Small and medium-sized businesses make up a significant portion of India’s economy, contributing 31% to the country’s GDP and employing over 124 million people.
Despite the numbers, there are several invisible barriers that prevent small businesses from growing faster. One of the main factors contributing to this inability to scale is the lack of growth capital, as well as access to their own financial data, which can help them make informed decisions.
Enter Brego – a SaaS solution founded by Mihir Lunia and Rehan Netarwala, childhood friends turned business partners. Brego was designed with the goal of helping small and medium-sized businesses grow by giving them easy access to their numbers – sales, receivables, profit and loss, cash flow and more. It allows small business owners to keep a close eye on their numbers without having to rely on their accountants for financial data.
In a telephone interaction with YourStory, Rehan, co-founder of Brego said:
âThe biggest problem for small and medium business owners is that they don’t have access and information on all of their financial data. With Brego, the idea is to give them full visibility into all their data on their smartphone, so they can see their sales, expenses, receivables, bank balance, and they can make decisions instantly in based on financial data.
Entrepreneurs for the second time
Prior to founding Brego in 2019, Mihir and Rehan were also the founders of Savage & Palmer, an outsourced accounting services company that helped MSMEs and startups manage their accounting and tax reporting.
Founded in 2017 and started at over $ 1 million in ARR, this company gave them an in-depth understanding of the issues faced by Indian MSMEs in finance and banking. While Savage & Palmer solved some of the MSME issues through its professional services, the founders also identified issues that could be resolved through technology solutions and thus launched Brego.
âSavage & Palmer was a professional services company that was very labor intensive. We wanted to automate a lot of the work we were doing, which is why we thought of Brego, âexplains Rehan. The first company is still operational, but with an independent CEO.
How Brego works
Brego integrates with a business owner’s Tally accounting software and provides them with all the necessary reports and key metrics that can be viewed on both the mobile app and web browser.
Explaining how the application works, Rehan explains that an accountant or CA needs to install a small configuration file on their computer where the Tally is configured. After this posting, the business owner or business founder can log into their account and view all key metrics from the Brego mobile app or web browser.
âAll data comes from Tally, but because it’s complicated accounting software, Brego helps business owners access all reports in real time,â he adds. In terms of privacy, Rehan says all data is secured by end-to-end encryption best practices, undergoes regular penetration testing, and is hosted on AWS.
With easily accessible real-time reports, Business owners can share these reports with their team members, customers and suppliers directly through WhatsApp or email and facilitate faster business transactions.
They can also share records (transaction history) instantly with all stakeholders, thus avoiding any confusion between the parties.
A former student of the Indian School of Business, Mihir Lunia has over nine years of experience in the financial services industry. At Brego, Mihir leads business development.
Rehan has over eight years of experience as a management consultant in the e-commerce industry and leads product development at Brego.
Juned Sayyed is the Engineering Manager at Brego and has over 12 years of experience building mobile and web solutions. The company currently has a team of seven in the areas of technology, marketing, sales and products.
Economic model and traction
Brego’s Android app launched in June 2021 and currently has a few hundred downloads. The app offers a 7-day free trial, with an annual subscription of Rs. 2,999, per company for an unlimited number of users per plan.
As the fintech space heats up, the startup has been approached by several startup investors and it plans to close its startup cycle very soon, Rehan said.
The path to follow
Understanding the unmet needs of the MSME sector, Brego is looking to add a series of new features in the coming months, as it sees itself as a network of creditworthy businesses where MSMEs can –
â Set up an invoice today and get paid tomorrow without waiting 30/60/90 days.
â Buy now and pay later – plans to introduce Brego credit whereby businesses can get an extended credit period on all their expenses and free up cash.
â Access high quality professional services to help MSMEs with the bulk of the day-to-day work
Other startups in the MSME fintech space include BizAnalyst, CredFlow, and Hylobiz. While the global MSME market comprises over 60 million companies, Brego targets its product only towards the 10 to 15% of the market that makes up the organized sector.