SMEcorner Wins Second Place at SURGE’s PITCH Competition

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The four final round judges at SURGE’s PITCH competition: Google’s Sunil Rao, Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, FuturePerfect Ventures’ Jalak Jobanputra.

On February 22-24, 2016, SMEcorner joined over 5,000 people from 72 countries at SURGE in Bengaluru, India. SMEcorner was selected as one of the 40 shortlisted startups, eventually advancing to be one of three finalists in the conference-wide PITCH competition. Their pitch was judged by Sachin Bansal of Flipkart,  Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Jalak Jobanputra of FuturePerfect Ventures and Sunil Rao of Google. Watch the pitch:

SMEcorner won runner-up in the PITCH Competition, and was awarded $20,000 in Google credits and access to technical resources for Google Cloud and digital marketing. “This was a fantastic experience for us that came at a really pivotal moment in our company’s growth,” says Samir Bhatia, CEO & Co-Founder of SMEcorner. “We are piloting and testing new ways of reaching our target lenders and borrowers every day.”

Just a few days prior to the PITCH competition, SMEcorner had successfully released an upgraded version of its platform with instant loan eligibility algorithms embedded. “It was good affirmation to get positive feedback on our new platform from a number of conference attendees,” Akshay Siroya, SMEcorner Strategy Associate, commented.

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In the semi-finals, SMEcorner’s team pitches to a panel of 4 judges. SMEcorner’s PITCH team included Samir Bhatia, CEO & Co-Founder; Sonal Patni, Chief Technology Officer; Pamela Sud, Head of Strategy; and Akshay Siroya, Strategy Associate.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time for our startup – not only for the press attention we received but also because we’re actively enhancing our Google infrastructure across almost every aspect of our business,” Sonal Patni, Chief Technology Officer at SMEcorner, remarked. SMEcorner is India’s only online platform catering exclusively to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), bringing them access to a range of financing products from partner financial institutions. In January 2016, SMEcorner launched new fulfillment functions in two additional cities to complement its Mumbai presence. This allowed the company to provide more value-added services to its partner banks.

Similarly, the company is planning a major expansion of its platform to move towards being a marketplace lender, with broad participation across banks, non-bank financial companies, and alternate lenders. Development is scheduled for 2016.

Pamela Sud is Head of Strategy at SMECorner. She is an Accion Venture Lab extern who is embedded directly within SMEcorner’s senior management team in Mumbai, India. Accion Venture Lab announced its seed-stage investment in SMEcorner in August 2015.

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