EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH PRASHANT BORDE, CO-FOUNDER & CTO, RECKO

22Jun - by aiuniverse - 0 - In Artificial Intelligence

Source – https://www.analyticsinsight.net/

Prashant Borde, a second-time entrepreneur, is the Co-founder of Recko to solve finance teams’ problems using deep tech. Before Recko, he co-founded Cubeit (acquired by Myntra) — a tech startup focused on distributed computing and machine learning on large-scale distributed systems, and spent much time writing Computer Vision and Image Processing programs.  Prashant holds a Bachelor’s in Technology, Electric Engineering, and Computer Science from IIT, Gandhinagar. He also holds an Entrepreneurial certification from Stanford University and has been part of several research projects, one of which is Computer Science for Caltech specializing in Community Seismic Network.  Prashant is an avid cricket fan and follows it religiously.

Here is an exclusive interview with Prashant Borde, Co-founder & CTO, Recko that enlightens us on how he aims to enable roadside vendors as well as hi-tech reputed companies to monitor large sets of real-time data and take smart informed financial decisions efficiently.

Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.

Recko is a finance operations platform for fast-growing internet companies. It provides a comprehensive and robust technology stack to manage financial data and enable financial workflows such as reconciliation, commission calculation, payout creation, and reporting for businesses to track, manage and account money end to end.

The company was set up in 2017 by Saurya Prakash Sinha and myself. At present, we are a team of 100 with stellar experiences across e-commerce and fintech companies such as Flipkart, Amazon, Nutanix, PhonePe, Ola Money, and Razorpay.

At present, Recko offers two products:

Reconciliation: Our Reconciliation product is used by finance teams to monitor and track the money coming from all the channels like payment gateways, aggregators, offline stores, and going out to marketplace sellers, and delivery partners. The whole process of reconciliation is generally done once in 35-40 days due to the effort involved, but with Recko as a financial system, our customers can do this daily.

Commission Calculation: Our Commission calculation module allows users to keep a check on the charges applied by their payment partners, marketplaces, acquirers, logistic partners, etc. It is built to handle usage, target, transaction, and tiered fee structures.

We will be releasing Ledgers and Payouts soon. This gives an edge for businesses to maintain their entire financial infrastructure on Recko.

With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?        

The global economy was witnessing a digital revolution. Every business out there was starting to accept digital payments. From a roadside vendor to a multi-billion internet company, everyone was getting comfortable receiving payments directly to their bank account.

And, needless to say, customers also preferred this mode of payment. It is convenient and happens at the click of a button. This digitization paved the way to get things done faster and easier. Every other day, there are also newer innovative payment methods being added like buy now pay later, UPI-based lending, etc.

While the process is simple and smooth for the customers, we noticed that the merchants faced certain issues when it comes to reconciling these payments due to outdated tools and practices. The amount of data that is generated in the last two years is more than the data generated in the last 100 years collectively. This data resides in data warehouses, data lakes, and is siloed. Especially from a finance point of view, the amount of data that the finance team has to analyze to understand the money that is flowing through their systems has skyrocketed.

Traditional tools like MS Excel cannot scale to the demands of today’s finance function. To compete fiercely, businesses are looking into the data to ensure business integrity, financial controls and identify growth avenues and increase margins. Data-driven software companies are providing cleaner, usable data to make financial operations within a business better and forward-looking.

That got us thinking, what if there is a tool that enabled internet businesses to reconcile easily and thereby helped them make informed financial decisions. As the business needs and consumer behavior evolve, their finance teams need to transform as well.

Saurya and I identified this problem in the companies we worked at.

We saw a huge uncharted business opportunity here. Having closely worked with the finance teams, ourselves, we understood how a product such as Recko would empower its users in terms of financial decisions. We aimed to automate and Fastrack this process.

Today, Recko enables businesses to monitor large volumes of transactional data without writing a single line of code. It ensures that the money flow between the beneficiaries is in correlation with what needs to be paid out.

Recko’s global financial operations platform is currently used by technology companies in three regions – Europe, India, and Southeast Asia with customers across multiple industries like e-commerce, food tech, fintech, neo-banks, gaming, etc. We work with companies like Deliveroo, eCommerce, Grofers, Meesho, Dunzo, Pharmeasy, Curefit, Udaan, MPL, Khatabook, and so on.

Tell us how your company is contributing to the AI/Big Data/ Analytics industry of the nation and how the company is benefiting the clients.    

Right now, we leverage concepts in Big Data, Analytics, and AI. We went through a unique challenge of dealing with scale early in our journey. In response, we put a lot of effort into understanding and building modern concepts in Big Data and Analytics. We have built a data platform that supports precision at scale, high consistency, and iterative data transformation and analytics. Our platform supports critical functionalities like retrospective changes with audit trail, time travel at scale, and so on.

