As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak global havoc, both social and economic, startups across the spectrum have been majorly impacted. According to a recent survey recent survey Business Today 47% of startups, SMEs don't have cash to last a month, says survey Read more , a whopping 47% of Indian startups and small and medium enterprises have said they have less than one month of cash left. 27% are already out of funds. Only 6% of companies surveyed said they had enough for over six months.

Against this backdrop, it is tempting to believe that there are some startups that are completely unaffected by the pandemic. Startups like Kunal Shah’s CRED, the two-year-old credit card payment startup that bills itself as “a platform to aggregate and reward people who have good credit scores”. It raised a large funding chest of $150 million $150 million The Ken CRED’s uncertain path from credibility to confidence Read more  and has no legacy business model to speak of. The company, therefore, is extremely well capitalised and there is no risk of a sudden drop in customer revenues creating an unforeseen hole as there was no such revenue in the first place.

But while CRED might not be in danger of running out of funding runway any time soon, it is not immune to the ill-effects of the pandemic.

CRED is in the business of “ following the money following the money The Ken Three-card Monte: Kunal Shah’s CRED plays the “follow the money” game Read more ”. It targets credit card holders with high credit scores credit scores Credit Score A credit score is a three-digit score between 300-900, calculated based one's borrowing and repayment history. These scores are used by lenders to evaluate creditworthiness. and offers them a members-only app where they earn reward points for paying their credit card bills. These reward points can be redeemed for cashbacks, discounts, and other offers on the platform.

The “user experience motion” of CRED requires users to pay their credit card bills through the app. These rewards serve as motivators to remind users to take the trouble of logging in every month, with CRED’s beautifully-designed app UI representing the icing on the cake.

The pandemic has upended this.


Sumanth Raghavendra

Sumanth is a serial entrepreneur with more than eighteen years experience in running startups. He is currently the founder of Deck App Technologies, a Bangalore-based startup attempting to re-imagine productivity software for the Post-PC era. Sumanth’s columns appear regularly in leading publications. He holds MBA degrees from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, USA.

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