This Kunal Shah-Backed Cashback and Rewards Startup Wants to ‘Push’ 400 Million Online Bharat Buyers


Co-founders of HappyCredit Jitendra Kumar and Ashish Virmani have known each of their days Simplilearn. Jitendra, whose last role was “Co-Founder and CTO at Simplilearn” and Ashish, who had led verticals at Flipkart and Freecharge, came together in 2019 to build a platform at the intersection of e-commerce and fintech.

With e-commerce becoming the flagship of India’s digital economy and fintech taking giant strides led by the The rise of the UPI, it was the perfect place to target.

In October 2020, they launched HappyCredit for new online buyers of Bharath. The Bengaluru-based startup manages a app-based cashback system which rewards users on their ecommerce purchases on More than 50 trading platforms.

These include Flipkart, Myntra, AJIO, Faasos, Mamaearth, Beardo, boAt, WOW Skin Science, Netmeds, Pharmeasy, Hamleys, Marks & Spencer, Healthkart, Zivame, Lenovo, Vahdam Teas, and others.

HappyCredit unites more than 50 e-commerce and D2C brands on its cashback platform

HappyCredit groups these brands and allows users to browse products and offers on its app. “We start at the top of the funnel,” said co-founder Ashish Your story.

“We provide purchase inspiration, display users new offers and launches, and inform them about our merchant partners. It’s a application in the application some kind of experience.

The shopping experience is similar to that of e-commerce platforms, and users are directed to the merchant’s native app or website for payment. Each transaction earns them discounts ranging from Rs 25-30 to Rs 270.

“There is a cap on high value items, but Rs 50 is the average cashback in all categories, â€reveals co-founder Jitendra.

Co-founders of HappyCredit

TAM and core product of HappyCredit

HappyCredit is for 400 million buyers of Bharath who are mainly first-time online buyers of Level 2 to level 6 markets. Most of them have limited disposable income and are looking for “shopping inspiration” or pushes for the transaction.

Ashish elaborates,

“We are at the intersection of online shopping, credit and rewards. With the pandemic and the UPI boom, all three verticals were boosted and online shopping was no longer limited to 40 million users subways and level 1 cities. It has become relevant for 400 million users in Tier 2-6 markets. And everyone was looking for credit and savings to ease their pressure on liquidity. “

“We help these users to start of their e-commerce journey. They have credit problems that we can fix, â€he says.

The flagship product of HappyCredit rewards product “Aishback” (a personalized version of cashback) was launched in February and was registered more 50,000 registrations.

Users can earn cash back rewards ranging from Rs 25-30 to Rs 270 on every purchase.

But, is it different from existing cashback and coupon services? “No one solved the instant delight part of the rewards landscape, â€says the co-founder.

He says,

“Aishback is a superior form of cashback because it is instant and can be transferred to the bank directly. And his real money. We don’t believe in giving away closed rooms that people can’t use properly.

Once Aishback is credited to users’ accounts, they can use the ‘cash out’ option to transfer the money on their bank accounts linked to the UPI at the end of the stipulated return window. This can range from 15 days to a month, depending on the product.

Choose cashbacks rather than BNPL

Over the past 12-15 months, one of the hottest fintech stories has been BNPL (Buy now, pay later). Its sensational rise has not only fueled the growth of e-commerce in India, but has also benefited BNPL itself.

Even though cash back and rewards are a slightly different proposition, they solve the same problem, that of liquidity at checkout. The founders of HappyCredit say they have chosen cashbacks to get around the startup problems BNPL is facing.

Infographic: Design YS

Ashish says,

“Instant loan companies have struggled to maintain financial discipline in their users. We didn’t want to donate money for anything. We tap into real users who are looking for credit to make actual purchases. It helped us build a disciplined credit profile and it also allowed people to get instant gratification without having to wait 60-90 days to get the rewards.

He believes that rewards based on controlled purchases are a better way to deliver customer enjoyment than “bottom line†marketing-funded cash back rewards.

