Earlier this year, Billion Dollar Unicorn Dropbox (Nasdaq: DBX) finally went public. The company was expected to list last year, but the disappointing IPO performance for the technology industry resulted in a delay. It is still early days, but the company appears to have had a turbulent start.
Sramana Mitra: What is your business model? Are you acquiring customers on behalf of banks or are you acquiring customers on behalf of yourselves?
Luvleen Sidhu: We are acquiring customers on behalf of ourselves. We do that direct to consumer. That includes PR marketing and word of mouth. By working with companies and institutions that have an employee base or a customer base where they want to provide access to financial services, we are the bank that they partner with. We sometimes co-brand. Let me give you an example.
We have partnered with 800 colleges and universities around the country. We are solving a pain point for them. These
Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down into some of these trends areas. Since you started talking about Freshdesk, we know that case study very well. Freshdesk is cloud-based customer support for small businesses.
If you look at that style of company out of India, what are some of the companies in your portfolio that have achieved that level of traction? Let’s say $5 million plus in annual revenue. What would be some of the examples? What specifically are the business problems that they are tackling?
Anand Daniel: Before we talk about other companies, if you look at Freshdesk itself, you can think of it as a platform. Then >>>
Sramana Mitra: What trends are you seeing in the entrepreneurs who are coming to you for funding? What kinds of entrepreneurs are coming? What resonates with you?
Aniruddha Malpani: As I said, the social impact piece resonates with me because I actually think these companies will be far more profitable, partly because of the financial capital we’re providing. They also have human capital. The employees these companies attract are very different from the average employee who works for a for-profit institute.
Then there’s that social capital angle, which means customers are far more wiling to pay a premium for some of these products. >>>
In March, Billion Dollar Unicorn and enterprise cloud security firm Zscaler listed successfully on NASDAQ under the ticker ZS. Last week, its first earnings report as a public company blew past all analyst projections, and the stock jumped by 38%, making it the best performing US tech IPO of the year. >>>
This interview is an interesting window into how financial technology is addressing specific niches within the banking sector.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself and BankMobile.
Luvleen Sidhu: I’m the Co-Founder and President of BankMobile. BankMobile is the largest and fastest-growing digital bank that serves the underserved and low middle income Americans and has a strong overlap with millennials as well.
Sramana Mitra: What kind of lending are we talking about? Is it peer-to-peer? >>>
Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Anand Daniel of Accel Partners was recorded in May 2016.
Anand Daniel, Partner with Accel Partners, discusses Accel India’s investment strategy at length.
Sramana Mitra: I’m sure you have an extensive analysis of the Indian market at this point. It would be great for our audience to have some view into how you are thinking about your investment focus today. What stage? What sector? What are your geographical constrainst? How are you thinking about the global opportunity versus the India-facing opportunity? >>>