April 2nd, 2020, Bengaluru: The country’s leading gig economy neobank, Avail Finance has launched a specially designed COVID-19 support-package called ‘Avail Assist’ for gig-economy platforms in India. This offering will help gig-economy companies across e-commerce, food delivery, logistics, mobility and transportation, offer financial support to their on-ground workforce who are not eligible for employee benefits. A large part of the gig economy workforce is dependent on daily earnings to support themselves and their families, and these challenging times pose a severe strain on the liquidity and medical needs of this under-served segment.
As the nation grapples with the complete shutdown across all cities, Avail Finance discovered that the gig-economy employees are faced with a rapidly escalating challenge to meet their basic needs. This is the segment that faces the highest risk in the current situation of contagion. They also have the lowest liquidity to tide past this lockdown period since they are not even able to work in absence of work on many gig-economy platforms.
With millions of customers active on their platform, the team at Avail realised that a situation like this could potentially impact their families as well. Staying true to its promise of serving the blue-collared workers, the “Assist” solution was conceptualised and implemented within a few hours by the Avail Finance Team. Under this, a loan product offers an end-to-end customised service-suit for loan lifecycle management. Any employer can launch the program within two days because of Avail’s ready-to-use technology infrastructure. This will help the employer’s workforce get instant loans that have a repayment-holiday through the pandemic. Similarly, “COVID-protection”, an insurance product; will help gig economy workforce to insure themselves against any unfortunate event of hospitalisation. It will ensure that medical facilities can be availed in time and medical expenses do not burden them any further. Because of these features, “Assist” financial solution would empower employers with an ability to support their workforce well during Covid-19, support them quickly, and in a manner that employees will appreciate.
Commenting on the launch of this innovative product, Ankush Aggarwal, Founder Avail Finance remarked, “Avail Finance was founded with a mission to serve blue-collared workforce with financial solutions that meet their daily needs. The current pandemic situation is a tough time for all of us, but we know that it is felt more acutely for the lower income segments – who are our core customers. As a quick response, “Assist” was created in record time with the sole aim to support the under-served workforce by lessening their burden. We are happy to have been given the opportunity to serve our customers in such times and fortunate to play our role when they need us the most.”
A bespoke version of “Assist” was implemented for the drivers of Ola recently which would cover over 100,000 families across the country. Under this scheme, Ola’s pre-approved driver-partners are able to access loan amounts of upto INR 3600, which is disbursed over the course of three weeks to help them pay for their day-to-day household expenses.
“We have lost our daily income after the lockdown and it is hard to pay for household expenses. Through this loan facility from Ola and Avail, I instantly received Rs. 1200 in my account which has helped me and my family buy groceries and food. I’m thankful to Ola for helping me and my family out in this tough time.” said Mohan Kumar BK, a Bengaluru based cab-driver who benefited from Avail’s “Assist” offering to Ola.
“We deployed Avail Assist to help over 100,000 driver-partners and their families who are battling a severe liquidity crunch due to the loss of income from the ongoing lockdown through the Ola Sahyog initiative this week. We are offering micro-credit of up to Rs. 1200 on a weekly basis to our eligible partners through this easy to use platform. Avail’s deep-rooted experience in micro-credit for the gig-economy workforce, with a robust backend to support speedy disbursements, has been extremely valuable in extending timely support to our partners.” said Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson, and Head of Communications, Ola.
India’s leading gig economy neobank, Avail Finance provides unsecured online loans, amongst other financial solutions to the gig-economy workforce of India, hitherto untapped and underserved by the traditional financial sector. Avail Finance believes it is imperative to include this sector within the ambit of the banking universe and build a financial history with multiple product offerings like Personal Loans, Salary Advances, Savings, etc., using the company’s online mobile application.
About Avail Finance:
Founded in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance is a fintech company, focused on the gig-economy segment. Avail has multiple products that are customized to this segment – Personal Loans, Salary Advances, Savings etc. helping its users to be financially included and independent. Using machine learning and AI, Avail creates a unique analysis in the backend which helps in achieving what the team truly believes in – access to financial products, irrespective of income, geography, age, gender or ability to furnish documents. The company is backed by Matrix Partners, and prominent entrepreneurs like Binny Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart, Kunal Shah, Founder of Cred, Manish Patel, founder and CEO of Mswipe amongst others.