Digital debt financing platform CredAvenue’s brand revamp as Yubi ties well with its goal of going beyond being a credit-only platform into its international expansion to markets such as West Asia and North Africa.
Founded in 2020, Yubi facilitates debt financing for companies by connecting lenders and investors with borrowers through an online marketplace. Its offerings include term lending and working capital solutions, co-lending partnerships for banks and NBFCs, bond issuance and investment for institutional and retail participants, trade financing solutions and end-to-end securitisation and portfolio buyouts.
The Chennai-based fintech startup entered the unicorn club in just 18 months after raising around $137 million in its Series B funding. Flush with funds, the company is looking to create awareness about availability of hassle-free credit and new verticals (investment/real estate) that it intends to launch.
In an exclusive conversation with Storyboard18, Karanpreet Bindra, Yubi’s chief marketing officer, breaks down the objective behind the brand revamp. According to him, the company is looking at a large global category that can’t be contained in CredAvenue, which was a functional name.
“Our intent or ambition is to be the invisible layer covering the entire credit and debt ecosystem in the world. CredAvenue is not going to do justice to our ambition because our goal is much wider than just providing credit,” he says.
Bindra says that Yubi aims to facilitate all sorts of credit transactions right from connecting a borrower and lender, which happens to be the marketplace side of things (and what CredAvenue sounds like), ensuring smooth digitised execution on the platform itself, monitoring the journey end-to-end, and enabling connections for that loan.
So, what does Yubi mean and how did the company arrive at the new name?
Yubi means being ubiquitous, Bindra tells us. It’s like water, air or even the internet, which is out there all around you and powering life. "We wish to be that ubiquitous layer that’s the origin of Yubi, which is short for ubiquity. I think the other one is that we have a strong fundamental belief in the power of humans in doing great things and that’s where the tagline comes from."
"We believe in the fundamental right of access to capital and the potential of humans. We stand for leveraging human potential – You be – so you be at your best, which is the other inspiration for the brand name,” he explains.
Many TGs and eleven marketing plans
Yubi works with various target audiences (TGs). In the marketplace model, the company has lenders (banks/NBFCs) and borrowers (enterprises, which can have as little as Rs 10 crore annual revenue / taking a loan against property, to a unicorn or Rs 10,000 crore listed organisation looking to raise debt).
“We cater to almost six TG sets within the borrower ecosystem and three segments around the lender ecosystem. We work with two broad categories: B2B and B2B2C. For instance it can be a firm like CRED or payment app Slice, which are our customers; although they are dealing with the end customers we are powering their transactions," Bindra says.
The company will soon build and launch a B2C vertical focussed on investment products.
"We are like a single mother brand catering to almost eight different sub-brands,” Bindra notes.
For each of these sub-brands, the company has an individual marketing budget and campaign as well as a marketing strategy.
“As a group CMO, I’m working on 11 marketing plans, including the mother brand," says Bindra. He draws a comparison to an iconic global brand: "With Yubi, we have done the umbrella or mother branding similar to what FedEx does."
But all of Yubi's sub-brands will also have individual marketing plans aimed at their respective TG. For instance, one of its product brands is 'Yubi Invest', so that’s a product about wealth and it targets wealth managers. The whole marketing campaign and strategy for this sub-product will be built independent of the mother brand.
Translating vision to a new identity
Yubi’s marketing goal in the next two years is to establish itself as a leader powering the entire debt ecosystem in India, West Asia and the North Africa region. On product lines, it is targeting a leadership position in six of the eight sub-brands.
Talking about the brand identity change, Alexa Hargreave, client partner, Venture3, says that the agency has developed a set of brand principles that underpin the way Yubi speaks, acts, looks and behaves to drive the experiences it creates.
These principles include ‘Freedom to collaborate’ (which focuses on breaking down barriers and discovering opportunities), ‘Power of transparency’ (inspired by integrity and honesty in the open exchange of ideas and capital) and ‘Equitable and fair’ (a belief in the public good and opportunity that capital creates).
The agency says that it has repositioned Yubi from a debt marketplace to a ‘possibility platform’.
Design and brand expert Shekhar Badve, founder-director, Lokusdesign, says that the identity looks young and has an interesting play of 2D and 3D effects. “It looks like a marketplace for young investors. (But) I feel the identity should have been a bit serious and build confidence just by looking at it,” he notes.
Bindra, however, is confident that the new brand identity effectively captures Yubi's reason to be and future direction.