Standard Chartered unit announces the commercial launch of SOLV
By Edil Corneille
Standard Chartered unit – SC Ventures, an innovation, ventures and FinTech investments unit, announced today the commercial launch of SOLV, a full-stack B2B marketplace for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India. The platform is part of the vision of the bank to rewire banking to serve the needs of its existing and new client segments in the digital age.
SOLV’s B2B commerce platform offers India’s MSME sector an open and inclusive trade ecosystem across the entire value chain. The platform brings the power of technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning helps MSMEs conduct their business with multiple stakeholders in a trusted environment.
Many small businesses that previously had no digital identity are now able to leverage the power of a full-stack e-commerce platform that allows them to have their own digital store fronts, access a wide range of products at the best prices, optimise their inventory, digitise their payments, generate goods and services tax compliant invoices and reconcile their accounts. Small businesses on SOLV’s platform can also generate ‘SOLV score’, an alternative credit score, to establish their creditworthiness within the ecosystem.
SOLV currently operates in over 20 Indian towns and is set to expand to 200 towns within the next year. Beyond India, SOLV will be rolling out in Kenya, Ghana and is also exploring other markets for expansion.
Jiten Arora, Venture Lead, SOLV and Global Head for SME Platforms, SC Ventures said, “…Backed by Standard Chartered’s global capabilities and deep local knowledge from over 160 years of presence in India, SOLV has the potential to positively impact millions of local MSMEs by helping them to achieve sustainable growth. As data continues to grow exponentially in the Indian market, SOLV is plugging into these data sources and building end-to-end technology led commerce and financial services solutions supported by business solutions, that can help to solve problems across customer onboarding, alternative credit scoring and underwriting, digitising operations and improving the efficiency of supply chains…”
With B2B buying and selling patterns shifting significantly towards digital channels after the outbreak of COVID-19, SOLV has been helping to keep supply chains operational by making use of its network of small businesses on the platform to connect suppliers to new buyers, and buyers to new suppliers. In maintaining the flow of essential goods, it has more than doubled the revenue of many small businesses on its platform with over 300 per cent growth in the value of goods traded over the last quarter and is now supplying over 250 tonnes of goods to small businesses every day.
SOLV’s extensive open network of more than 20 financial service providers enables invoice financing through a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ (BNPL) solution, growth capital through business loans and an integrated supply chain finance programme to support small businesses.
SOLV started as a business idea incubated at SC Ventures. Standard Chartered has been actively experimenting with new business models to meet the evolving needs of its clients. The bank recently announced the launch of Mox, its digital retail bank in Hong Kong, in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com; nexus, its banking-as-a-service solution; Cardspal, a credit card deals aggregation platform in Singapore, as well as a joint venture with Assembly Payments to develop and deliver payment solutions.