1. Tell us about the overall journey of Kuhoo; highlighting the launch of diversified services
Kuhoo began its journey in May 2021 and disbursed its first student loan on January 22, 2022. In a short span of 18 months, the company has grown to a team strength of 70 people. With a deep domain expertise on student loans in the country, Kuhoo has managed to offer a diverse range of services, including Kuhoo India, Kuhoo Abroad, and Partnership Products. These services allow students to access funding for their education in India as well as abroad, and also offer partnership opportunities for educational institutions. Since its inception, the company has been focused on expanding its reach and offerings to better serve the needs of students in India and abroad.
2. Milestones Achieved:
Kuhoo has achieved several milestones since its launch, including:
- 7000+ customers have applied for loans from Kuhoo, with a total loan requirement of over Rs. 400 crores.
- 8000+ people applied for the 60 job positions available at Kuhoo.
- The company has launched the first versions of its state-of-the-art student mobile app and Loan Origination System (LOS).
These milestones demonstrate the strong demand for Kuhoo’s services and the company’s ability to attract a talented team. The launch of the student mobile app and LOS, in particular, highlights the company’s focus on using technology to enhance the customer experience and streamline loan origination.
3. How Kuhoo is helping and solving the education loans problem in India–
Kuhoo is addressing the problem of access to education loans in India by creating a student-friendly ecosystem for financing education. The student loan market in India is highly under-penetrated, with only about 20% of people managing to get financing for their education expenses. On the other side, banks have been hurt by the high NPA rates in their student loan portfolio. As a result their student loan approval rate has dropped below 25% making it increasingly difficult for students to take loans from banks.
To address this, Kuhoo is developing an online platform that allows students to easily determine their eligibility for a loan and the amount they can borrow. By using data-driven insights and scorecards to evaluate the student’s earning potential and employability, Kuhoo is able to provide loans to students who may not have access to traditional financing options. The company’s focus on using technology to streamline the loan origination process and enhance the customer experience also helps to make the process more convenient and efficient for students. Overall, Kuhoo is working to bridge the gap in access to education financing in India and help students become self-reliant.
4. Briefly describe the uniqueness of the brand –
Kuhoo is a unique brand in the education loan space, with a strong emphasis on using technology and innovation to design products that meet the needs of students. The company has established itself as a noteworthy player in the market, having raised almost 150 crores INR from a prominent VC Fund like West Bridge Capital. The company’s founder, Prashant, has a vision of democratizing education for every talented Indian student, and has assembled an exceptionally talented leadership team that is working hard to make this vision a reality.
The company’s approach to student loan assessment, using a combination of data science analytics and machine learning to evaluate the earning potential and employability of the student, sets it apart from other traditional lending institutions. The company’s focus on creating a student-friendly ecosystem for financing education, by streamlining the loan origination process and providing collateral-free loans, makes the loan process much more accessible and efficient for the students.
Overall, Kuhoo’s unique approach, driven by technology and innovation, along with its focus on meeting the specific needs of students, sets it apart from other players in the market, making it a noteworthy brand in education loan space
5. Business Model of Kuhoo and product offerings – The business model of Kuhoo is focused on customer acquisition through a multi-prong approach. The company partners with counsellors, test prep centres and uses digital marketing to onboard customers. It also invests heavily in technology to build scalable infrastructure which enhances customer experience by eliminating time lags.
The company’s team, which has over 30 years of cumulative experience in the student loan industry, uses data driven insights to curate collateral free and co-borrower free loans for Indian higher education, which aims to make a significant impact in fulfilling demand in this sector.
6. How Kuhoo is different from other brands:
Kuhoo is a unique brand in the education loan space, set up as a mobile, tech, and data science-driven start-up. The company’s mission is to make middle-class Indian students self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) through its products and services.
One of the ways Kuhoo sets itself apart from other brands is by focusing on using technology and data science to enhance the customer experience. The company is utilising technology to develop a credit decisioning engine to evaluate the student’s earning potential, which allows it to provide loans to students who may not have access to traditional financing options. The company’s focus on streamlining the loan application process and providing collateral-free loans makes the process much more accessible and efficient for students.
The company also sets itself apart by continuously iterating and developing new features and capabilities and exploring opportunities to expand its product offering and enter new markets. This focus on innovation helps to ensure that Kuhoo’s products and services are always meeting the evolving needs of students.
Overall, Kuhoo’s mission of making middle-class Indian students self-reliant and its unique approach, driven by technology and innovation, sets it apart from other brands in the education loan space.
7. How do you use technology and data science to create products that allow students to take their own responsibility instead of putting a financial burden on their parents:
Kuhoo uses advanced data analytics and algorithms to conduct a deep assessment of the applicant (student), evaluating several factors to arrive at optimal decisions. They are constantly using machine learning and intelligence to improve their decision engine which places a strong emphasis on the future earning potential and employability of the student, rather than just relying on the assets or bank balance of the student’s parents. This approach allows Kuhoo to provide loans where the student is the primary borrower and has flexibility to make repayments when they start earning.
The company’s goal is to enhance its demographic outreach by catering to the education needs of all individuals from the age of 18 and above. Through its domain expertise and a focus on innovation, Kuhoo aims to foster inclusivity and help every student in India to become self-reliant, pursuing their dreams and aspirations without placing a burden on their parents.
8. Does Kuhoo give loans to education who are applying for MBA only? Kuhoo provides student loans for most courses in India for bachelors and master degrees, and in select countries abroad for master’s degrees. This allows students to pursue their education in a wide range of fields and locations.
9. What is the process to take the loan and in how many days do you approve a loan? Kuhoo has a streamlined 3-step process for obtaining a loan. The first step is to submit the necessary documents online and confirm eligibility. Then, the customer support team contacts the applicant and if all documents are submitted on time and the personal discussion happens on schedule, the loan is disbursed in a maximum of 3 days. This simple and efficient process makes it easy for students to access the funding they need to pursue their education.
10. On which basis do you give loans and at what interest level? Kuhoo gives loans based on the student’s academic profile and the target college and course, as they have a significant impact on the student’s earning potential. This is the primary focus area while analysing the risk profile and loan repayment capability of a student. Interest rates vary depending on the target college and course, the product chosen, and the tenure of the loan. The company uses a risk-based pricing model, meaning the interest rate offered on the loan may vary based on the perceived risk of the borrower not repaying the loan.
11. What is your monetization model? Kuhoo is currently levying interest charges and one time processing fees of 1 to 2% along with a 2% interest charge on delayed EMI repayments. Company’s focus is on optimising processes, improving the experience and ensuring that we scale efficiently without adding to our costs.