Using Recko, customers can automate reconciliation and commission calculation. A typical month-end closure process that takes multiple weeks can be done in just a few hours. With our integrations, our customers are able to monitor money flow daily. With historical reporting and advanced analytics across multiple years, finance teams have much higher visibility. Finance teams using Recko are able to take care of strategic business decisions as Recko takes care of reconciliation, end to end.

How does Recko’s financial operations platform empower finance teams?

Finance teams often spend a lot of time normalizing the data. This is because they receive data from multiple sources such as settlement files, order management systems, banks, etc. Each of the files has a different format, but at the end of the day, they need to be cross-checked to ensure that the information available across all these files is in tandem with one another.

The finance team’s responsibility includes transforming these data and then reconciling them. More data processing is required when working with different finance tools used for accounting, tax, payouts, etc. One can only imagine how difficult things would turn out to be when the volume increases. Sometimes the traditional on-premise tools such as excel freeze, running into resource crunch due to a combination of complex logic and volume. There is a high scalability issue. It has integrity checks, sometimes lacks version control, and the ability to correct historical mistakes.

Recko smartly identifies the data that is fed into the system with the help of pre-defined rules and reconciles at a transactional level. It provides a comprehensive and robust technology stack to manage financial data and enable financial workflows such as reconciliation, commission calculation, payout creation, and reporting for businesses to track, manage and account money end to end.

Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.

One of the unique challenges we had was supporting scale at the very start of our journey. We needed to focus on accuracy as well. That helped us to gain the trust of the finance teams and gave us the confidence to march further.

We had to let go of the typical thinking that you find in startup product development code first. After our first release, we understood that this is not the way to move forward. Unlearning this has been a great challenge as we started scaling. We moved to a customer-first approach and started planning the roadmap and how the features that we build now will scale in the future.

What is your biggest USP that differentiates the company from competitors?

“Finance Operations Platform built for the Internet ecosystem which ensures 100% accuracy, scales seamlessly and manages complexity effortlessly.”

The Recko Financial Operations Platform empowers finance teams in fast-growing internet businesses with a comprehensive and robust technology stack to build and embed innovative financial workflows such as reconciliation, commission calculation, payment orchestration, and reporting. This allows businesses to accelerate growth, collaboration, and track and manage money end to end. Recko ensures that every dollar, euro, or pound that the company moves is accounted for and the financial needs of the ever-evolving business are taken care of

Brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how do they get value out of it

At present, Recko offers two products – Reconciliation and Commission calculation. We will be releasing Ledgers and Payouts soon. This gives an edge for businesses to maintain their entire financial infrastructure on Recko.

Reconciliation

Our Reconciliation product is used by finance teams to monitor and track the money coming from all the channels like payment gateways, aggregators, offline stores, going out to marketplace sellers and delivery partners. The whole process of reconciliation is generally done once in 35-40 days due to the effort involved but with Recko as a financial system, our customers can do this daily.

This has enabled the finance teams to identify the gaps and plug them right away rather than waiting for it to accumulate over a period of time. Our customers have recovered large sums from partners and prevented doubled payouts. They can reconcile their Nodal/Escrow accounts easily. Some of our customers who integrated Recko early into their finance systems drastically reduced the due diligence time during fundraising and got access to funds faster.

Commission Calculation

Recko maintains all the commercial terms and the agreed payment cycles in its system. This eliminates human errors or guesswork.

Our Commission calculation module allows users to keep a check on the charges applied by their payment partners, marketplaces, acquirers, logistic partners, etc. It is built to handle usage, target, transaction, and tiered fee structures. Our customers have recovered incorrectly charged commissions from their business partners, payment gateways and closely watch transaction ageing to ensure they don’t go short of working capital.

What’s your growth plans for the next 12 months?

Our immediate plan is to add more products like payouts calculations and ledger to our existing suite. The payouts calculation module will help startups and growth-stage companies have payouts set up without investing any time or precious engineering bandwidth in development. The ledger module will be a single source of truth for your financial data.

We are also constantly adding new features to your reconciliation and commission calculation module to solve complex use cases. Our long-term goal is to provide enough insights that enable businesses to make financial decisions in real-time.

Recko is a finance operations platform for fast-growing internet companies. It provides a comprehensive and robust technology stack to manage financial data and enable financial workflows such as Reconciliation, Commission calculation, Payout creation and reporting for businesses to track, manage and account money end to end.

Prashant Borde, Co-founder & CTO, Recko.io

Prashant is also a second-time entrepreneur and co-founded Recko to solve finance teams’ problems using deep tech. Before Recko, he co-founded Cubeit (acquired by Myntra) – a tech startup focused on distributed computing and machine learning – on large-scale distributed systems and spent much time writing Computer Vision and Image Processing programs.

Prashant holds a Bachelor’s in Technology, Electric Engineering, and Computer Science from IIT, Gandhinagar. He also holds an Entrepreneurial certification from Stanford University and has been part of several research projects, one of which is Computer Science for Caltech specializing in Community Seismic Network. Prashant is an avid cricket fan and follows it religiously.

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