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The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on the jobs of many employees. Rashoo Kame was deeply impacted when one of her close friends’ husband lost his job during the pandemic. Though her friend was still working, it created many financial challenges. She could not get help from her friends, family and even employer due to the unfortunate pandemic. Furthermore, seeking help from financial institutions involved high charges, cumbersome paperwork and painstaking formalities.
Further research revealed that out of the 100 million working population in India that earns regular salaries, 80% of the people run out of money between pay-checks. This led Rashoo to start Valyu.ai along with Gaurav Kumar, with whom she had worked in their first job at TCS. Valyu.ai was hence launched early this year to address the financial stress of the 80 million Indians and build India’s largest advance salary solution.
Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Gaurav Kumar who is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Valyu.ai to learn more about their ambitious project and how it utilises deep technology to turn Valyu.ai into a billion-dollar valued startup by 2025.
Venturing The Salary Solution Space
Gaurav believes that in times when a majority of India’s employee base is stuck with financial hurdles on one side and a liquidity crunch on the other, it might get challenging for them in emergencies to reach out for salary advances to companies, leading many times to mental health issues.
“A stressed workforce is less productive, and it leads to higher attrition and erosion of knowledge base,” says Gaurav. He further explains that rehiring and filling these gaps will typically cost 60% of employees’ salary per hire.
With a team of over 15 members, Valyu.ai looks to solve these issues, without the usual worries of poor credit history, CIBIL scores getting impacted, repayment of personal loans at unusual rates etc.
How Does It Work?
As Gaurav explains, the solution focuses on associating with large payroll processing companies, HRMS and other service providers, who in turn have a large bank of clientele. These companies then offer Valyu.ai to their clientele and their clientele’s employees as an advance salary option. Employees are allowed to withdraw a large percentage of their unpaid but accrued earnings straight into their salary account whenever they need it.
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“These advances are given to the employees within minutes sans any cumbersome paperwork, CIBIL scores check or financial background check. At the end of the month, the corporates pay the settlement, which is the disbursed amount plus charges that amount to Valyu.ai, and employees get their balance salaries,” he said.
AI Behind Valyu.ai
Valyu.aI aims to offer 100% digital and automated experiences to all its clients and users, and technology plays a pivotal role. “Our technology platform follows a very clear ecosystem approach. We have an in-house team of tech experts to build the modules and services that are core to our business and directly impact our end-user experience. We have partnered with best-in-class industry experts to leverage best practices for standardised components like KYC, E-Contracts, etc.,” shared Gaurav.
He further added that AI and ML are at the core of their algorithms. The ML-based rules engine works 24×7 for continuously monitoring risk profiles of the existing customers. “Our scorecard formulas and thresholds are updated at a regular interval by using the recommendations generated by our self-learning credit approval engines,” he said.
Another important area, where AI takes a central role at Valyu.ai is the ‘Digital Product Design Lab’. In this module, the systems look at each customer as an individual and aim to define a product configuration that can cater to specific needs and circumstances of the individual in its scope.
“We have also adopted a cloud-first, serverless and asynchronous architecture and are one of the very early adopters for AWS TimeSeries DB,” shared Gaurav.
He further added that they use NodeJS and GoLang for their Middleware and Backend services, whereas, R, Python, TensorFlow, Drools, H2O for AI/ML and rules engine. “We also utilise Kotlin, Swift, ReactJS for our application and presentation layer. For cloud services, we utilise GCP and AWS, and for our CI/CD/CR pipelines we use Github and Github runners,” he said.
They have also started working on NLP and voice tech to extend solutions and offer voice-based authentication and multi-lingual services over voice.
Valyu.ai has tied up with one of the biggest payroll processing companies in the country — PeopleStrong to gain access to its hundreds of clients across industries and sectors and an employee base of one million, i.e. ten lakhs users. Having signed up with some of their direct clients, they plan to disburse roughly around ₹500 crores within this calendar year.
“We plan to gradually increase our service base to over 25 lakh employees across India by the end of this calendar. Our long-term goal is to provide advances of over ₹2,500 crores to employees in the next five year,” said Gaurav on a concluding note.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.