YONO biggest start-up by a legacy bank, worth over $40 billion: SBI Chief Rajnish Kumar

Within three years of its launch, YONO, the digital banking platform of the country’s largest lender SBI, has a valuation of over $40 billion, the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar said on September 9.

The bank is also working on creating a business-to-business (B2B) platform for bill receivables, called ‘Bharat Draft’, which will have all the MSMEs registered, he said.

SBI had launched the YONO platform in November 2017 to help its customers’ banking, investment and shopping needs.

Speaking at a recent event, Kumar said YONO, which is an acronym for You Only Need One, is a profitable platform and rued that no one gets to know its valuation because it sits within the bank.

“Only thing is that because it is sitting in the bank, it does not get reflected in the valuations. If it was sitting outside banks, my valuation would may be $40-50 billion for YONO given the valuations which the start-ups get,” he said.

Kumar, whose three-year term as the chairman comes to an end next month, asserted that YONO is the biggest start-up by a legacy bank. He said the bank is adding over 70,000 customers per day to the platform, and has added 2.7 crore users in the last six months, which saw an accelerated growth because of the pandemic.

The bank, which created the platform with help from consultant McKinsey and tech major IBM, makes a “decent IRR” (internal rate of return), Kumar said.

At present, it is giving loans of over Rs 70 crore per day through digital means, including on weekends, he said.

On the receivables platform, he said, the work has already started and it envisions getting all businesses on a single platform to ensure that entities get finance against receivables. Kumar said SBI works with start-ups in a slew of areas including cyber security and fraud prevention, and is also looking at investing in some of them.

He identified scaling up and marshalling adequate resources as challenges faced by start-ups. Kumar said the bank’s board has approved a spending limit of Rs 10 crore for the management to work directly with start-ups, and added that it is aiding the bank a lot.

He said the arrival of a vaccine for coronavirus will unshackle minds of people and help restore normalcy. He also lauded the work done by his colleagues in ensuring that banking activities continue during the lockdown.

Rajnish KumarSBISBI Yono
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