Recently, the Times of India and Economic Times featured us and our founder, Sameer, as part of the social entrepreneurship scene in India. Social entrepreneurs are driven by the social impact their businesses create. One of their primary goals is to create opportunities for the socially and economically excluded through technology. They seek to break economical and financial barriers by providing solutions in sectors such as healthcare, education, banking, and finance.
When Sameer was interning at Ujjivan, he discovered a solution for automating loan statuses, which allowed them to preclose and open one of a higher amount. Together withKavita and Indus, Sameer conceived Artoo. They devised solutions that enable lending and borrowing on mobile and web platforms.
After five years of rigorous hard work and unabated zeal, we now work with several MFIs and NBFCs, assisting them with digital solutions for their entire lending processes. User verification, credit underwriting, and loan disbursement are now performed with a single tap in real time. Reduced workload and faster loan approval has delighted field officers and borrowers alike. Digital lending has paved the way for a new breed of tech-savvy service personnel and the empowered small-scale entrepreneur.
In 2015, we disbursed loans worth 600 crore rupees, in just 12 months. In this quest, after the initial financial support from family, we received 500,000$ funding from Accion Venture Lab and Rianta Capital. From an idea conceived as an intern to a full-fledged entrepreneur, Sameer has come a long way. At Artoo, we are a myriad bunch of geeks, rainmakers, firefighters, artists, and storytellers, who believe in creating a dent in the universe. It’s this sense of belonging to a common cause that drives us to perform. We believe in the power of technology to unite the masses. Together, we aspire to go the distance, empowering people and spreading smiles all along.
We are very excited to announce that we just raised $500,000 from Accion Venture Lab and Rianta Capital Zurich’s Artha Initiative.
From our early days, working out of our unassuming rooftop office at HSR Layout, to being deployed in 350 locations across 24 states in India, we have come a long way. We started Artoo with the vision to improve quality of lives of the poor by improving access to financial services. Our solution is unlocking a huge opportunity for lending institutions, allowing them to improve customer experience, to scale deeper by offering tailored financial products and to lend to a segment with undocumented, volatile income all while reducing risk.
Over the years, we have realized that one of hardest things about selling enterprise software to a ‘first time’ technology user is to ensure that they adopt it. At Artoo, we constantly strive to listen and learn from our users and use these insights in our product design. Today, we have more than 1,900 users, most of whom have never used a smartphone or have had limited exposure to the internet.
This funding marks the start of the next phase of our journey – a stronger and a more ambitious Artoo. In this next phase we look to enhance our product functionality, build our team and scale operations globally.
We are excited to have Accion onboard. Their network and understanding of new age financial services will be extremely valuable as we look to expand internationally, build more data centric tools and create personalized financial products in a space which is providing limited or no options.
We are grateful to all our customers for taking a chance on us at this early stage and trusting us with their core business operations. They pushed us to levels we didn’t think we were capable of. Villgro, who incubated and seed funded us and more importantly mentored us through the highs and lows. And finally our families and friends who have stood by us in spite of multiple cancelled holidays, dates, lunches/dinners and working weekends. Here’s to the next 5 years!
We understand how critical Artoo is to your business. Customer success is on the top of our minds – we understand that even a few minutes of downtime could cost you lakhs of business. We hope that by publishing our Status Page, we can work together to ensure that users are happy and able to work with ease. The Status page sits outside of Artoo’s servers and will provide accurate information, even when our servers are slow or down.
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All communication of our incidents will be done through our Status Page. Subscribe to get our system updates, straight to your inbox!
Know our status in a glance
We understand you are busy – we want to empower you with tools to quickly learn whether Artoo is down. In the event our systems are down, you can use the color-coded bars to quickly see the performance of Artoo’s applications – while we work hard to make sure everything is up and running!
Learn how well our systems are performing
We have published charts that will give you more information regarding Artoo’s performance. Use the time filters on top to view system metrics across a day, week, or month. You will immediately know if our systems were slow during a certain time of the month or pin-point an outage. We have been working hard to re-architect our systems to scale; publishing our performance metrics on our status page is Artoo’s commitment to reliability of our services and a better experience for you.
Get a detailed history
Go through the Incident history to learn about service interruptions – when they occurred, why they occurred, and when we’ve resolved them.
We hope the Status Pagewill make the difficult days a little easier. We created this feature from your feedback, so we’re eager to see what you think. We hope you like it.
We wanted to share some news with you. Artoo was invited for a conference, Srijan: Microfinance & Financial Inclusion Technology Forum in Mumbai (Oct 7-8, 2010) and we were quite thrilled because it’s an invite only conference that we’ve had our eyes on.
And then they asked Sameer to be on a panel on Low-Cost Alternate Delivery Channels: Leapfrogging Access to Finance (you can read more about it here) and even asked us to showcase Artoo Slate on the product demo panel (covered in this week’s Starting Up/ET Now – Saturday 4pm, Sundays 4:30pm – look for us around the 20th min).
Our demo was enthusiastically received (some Twitter updates from the conference are copied below) and we’re feeling quite happy with our progress so far. We really wanted to thank you all for your support! We could never have done this without you.
An article in the Times of India about TiE’s KBE competition mentioned us too. Read the whole article below or here on ToI.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK Bangalore: Artoo, a technology startup that offers software solutions to microfinance institutions,has emerged the winner of the Kaun Banega Entrepreneur programme organized by The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Team Artoo is led by Sameer Segal who has been recognized as one of Asia-Pacifics most promising young social entrepreneurs by the Paragon100 Fellowship. Also on the Artoo board are Karunjay Anand, Indus Chadha and Arunesh Mathur.
Four other teams will also have access to VC/angel investment community to take their ideas forward. These include Tenschools, to help parents and students discover schools and colleges that are best for them and apply to them from the convenience of their home; Ixora Biosciences, focusing on applications of genomics to healthcare; Star Wishlist Solutions, to simplify the gifting process for the host and their guests during a wedding ceremony; and BlackGold Eco Market Watch, to address a social menace through social entrepreneurship.
The entrepreneurial simulation exercise was conducted at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore on Saturday. TiE received over 140 applications from entrepreneurs from across the country. Later 35 teams were formed, before it was shortlisted to 15 teams and finally to 5 teams. These five teams of entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to present their business ideas in front of a large audience of venture capital investors, angel players and highnetworth individuals and a four-member jury comprising of Subrato Bagchi, co-founder of MindTree, Vinita Bali, MD of Britannia Industries and Sudhir Sethi, CMD of IDG Ventures.
Each team was given an imaginary fund of Rs 1 crore, which they could utilize to develop their business including team formation, capital costs and customer support. Pradeep Kar, president of Tie-Bangalore said the programme initiated in March was designed to stimulate and nourish the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals and give them an opportunity to indulge in a real life thrill of team building and company creation.
We’ve just begun on a journey to create what we hope will become a stellar technology company out of India. Artoo will aim to catalyze development through helpful innovation. While we realize that forces (both cosmic and earthly) will decide the future, we’re quite confident that we’ll make at least a small dent in the universe. We welcome you to follow our journey through our blog.
After much deliberation, we’ve decided that our blog will be an around-the-water-cooler conversation about helpful innovation. We’ll discuss the latest from the world of technology. We’re most interested in innovation that has the potential to have a huge impact on our day to day lives. And, of course, we’d love to hear from you through the comments section as well.