Yubi: shaking up banking in India
Philip Orwell is the founder and CEO of London-based brand agency venturethree. He explains how Yubi, a new corporate debt solution brand, meets a pressing need within the evolving Indian credit market.
Money makes the world go around. But not in India, apparently.
Although the country is set to shoot past Japan and then the US, to become the world’s second largest economy by 2050, businesses and entrepreneurs face a huge challenge getting their hands on the fuel that’s needed for growth. India’s debt to GDP ratio, so the pool of money that’s available to fund growth, lags all the other major economies.
Entrepreneur Gaurav Kumar, Yubi’s founder and CEO, plans to change that. He’s raised upwards of $200 million to take on India’s deeply entrenched banking system and reinvent the way capital flows to businesses – and ultimately consumers too. In the arcane world of debt finance (redefined more positively by Yubi as ‘credit’), he and his team of over 1000 people are a massive blast of fresh thinking and disruptive energy.
He's backed in Yubi’s most recent funding raise by Sequoia, famous for their early-stage investments in Apple, Zoom, Square and AirBnB, whose line is ‘We help the daring build legendary companies’ and making Yubi one of India’s best-funded startups.
Sequoia's CMO for India and Southeast Asia is Mumbai-based Gayatri Yadav, who also advises the team at Yubi. Gayatri is strong on fintech disruptors bursting through with a brand that declares unambiguously what they believe in.
Yubi’s walking that talk. The company says credit is a ‘life-force’ and that access to credit is ‘a fundamental right for all’. It’s this set of ideas that give the Yubi brand its centre of gravity: money makes everything possible, and Yubi is the platform to a world of financial possibilities. ‘A possibilities platform,’ in the company’s own way of telling it.
The name Yubi is instantly catchy with its roots in both ‘you’ and ‘ubiquitous’ - the idea of being for everyone, everywhere - and simply feels easy, likeable, fast, and universal. Nothing complicated, nothing getting in the way.
And it’s this ambition to make everything to do with money friction-free, that is powering the brand and even more, enabling the brand to be a source of power for how the company approaches and does everything.
Take Farmart, India’s leading B2B food supply platform, working with 1.4 million farmers. Yubi is creating the credit that makes it possible for farmers to interact directly with local produce markets and secure the best prices for their products. Just one example of the shake-up this ‘possibilities platform’ can create on many different commercial fronts across India.
This really is ‘brand as operating system’, using the Yubi brand to align everyone and everything to a vision of a transformed and transparent marketplace for credit and empowering everyone inside and outside the company to realise that vision every day, everywhere, in every decision and every action.
Only brand can do this, it’s the single most powerful force that a modern business can deploy.