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Y Combinator backs debt-collection software maker Prodigal
Photo Credit: VCCircle

California-based Prodigal Technologies, Inc., which offers software for debt collection, has raised seed money from US incubator Y Combinator, the startup said in a statement.

In its 2018 summer batch, Y Combinator incubated Prodigal Technologies, which has its engineering division in Mumbai. The Silicon Valley-based incubator typically invests $120,000 (Rs 85 lakh) in a tech startup for six to seven per cent stake.

Prodigal was founded in early 2018 by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduates Shantanu Gangal (chief executive), Saransh Garg (product chief) and Sangram Raje (tech chief).

“Historically, lenders have focused on growth and underwriting while collections remain under-invested due to the use of legacy software -- or worse, spreadsheets,” Garg said in the statement.

The company’s debt collection software establishes continuous lines of communication with borrowers across multiple channels that include text, email and telephone. Prodigal provides debt-collection agents with a history of all conversations that have taken place through the channels.

Borrowers often experience poor debt-collection service. Phone calls are used as the primary channel, with different agents contacting a borrower each time. Also, the company, through observation, claimed that youngsters prefer support over chat and email to phone, Garg said.

Gangal said, “With the advent of artificial intelligence, newer technologies like voice analytics can also be used to help call-centre managers understand how helpful agents are to borrowers.”

Prodigal, which says its software users have reported a 20% rise in repayments and collections, claims to have dealt with 50,000 borrower conversations.

Recent deals in fin-tech sector

A number of startups in the fin-tech sector have raised funding in this month alone.

Earlier in the day, Lendbox, a peer-to-peer lending and credit marketplace, said it has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round from venture capital firm IvyCap Ventures Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

Last week, VCCircle reported that Singapore-headquartered digital cross-border payments firm InstaReM Pte. Ltd marked the first close of its Series C round at over $20 million (around Rs 143 crore) led by new investor MDI Ventures and Beacon Venture Capital.

Last week, MergerWare, which provides software to aid integration related to mergers and acquisitions, raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round.

Last week, VCCircle reported that wealth management app CashRich, owned by Thane-based CR Fintech Pvt. Ltd, has raised angel funding worth $1 million (Rs 7 crore) from three undisclosed UK-based individuals.

Signzy, an artificial intelligence and blockchain-based platform for digital on-boarding of Know Your Customer (KYC) details, said last week it has raised $3.6 million (around Rs 24 crore) in a Series A round led by venture capital firms Stellaris Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.

Last to last week, VCCircle reported that multinational payments processor Visa Inc. picked up a minority stake in Indian payment gateway BillDesk to expand its footprint in the South Asian nation.

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