Credenc, a leading education loans platform, recently announced that it has raised INR 17.8 crore (US $2.5 million) in seed funding, led by Omidyar Network India with participation from EMVC , Better Capital, and IIMK Alumni Fund. The start-up intends to build up a loan book of US $0.5 billion over the next 5 years. The capital raised shall be used to expand operations to 1,000 colleges across 50 cities over the next 2 years. Credenc also plans to hire across technology, credit and banking partnerships.
Delhi-based Credenc, founded by Avinash Kumar and Mayank Batheja in 2017, works as the digital finance desk of 200+ management colleges across 17 Indian cities. The start-up has approved loans worth INR 100+ crore (US $15 million) as yet. With more than 200 loan requests a day, Credenc undertakes a rigorous evaluation process using a proprietary AI model which tracks 15 million data points to predict the future income of students applying for loans. Industry-wide, approval for education loans can take up to 2 months, vis-a-vis Credenc which qualifies applications within a fraction of that time.
As a unique platform to finance meritorious students for their college expenses by underwriting their employability, rather than the means available to their families, Credenc is disrupting the domestic higher education financing market with its future income prediction model which ensures the best students of our country are not starved for funds for their education.
As per Credenc, 30% of Indian students’ families sell assets to fund their education. 20% borrow from local money lenders at rates as high as 3% a month. Another 30% give up on a college education. The start-up has mapped 70,000 job roles across 50,000 companies in India and developed a deep understanding of employability in India, to change the status quo. After providing financial support, Credenc works with students and helps them with employability services, handholding applicants as they transition from student to professional life.
Speaking of the round of funding, Mayank Batheja, Co-founder, Credenc, said, “Currently only 5% of the ~$50 billion annual spend on college tuition fee is financed by organised lenders. We believe this penetration should be at least 15%,” to which Avinash Kumar, Co-founder added, “Our target segment consists of the top 10,000 colleges in India, and we would like to ensure that we are available for the top 10% of students from these colleges.”
“Credenc’ differentiated lending model provides financing to deserving students, which helps them access post-secondary education and get meaningful employment. Avinash and Mayank’s solution will help in creating a level playing field for students from the Next Half Billion population by making quality education more accessible. We see this partnership as an opportunity to demonstrate that a highly impactful and profitable business can be built in the large and untapped higher education financing space,” said Sarvesh Kanodia, Associate, Omidyar Network India.
“Credenc is solving a multi-billion dollar domestic education financing problem, putting students’ abilities at the center. Their distribution model of being the ‘financial aid office’ at colleges is spot on and will unlock a large market opportunity, creating a win-win for students and colleges,” said Vaibhav Domkundwar, CEO, Better Capital, to which Melissa Frakman, Managing Partner, EMVC, added, “The innovation that Credenc has developed — and is already deploying across institutions in India — has the opportunity to change the course of retail financial services in India, unlocking financing and other resources for millions of creditworthy, high-potential students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to credit. Growing the massive workforce required to meet India’s skilled labour demand is a challenge that’s fundamental to India’s economic growth and Credenc is solving this with new technology and distribution.”
The annual spend on college fees in India is US $50 billion or INR 3.5+ lakh crore, of which only 5% is financed by organised lenders. For the USA, this figure stands at more than 60%. Credenc intends to change the segment perception and reduce underwriting risk basis its future employability score, which will help this percentage go up to 15%, as it partners with more than 3,000 colleges in 100+ cities to build an INR 3,500+ crore loan book in the next 5 years.
CannaTech, the Canadian Securities Exchange & OTC Markets to Convene Cannabis Industry Leaders at the First-Ever Dedicated Cannabis House in Davos
The world’s top cannabis industry leaders will convene in the first-ever dedicated Cannabis House in Davos, Switzerland, January 20-24, 2020.
The Davos Cannabis House is hosted by CannaTech the world’s premier international cannabis summit platform, in partnership with the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) and the U.S. based OTC Market Group.
The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum is Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World. The Davos Cannabis Lounge will highlight the economic role of cannabis in the future of healthcare, international trade and investment, and environmental and resource security, to create a cohesive and sustainable cannabis industry for all.
Curated for C-level executives and investors the Cannabis House will have a rich and varied program with some of the world’s foremost cannabis-related business leaders analyzing the current challenges and economic future of the hemp and cannabis industries.
Situated alongside world-leading industry and government pavilions, the Cannabis House will host numerous networking opportunities for the Davos community.
