CRED is an Indian fintech startup that aims to make credit card payments easy, rewarding, and transparent for its users. Founded by Kunal Shah, the former founder of FreeCharge, in 2018, CRED has become one of the fastest-growing and most valued startups in India, with a valuation of $2.2 billion as of April 2021. It offers a mobile app that allows users to manage multiple credit cards, pay their bills on time, and earn CRED coins that can be redeemed for various offers and discounts from partner brands. The brand also provides other services, such as CRED RentPay, CRED Cash, CRED Stash, and CRED Mint, which cater to the different financial needs of its users.
Unconventional Success Story: The Genesis
CRED was born out of Kunal Shah’s vision to create a platform that rewards creditworthy individuals and helps them improve their credit scores. Shah believed India had a vast potential to become a credit-dependent economy like the US but lacked the trust and incentives to do so. He wanted to create a flywheel effect where more people would pay their credit card bills on time, improve their credit scores, and access better financial products and services.
The brand was launched in April 2018 as an invite-only app that required users to have a minimum credit score of 750 to join. The app quickly gained popularity among the urban affluent segment, who were attracted by the exclusive rewards and benefits offered by it. Within two years of its launch, the brand had on boarded over 5.9 million users and processed about 20% of all credit card bill payments in India.
It also raised funding from some of the world’s most prominent venture capital firms, such as DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, Coatue, Insight Partners, and others. As of October 2023, the company had raised over $1.04 billion in ten funding rounds and processed over 20% of all credit card bill payments in India. The brand has also acquired several startups to enhance its offerings, such as Happay (a business expense management platform), Garage (a vehicle management platform), and Newtap (a non-banking financial company).
Revolutionizing Credit Card Payments: Products and Features
The brand offers various products and features catering to its users’ financial needs and preferences. Some of the leading products and components are:
- CRED Pay: Shop hassle-free with your credit card on partnered platforms. No need for details or OTPs. Earn CRED coins, too!
- CRED RentPay: Pay your rent with a credit card and earn CRED coins. Plus, it boosts your credit score by reporting rent payments to credit bureaus.
- CRED Cash: Get a flexible credit line of Rs. 5 lahks with low interest rates and easy repayments. No processing fees or prepayment charges!
- CRED Stash: Earn up to 7.5% annual interest on your savings: no minimum balance, instant withdrawals, and a free debit card.
- CRED Mint: Lend your money to creditworthy borrowers and earn up to 9% annual interest. It’s a peer-to-peer lending platform with diversification and security.
Future-Ready Finance: Ambitious Plans and Latest Developments
The company has ambitious plans for the future, as it aims to become a one-stop solution for all the financial needs of its users. For example:
- CRED launches vehicle management platform Garage, makes the first move into motor insurance distribution.
- CRED’s Newtap Finance NBFC may raise $50-70 million in equity capital from investors.
- CRED’s revenue jumps for the financial year 2022-23 (FY23) grew 3.5X to INR 1,484 Cr.
- CRED appoints financial industry veteran B Sriram, former CEO of HDFC Bank, as an independent director to its board.
- The CredRight platform loans micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tier 3 and 4 towns.
The company has revolutionized how credit card users pay their bills and manage their finances. By offering rewards, incentives, convenience, transparency, and trust, the brand has created a loyal and engaged community of users who value its brand and products. CRED has also adopted a unique and unconventional marketing strategy that has helped it build a strong brand recall and awareness among its target audience. With its innovative products and features, it aims to become a one-stop solution for all the financial needs of its users.
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