India- and US-based Global Analytics Holdings Inc, an analytics-driven and web-based financial services company focusing on the underbanked population, has acquired Pennsylvania-based Workpays LLC, which owns and operates workpays.me, an online marketplace that enables employees to pay for product purchase over 12 months via direct or payroll deductions with zero per cent interest. The details of the transaction are not disclosed. This acquisition will help Global Analytics offer various products, including big-ticket items to its underbanked customers.
Founded by Josh Verne, Jon Dorfman and Paul Dumas, workpays.me offers an online catalogue of over 20,000 items such as computers/electronics, furniture, home goods, accessories and fitness equipment at market prices. Customers can choose from a variety of payment options via director payroll deductions.
“We are laser-focused on perfecting customer service, ensuring that we deliver best-in-class service. We know that if customers have a great experience with us, they’re going to come back,” said Josh Verne, CEO of workpays.me.
Founded in 2003 by Krishna Gopinathan (president and chief analytics and risk officer), Global Analytics is a B2C company providing a range of financial services products to underbanked consumers who don’t have adequate access to credit and banking services. He had also earlier founded Burning Glass Technologies. In the past, he had held various top roles at HNC and Falcon.
Headquartered in San Diego (California), the firm has operational centres in Chennai, Delhi and Gurgaon in India, with a 400-plus team operating in the country. It also has offices in the UK. Last July, the company had raised $30 million in debt funding from Crystal Financial LLC, an independent commercial finance company in the US.
As of now, Global Analytics offers two distinctive services to individual borrowers through Lending Stream and Zebit. Lending Stream provides six months’ emergency term loans, powered by same-day approval and cash deployment. Zebit is a short-term lending platform that offers loans with flexible repayment options. It also runs a proprietary analysis to evaluate whether one would be able to repay the loan in an affordable manner. Zebit allows one to choose the repayment tenure (varying from one to 12 months) and also offers lower interest rates based on the customer’s credit quality.
“When I founded this company, I was looking for ways to use analytics to have a positive impact on people’s lives,” Krishna Gopinathan said. “This is a perfect application for our Zebit platform – using our Deep Learning analytic capabilities to ensure we can provide zero cost financing to as many customers as possible,” Gopinathan said.
Plans for Indian market
“workpays.me is like a Flipkart or Amazon for the underbanked population, and hence it has a huge potential in India. While our primary customers are in the US and the UK, we hope to bring a similar service to India over a period of time,” said Mukund Venkatesh, VP and GM (India Operations) for Global Analytics.
He said that going forward the company will look to introduce the right set of products in the country. “India is a challenging and complex market, and we need to do our homework before launching underbanked financing products here. We are also looking for partnerships with interesting financial companies, online retailers, and software/analytics experts to cater to the domestic market.”
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)