Indiagold: Leverage your gold holdings digitally
By Srinath Srinivasan
Today, with the rise of fintech applications, it is possible for anyone to buy gold in small amounts. The same gold can be traded digitally if necessary.
What started as such a service for indiagold has evolved into a comprehensive application, bringing together gold lending and locker services on one platform. Co-founded by former Paytm executives Nitin Misra and Deepak Abbot, the startup aims to facilitate gold lending and other related services. “Indians buy a lot of gold with household reserves of over 25,000 tonnes. However, gold lending is largely unorganized and underserved by banks and NBFCs, ”says Misra.
With digital, indiagold wants not only to organize this sector but also to remove the stigma attached to gold lending. “Taking loans for gold is generally seen as a defeat in life and is stigmatized in our society. With our digital services, we minimize human interaction and completely reduce the need to bring gold to a bank or NBFC branch, ”says Misra.
When applying for a gold loan from a client through the indiagold app, a representative is sent to her home with the necessary equipment to weigh and appraise the jewelry and securely pack it for transport. With photos and other supporting documents in place, the customer’s loan amount is sanctioned on site and credited directly to her bank account. “It is only after the client has received the money that our representative leaves the premises,” says Misra.
The startup works with registered lenders to provide loans. “Since we manage the lender’s money, we make our commission on them. The client only pays the interest on the loans like with any traditional lender, ”says Misra. For the locker service, the startup collects the jewelry from the customer in a biometric safe and brings them to the storage facility of the partner institution. It charges a fee of Rs 99 to 249 depending on the plan and provides insurance for all plans, which Misra said was not available with a traditional locker at banks.
Customer can follow the entire process from pickup to storage from the app for gold lending and gold locker services. “Our app also allows our customers to take out loans against jewelry in their lockers. This has helped our customers during the Covid-19 pandemic when they ran out of credit and availability of cash in an emergency, ”Misra shares. With over 198,000 customers transacting, indiagold has been on a roller coaster since 2020. “The lockdowns initially impacted our business and expansion plans. But our digital gold service was already popular, which prompted customers to use our gold lending and locker facilities, ”says Misra. With operations in Delhi-NCR currently, the startup aims to expand to other cities soon.