Vipin Kalra:  Somewhere Between Overbanked Singapore and Underbanked India, Malaysia Attractive to Sequoia-Backed Fintech BankBazaar

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Vipin Kalra: Somewhere Between Overbanked Singapore and Underbanked India, Malaysia Attractive to Sequoia-Backed Fintech BankBazaar

BankBazaar is the latest online marketplace that has arrived on Malaysian shores. Having raised over USD 100 million in funding rounds, the company boasts highly desirable but demanding backers, including Sequoia Capital and Amazon.com. CEO of BankBazaar International Vipin Kalra tells AWANI Review’s Ibrahim Sani how the company intends to deliver the promises made to their investors.

BankBazaar is an online marketplace that gives consumers access to customized rate quotes on loans, credit cards or personal finance products such as insurance policies, bank loans and credit card offers.

But they are branding themselves as a fintech company that is heads and shoulders above the rest.

Frankly, we believe there are no other company like ours in the market

“Frankly, we believe there are no other company like ours in the market,” says Vipin Kalra, CEO of the company’s international arm – BankBazaar International.

“Yes we do offer our services through web and mobile platforms, through which consumers can search for offers, compare, and customize it. But our proposition is slightly more than that as well. Our offerings will be tailored specifically for our individual customer,” he adds.

The proposition of BankBazaar is indeed slightly better than the other rate-comparison websites in the market currently. The reason they can do it slightly differently is because they have strong business partners amongst banks in the country and beyond. “Just this week, we have just signed a deal with a financial institution here in Malaysia,” says Vipin.

“With this deal, we have gained a strong foothold in the country which I believe will only be just the first step to striking further business deals with many more banks in the country."

We believe Malaysia sits in between an underbanked market like India and an overbanked market like Singapore. If we can do well here in Malaysia, frankly, we can do well anywhere in the world

BankBazaar has raised about USD110 million in four fund-raising rounds. The latest, in their Series-D round, Experian led the round, with about USD30 million being raised. “We have investors who not only understand our core business model, but also are aware of the period we need to have in order for us to grow,” Vipin explains.

“Our investors range from technical-based companies like Experian, which is the world’s largest credit rating company, to Sequoia which is an extremely renowned venture capital firm, to Amazon.com, which is the best e-commerce company in the world. These are just some of the investors who have seen what we at BankBazaar can offer."

BankBazaar is well entrenched in India and in Singapore. Malaysia is their next market that they have just set up.

“We believe Malaysia sits in between an underbanked market like India and an overbanked market like Singapore. If we can do well here in Malaysia, frankly, we can do well anywhere in the world,” Vipin says.

“After Malaysia, we have our sights on various markets including developed ones like the U.K. but also other developing ones such as in Southeast Asia and beyond."

Watch the full interview with Vipin Kalra below.

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