Working from the plush offices of the top-notch global organizations and making money is a dream and an aspiration for many. Would you even imagine leaving all that behind and start something of your own? Would you even think of taking the retrogressive step?
You got to be a go-getter and have the spunk to deal with all the odds it comes with. That’s how one can describe Skeps’ founders Mayank Tewari and Prerit Srivastava.
The Story Unknown
Friends from their IIT days, both Mayank and Prerit were born in Kanpur, the largest urban agglomeration in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
“Success comes naturally to Mayank. We all love struggle stories, but for Mayank, it’s been a story of one success paving way for an even bigger one”, says Prerit with a confident demeanor. The ISB postgraduate Mayank – after working for almost a decade with global companies like P&G, McKinsey, and Uber, it was only in 2015; when he was working on a project for Paytm he realized he wanted to start a business of his own. However, Prerit’s journey narrates a different story. Hit by recession back in 2008, Prerit joined a startup. Motivated by the startup culture at his first job, it wouldn’t be wrong to assert that he developed an urge to become an entrepreneur. In 2012, he went on to establish his startup, which was later acquired by Ola.
When two complementary minds come under one roof
Both the founders have always been crypto enthusiasts. “Never have I ever encountered another person who can explain deep tech to business folks with such ease! Having built our entire blockchain architecture single-handedly, Prerit has been phenomenal”, says an ecstatic Mayank.
While Prerit always has technology on his mind, Mayank is the Jack of all trades.
He can be anyone the company needs him to be and that’s why he has a wild card in his designation as C*O.
Back in 2017, when the duo was toying with several blockchain-based ideas, they got a chance to interact with the right people in the US, who were armed with a deep knowledge of the US financing industry. And, there they found a massive opportunity to disrupt a traditional lending industry with a new age technology like blockchain, which laid the foundation of Skeps . While originally the idea of Skeps started as a consulting project, they quickly realized the idea was much bigger than just a project and could change how financing happens in the US.
Indian Roots, American Soil
Picking the US over India as its first market was a conscious decision for the Gurugram-based startup, which has its headquarters in New York, USA. “The processing of unsecured loans in India is far deeper and requires manual intervention. On the contrary, a better credit history of consumers makes credit decisions instantaneous in the US”, explains Prerit.
So, what is Skeps all about?
To reiterate Mayank’s words, “Skeps is a decentralized marketplace for consumer loans.” It uses a private blockchain technology to enable financial institutions and merchants to collaborate to find the best loan option for their customers. The USP of the product is high-level data privacy. No sensitive information leaves the firewalls of either of the parties. Currently, the team is just focussing on making the platform valuable for the existing customers and make it an even more compelling solution for future ones.
It is still day 1! Long way to traverse ahead
No time is “perfect” to start up. The moment you decide, the choice before you is clear: quit and go for it, or forget it. And, when you start the journey, finding like-minded people to work with comes as a boon. Not only has Skeps found its early investor in Accel, that believes in the product and is equally excited to make it happen, but also been fortunate enough that their idea resonated with ever-curious and passionate folks that are now a part of their core team. As Mayank says, “Next year should be phenomenal for us.” For 2019, Skeps plans to bring in more customers in the US and expand its wings in the international markets where the credit system works similar to the US. “With Skeps in 5 years, the lending process in the US will be efficient where merchants will be able to tailor the right purchase journey for their customers”, believes Prerit.