CRED is an online application available on Android/IOS that rewards users in the form of Coupons for making their credit card bill payments through their platform.

Kunal Shah – Founder of CRED

Kunal Shah is among a number of Indian entrepreneurs who have launched new ventures for the second time. Shah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wilson College, Mumbai. He even pursued an MBA from Mumbai’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, but later he dropped out.

He started his career as a junior programmer at a business process outsourcing startup. Shah’s first startup venture was a company called Paisaback, which provided cash-back promotions for retailers.

Shah’s first startup venture was Paisaback, which provided cash-back promotions for retailers. But he shut down PaisaBack to set up FreeCharge in August 2010 along with Sandeep Tandon. In 2011, Plugged In named FreeCharge as one of the most promising technology startups from India. Later in April 2015, Snapdeal acquired FreeCharge.

After the acquisition, FreeCharge continued to be run as an independent entity under Shah’s leadership. He, however, left the firm in October 2016. Later, in July 2017, Axis Bank acquired FreeCharge.

Kunal Shah is also an angel investor and has invested in more than 40 companies. His intention behind these investments was to learn, work with the entrepreneurs, and help them.

The idea behind CRED

“If you look at history, nobody has been rewarded for paying back on time. We want to fix that.”

– Kunal Shah, CRED’s Founder

After he sold his first venture, FreeCharge to Snapdeal; Shah spent most of the time traveling. During his travels, he learned about developed nations. He noticed the high degree of trust extended by the system upon the public.

For instance, they had petrol pumps without any attendants or self-checkout counters in supermarkets, without any cashiers. This resulted in him acknowledging the advantages of a frictionless environment. This environment has no all costs and restraints relating to transactions.

Yet here, in the Indian nation, the segment of the public which was dependable, had to pay the price for the acts of others and the absence of transparency and irregularity of information led to a lack of trust.

He stated how the present model is stringent and left a great degree of scope for confusion and errors. This led to the establishment of CRED.

What is CRED?

CRED is the first technology in India to pay the user’s credit card bills on time. Kunal shah began CRED with the intention of creating an exclusive society with the most credible people in India.

CRED is a members-only club that rewards individuals for their timely credit card bill payments. Apart from this, members are offered exclusive offers and have access to premium experiences. It is a platform that allows credit card users to manage multiple cards. It helps them analyze their credit score.

However, not everyone is eligible to use the CRED app. The CRED app only accepts users who have a credit score above 750. The app analyses the credit score of the user using his registered phone number.

Uses of CRED

The app offers, payments via debit cards, UPI, or CRED Cash balance. The app rewards its customers with CRED coins. These CRED coins can be earned if users make payments with the CRED App using their credit cards.

The app is also equipped with the protect feature which is an AI-backed system. It keeps track of every single nuance of a credit card payment journey. It analyses due date reminders, spends patterns, and other card usage statistics. Users can use the CRED points to get discounts on online shopping, booking tickets, making payments, etc.

The app offers CRED’s credit card spend tracking and management feature. It provides the user with analytics of spend tracking and the efficiency of usage of the card.

Besides being a one-stop platform for paying your credit card bills. It also provides a chance to earn reward points for every Rupee you pay towards your bill. The reward points are called ‘CRED coins’. These coins are redeemable on various offerings on the CRED app.

 Unique Features of CRED app

  • CRED provides you with one location to handle your entire credit card range.
  • Security is the app’s functionality that reads the email statements with details on balance, due date, bank costs, and bifurcation of expenditures.
  • The smart statement feature allows consumers to simplify costs by reviewing the CREDit card statements.
  • Features such as ‘Kill the bill’ enable you to earn cash back towards repaying your bill.
  • User gets a reminder each time your card bill is generated, ensuring you don’t miss/delay a payment.

CRED’S Growth Prospects

Shah’s venture raked up a valuation of $450 million within just one year after the company closed a $120 million funding round.

Cred is also gearing up to at least acquire half of the credit card users in the country soon. India currently has over 47 million credit card users, a combined $8.5 billion a month. Credit card usage has grown from 18 million to 47 million cards in four years, says Shah.

The company is also expanding its range of offerings as well as laying out plans to foray into global markets. Already, it offers services such as masterclasses with top chefs such as Sarah Todd and Diana Chen, and VIP inclusions at social events such as music festivals and city experiences. These coins are used for several good social causes. Such as building playgrounds in cities.

“While we are actively evaluating different markets, including those in Asia, it’s too early to say where and when, but the data points to a need for Cred in low-trust markets where people hold multiple cards,” says Shah.

An interesting point to note here! CRED entered the Unicorn Club in April 2021 with a valuation of $2.2 Billion that was accompanied by a funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue Management LLP for $215 Million. Achieving this status in just two and odd years is a sign of CRED’s amazing business model.

Do read our other analysis also.

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