase. Rukula only provides credit on items that are essential to improving a customer’s day-to-day lives.
Revenue streams consist of two main sales channels: direct customers via merchant network and group sales via employees of partner institutions.
Offers low income customers credit (Rs.3,000 – 30,000 or US$20 – 200) to purchase household goods including rice cookers, irons, phones, etc.
Allows instant registration and takes 30 mins for loan approval. Loan repayments can be made via USSD menu using eZCash or at Dialog agents.
Works with a network of SME retailers to enhance their technical usage.
The Value Proposition
- Sells warrantied products on credit to qualifying customers in a transparent, accessible and efficient manner through mobile.
- Provides flexible loan payment plans with no late payment fees or interest for low income customers without the hassle of guarantors.
- Give credit on a fixed fee to encourage repayment, no late payment / penalty fees.
THE LEARNING AGENDA
Rukula is aligned with the Catalyst Fund learning agenda. Their challenges as we know them could help answer the following questions within the learning pillar of:
- 10x Better Value Propositions: How can AI help micro-lending fintechs improve their credit scoring, especially to better predict churn or late payments?
- How can inclusive fintech companies leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to speed up backend processes?