“A serious discussion of cannabis and its impact could not be timelier, and Davos is the ideal context given this year’s Sustainability theme. Partnering with the Canadian Securities Exchange and OTC Markets to host the first dedicated Davos Cannabis Lounge gives us the ability to amplify the cannabis and hemp messages and reach attendees. This year at CannaTech events from Latin America to South Africa, I witnessed the growing global industry and intense consumer interest in the hemp and cannabis markets. Today, cannabis is poised to revolutionize everything from health care to the ways people partake in leisure activities. On the global level, the threat of climate change has opened peoples’ eyes to hemp as a sustainable plant with construction, industry, and medicine. These recent developments are creating new international ecosystems that will impact everyone from farm workers in Africa to the CEOs of the world’s largest corporations. It’s time for the delegates at Davos to take part in and impact the economic development,” said Saul Kaye, founder and CEO of CannaTech and iCAN: Israel-Cannabis.
Zenabis Global Inc. Announces Transition of Chief Executive Officer with Appointment of Kevin Coft
Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX: ZENA) (“Zenabis” or the “Company“) announced today the appointment of Kevin Coft as interim Chief Executive Officer (“CEO“), effective immediately. Mr. Coft will replace Andrew Grieve as CEO, whose contract was set to expire shortly. While Mr. Grieve will be returning to his investment business, he has agreed to continue to provide Zenabis with his knowledge, expertise and guidance as a continuing member of Zenabis’ board.
Announcing the transition of responsibilities, Monty Sikka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zenabis, said, “The Board thanks Kevin for taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis. We look forward to working with him as we complete the final phase of our operational ramp-up into early 2020, and as we further consolidate our position as a leading Canadian cannabis licensed producer. Kevin has a track record as a leader in the cannabis industry, with experience as CEO in a previous iteration of the Zenabis business. We will take full advantage of his knowledge of the company and industry, as well as his steady leadership as we continue to mature as a business. In this phase of our growth, we look forward to Kevin’s leadership as we continue our search for a permanent, CPG (consumer packaged goods) and operations-focused CEO.”
The Zenabis Board has engaged Korn Ferry to assist with the hiring of a permanent CEO and expects to have a permanent CEO in place in the first quarter of 2020.
Mr. Coft was one of Zenabis’ founding members, having previously acted as CEO when it was a part of the Sun Pharm group, and before the amalgamation with Bevo Agro that created Zenabis Global Inc. In that role, he was responsible for Zenabis achieving ACMPR compliance as a Canadian cannabis licensed producer.
Mr. Coft is an operational and supply chain professional with over 30 years of international procurement, facility operations, and managerial experience. His industrial expertise covers a wide range of functions including regulatory licensing, construction, strategy, operations, logistics, warehousing, customer relationship management, and business systems. Most recently, Mr. Coft was responsible for the construction build-out of Zenabis’ facilities across Canada, as Chief Facilities Officer, including one of Canada’s largest indoor cannabis cultivation facilities, located in Atholville, New Brunswick. Previously, he held senior roles at IHL Group and Buy-Low Foods.
“Zenabis developed rapidly since its public listing, with a variety of capital raisings, large-scale construction, and most importantly, increasingly large harvests of high-quality cannabis,” said Mr. Coft. “Zenabis has come a long way in a short period of time, and I am excited about leading the team on an interim basis as we enter the next chapter of our development and seek to establish Zenabis as a cashflow positive, operationally efficient leader in the industry.”
“I am incredibly proud of the construction, licensing, and cultivation achievements of the Zenabis team during my tenure,” said Mr. Grieve. “From just over 5,000 kg of licensed cultivation capacity in January of 2019, to 57,000 kg at this time, with another 39,400 kg submitted for licensing and an incremental 14,800 kg having recently achieved substantial completion, the pace of growth has been exceptional. Kevin, leading our construction team as the Chief Facilities Officer, was instrumental in achieving that pace. I look forward to continue to serve Zenabis on the board of directors, and to continue working with the team.”
Mr. Sikka concluded, “Andrew played a pivotal role in our history. The Board thanks him for his hard work and execution of so many of our business deliverables. We now look forward continuing to deliver stakeholder value under Kevin’s leadership.”
SOURCE Zenabis Global Inc.
Chase Cooper Wins Category Award in Chartis RiskTech100®
Chase Cooper has been named award winner for the Operational Risk category in the 2020 Chartis RiskTech100® rankings.
“We are delighted to have won this award,” said John Kiddy, CEO at Chase Cooper. “It is a testament to the investments we have made in aCCelerate GRC and we are particularly pleased that Chartis have focused this year on the quantification of Operational Risk exposure. Chase Cooper’s key differentiator in the GRC marketplace is that it combines best in class qualitative and quantitative functionality to provide a complete enterprise class EGRC solution – no other EGRC player has this unique combination.”
“Quantification is an increasingly important area of innovation,” said Rob Stubbs, Head of Research at Chartis Research. “Chase Cooper’s achievements in the area of operational risk quantification were instrumental in our decision to present it with this new RiskTech100® award.”
SOURCE Chase Cooper
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