[The Turning Point] How a friend’s pain point led to the launch of advance salary startup Valyu
Sometimes, misfortune works as a blessing in disguise.
That’s what happened with Rashoo Kame, Co-founder of Valyu.ai, an accrued advance salary solution that helps employees avail salaries equivalent to the number of days that they have worked in a particular month.
Rashoo joined hands with Gaurav Kumar to launch Valyu in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, after a friend lost his job.
The Gurugram-based advance salary solution has already onboarded one million employees across India. They expect to disburse advance salary amounting to Rs 500 crore in FY21.
The breakthrough moment
Rashoo, who was working on independent projects for the last two years, always wanted to turn to entrepreneurship, but no particular idea really stood out. Then one day, when one of her friends lost his job amidst the pandemic-led layoffs, his wife was saddled with double the expenses.
When the friend reached out to others for financial help, nobody could chip in due to tough times all around.
With no other option, his wife approached her employer for a salary advance, but was turned down given the economic climate. The financial burdens suffered by her friends led Rashoo to think of solutions, and the idea for Valyu was born.
She called her batchmate and an erstwhile colleague, Gaurav, to see if he would like to work on the idea. The response was a resounding yes! As both came from management and finance backgrounds, they decided to first do a survey. The results were startling.
“We actually found that close to 50 percent of women, and more than 50 percent of men who we sampled ran out of their salary amount midway through the month,” Rashoo says.
The situation has been worsening each month amidst the pandemic. COVID-19 has left the economies of countries and the personal finances of millions of people reeling. Unprecedented job cuts have led to an all-pervasive fear of unemployment.
“At such a time, if employees face a financial challenge in the middle of the month, what options do they have?” Rashoo asks.
How Valyu works
The founding duo started putting ideas on paper and zeroed in on an advance salary solution. After research and development, Valyu was launched as a SaaS platform in July. The platform provides paperless, instantly approved, same day disbursal of salaries in advance.
Valyu partners with NBFCs to help companies disburse salaries in advance to employees, and gets a service or transaction fee.
“Employees are allowed to withdraw a large percentage of their unpaid but accrued earnings straight into their salary account whenever they need it. These advances are given to the employees within minutes sans any cumbersome paperwork, CIBIL score check, or financial background check.
“At the end of the month, the corporates pay the settlement (this is a disbursed amount with extra charges) amount to Valyu.ai and employees get their balance salaries,” Rashoo explains.
The co-founders of Valyu.ai believe that the offering helps people to handle financial crises and companies to drive loyalty, incremental productivity, and improved employee retention.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai