FinTech Startup of the Week: Connaizen

FinTech Startup of the Week: Connaizen

01-Jul-2016 by Hilda Low

Fate or coincidence? It all started when team Connaizen met at their college Communications Club 5 years ago. Through all the fun, carefree and ‘communications’ practice, who knew that Nikhil Garg, Sanchit Kapoor and Siddhant Punn were going to be co-founders today; Add Vikas Bharti, a machine-learning expert CTO and a great team is born!

The name Connaizen came from a friend’s suggestion ‘connaissance’ – french for knowledge. Coupled with ‘zen’ which means focus, Connaizen is a data-driven marketing solution which enables retailers and banks to create targeted campaigns. If this is still unclear, check out a video that Connaizen made for marketers!

Just 2 weeks to Demo Day, Connaizen is definitely gaining speed with a feature from The Tech Portal, and a growing following on their Facebook and Twitter channels. This week, let’s talk to the team about what they are up to –

1) In one sentence, tell us what is Connaizen! What problem are you solving?

Connaizen enables banks to target customers with highly personalized offers, thereby incentivizing card usage.

2) How do Connaizen benefit both banks & retailers?

Banks:

  1. Help banks create a personalized experience for their customers, increasing brand stickiness.
  2. Increase in card transaction through highly relevant offers.
  3. Measure and monitor impact of offers on transactions and takes data-driven decisions to acquire and retain customers.

Retailers

  1. Promote the right offers to the right customers based on customers’ area of interest, spending patterns and demographic.
  2. Identify and differentiate between frequent, infrequent and loyal customers.
  3. Measure campaign performance in real-time, and assess return rate of targeted customers after the end of campaign.

3) What is Connaizen’s biggest achievement so far?

We always like to answer this question with the cliche “The best is yet to come”. We’ve had quite a few highs. From winning big competitions like ‘ICICI Trinity’ and ‘Economic Times – Power of Ideas’ to partnering with the largest banking institutions in India and a boastful portfolio of merchant partners. The results of our recommendation algorithm on the sample data shared with the bank in itself is a huge achievement for us.

And of course, our selection in Startupbootcamp Singapore Fintech is a great achievement in itself as a great step forward!

4) Tell us about #TeamConnaizen and what is everyone up to now?

We take a lot of pride in our team as it is always the team’s efforts that help us sail through the many setbacks and difficulties.

Vikas is spearheading our biggest asset (ie. the recommendation algorithm) supported by Gaurav in developing the portal. The quality of the our recommendation engines is far better than what we estimated initially.

Siddhant and Sanchit are handling our bank and merchant relationships in India. Quite frankly, these guys have done an awesome job and we’ve yet to hear a NO from even a single merchant whom we approached. Hopefully, we’ll never do.

Last but not the least, as the CEO, I (Nikhil) am handling our partnerships in the APAC region and ensuring that each activity taken up in these verticals are aligned with our vision for the future. Also, a lot of the boring financial and legal stuff.

5) What do you think of #StartupLife?

Startup in the FinTech industry in particular, requires highly accurate decision making as there is little allowance for error in what we are trying to do. Both our stakeholders and us can’t have a launch and fail fast approach.

Good and bad news go hand in hand. In our case, quite literally so.

In January this year, we won a major startup competition and the next day our first employee left the company for a better offer. In March, we got selected for Startupbootcamp and the next week our point-of-contact switched his job. It’s part and parcel of startup life, I suppose.

But we keep one thing in mind, “Don’t lose mind when you’re high, don’t lose heart when you’re low”.

6) So many things are happening, how are you feeling?

Yes, a lot of things are happening! We are launching the pilot soon and we have a lineup of retailers wanting to run their campaigns through our portal. Yet, we are most excited about the upcoming Demo Day, hoping it will open many doors for us in terms of partnerships and potential investments.  

7) If Connaizen was a TV personality, who will he/she be and why?

Undoubtedly, #TyrionLannister. Our recommendation engine is nothing short of Tyrion’s unparalleled wisdom in the show. Put us in Westeros or Essos (read banks or merchants), and we assure you that our insights might just win you the battle of Blackwater Bay. Also, the team does ensure that no matter how serious things get, wits and wine get their due share.

8) Who are the top 3 brands you would like to partner with. Tell us why.

Since we are already working with India’s top financial players, I’ll list the top 3 retailers on our radar. In no specific order, they are McDonald’s, KFC and Amazon. This list is influenced by personal motivations (our General Meeting is followed by KFC buckets) but also because these brands spend heavily on marketing, so it makes good business sense to us.  

 

Want to meet Connaizen, and see how their platform connects banks, retailers and consumers in a growing network? Check them out at Demo Day on 14 July!

Catch up on Startupbootcamp FinTech Singapore’s #StartupOfTheWeek series here:

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