However, HappyCredit also intends to launch a fund financing product by January 2022. It is in the works and may also be available for offline purchases.

Jitendra shares: “Our initial goal was to use technology to provide instant gratification on all kinds of purchases. Online or offline. But offline doesn’t have the technology that helps you know where the user is spending. We are building a patent pending technology that can analyze bank SMS, merchant partner SMS, etc, and analyze the data in real time. Based on this, we can roll out offers and provide instant gratification to customers for offline purchases as well. “

HappyCredit seeks to grow its user base to 1.5 million in 12 months

Growth and economic model

HappyCredit claims to have registered a 500% GMV growth in the past five months. While the customer base is small, the platform has handled over 10,000 operations, with a average basket value of Rs 3,000.

“Many users place three such orders per month. The average value of their basket is 9,000 rupees. Ashish said. “Overall, we are looking for a 50% retention rate per month.”

Riding the holiday season, when all the ecommerce merchants have lucrative deals, HappyCredit is looking to increase its user base to 1.5 million in the next 12 months. He also seeks to embark 100-150 new merchants by the end of the year.

“The online ecosystem is getting so big so fast. There is a lot of interest of new traders and on the offline side with Marico, ITC and others major FMCG players launching their own e-commerce platforms,», Explains the co-founder.

Almost 70 percent of HappyCredit users come from small towns

HappyCredit collects transaction fees from merchant partners to divert “high intention users†to their platforms and add to their total GMV. “It’s a revenue per sale deal until we hit a critical mass of users,†says Ashish.

Almost 70 percent of its users come from 70+ cities at levels 3, 4 and 5 markets. (The remaining 30 percent is from the top 8 cities.) This correlates directly with the extend e-commerce PIN coverage operators in India.

HappyCredit targets a GMV of Rs 100 crore by July 2022. “Some of our users have made 30 to 40 transactions since March. We call them Chief Shopping Officers. There are customer loyalty, and users believe in us, â€says Jitendra.

Funding and the competitive landscape

Earlier this month, HappyCredit lifted a series of Rs 5 crore brand angels like Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED) and Krishna Kumar (Founder, Simplilearn).

The cycle also saw the participation of American and Canadian investors such as Capital of Goodwater, Magic Fund, MyAsiaVC, Alex Lin (CEO, Outlier), Jeremy Cai (CEO, Italic), Chris Ye (CEO, Uken Games), Saad Siddiqui (CEO, Bonsai), Andrew Ladouceur (COO, Bonsai), Charlie Feng (Co-founder, Clearco ), among others.

The start-up plans to use the capital to launch new products, acquire talents and To augment its core vertical e-commerce over the next 12 months.

India’s Coupons and Cashback Market Expected to Reach $ 124 Billion in 2025

Vivek Subramanian, Partner, Goodwater Capital, said: “The industry is poised for growth with a strong young demographics, increasing internet and smartphone penetration. We are excited about the potential of HappyCredit at the intersection of e-commerce, rewards and credit, and the strength of its founding team.

The founders share that they are looking to raise another round in the next three to four months, and have already captured the interest of “bigger investors.” “Investors see the kind of space we find ourselves in. We want to be one great app with unique characteristics, and the future of e-commerce with a history of Bharath around him, â€Ashish says.

Interestingly, HappyCredit’s biggest competitor might turn out to be Meesho and other social commerce platforms that target the same Bharat audience pool and could end up creating loyalty / reward programs for their own clientele.

Others like Magicpin, CashKaro, goPaisa, MyTokri, CouponDunia, etc. are also competing for a share of the same market. The overall value of coupons distributed in India is expected to reach 124 billion dollars in 2025 of $ 40.3 billion, according to

While the growth of this industry is directly proportional to the growth of e-commerce, the latter also depends on the former to attract first-time buyers.

Ashish concludes by stating, “Cash Back Rewards are an important part of the ecommerce ecosystem, and we want the process to go smoothly. “

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Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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