Castler, a startup providing digital escrow services, has witnessed an astounding growth of 6500% in GTV (gross transaction value) within just one year. From Rs.15 crore in July 2021, the company has achieved a GTV of Rs.1000 crores by July 2022. Additionally, Castler’s customer base has increased by 384%, from 31 to 150, and the number of accounts opened has risen by 3200%, from 50 to 1650.
Despite having only a 10-person team led by co-founders Dinesh Kumar and Vineet Singh, a startup veteran with over 25 years of experience in companies such as Naukri, 99acres, and MobiKwik, Castler has managed to accomplish this feat. The company has secured another $1 million in seed funding in June 2022, allowing it to expand tenfold.
Castler offers modern escrow services that cater to the requirements of internet-based businesses. Started in 2021, the company already has YES Bank as a client and Rainmatter – Zerodha’s venture capital arm – among its investors.
Vineet Singh initially aimed to develop a secure transaction solution for buyers and sellers. However, he switched to escrow banking due to the growing demand for internet businesses. According to industry estimates, around 1 lakh companies in India use escrow accounts. Escrow deposits worldwide are worth $100Bn, and the market is set to grow to $260Bn by 2030.
Castler’s services include setting up and operating escrow accounts online, eKYC, eAgreement signing, digital account opening, and online escrow transactions. The company provides real-time notifications about the transaction status, catering to both B2C and B2B segments, including property resale and rental deposits, used vehicles, freelancing & contractual services, escrow services for mergers & acquisitions, gaming, and companies holding an RBI-issued Prepaid Payment Instrument license.
The 15-month-old startup follows a targeted approach, solving problems well, acquiring a reasonable market share, ensuring that customers pay for their services, and then broadening their horizons. Castler’s captable includes investors such as Naveen Kukreja, co-founder & CEO of Paisabazaar, Dhruv Agarwala, CEO-REA India (Founder-Housing.com; Proptiger), Apurva Salarpuria, Salarpuria Family Office, Archana Priyadarshini, General Partner at Pointone Capital, Vivek Khare, Ex-CorpDev Head at Info Edge (Investor in Zomato, PolicyBazaar), Deepak Gaddhyan, Chief Credit Officer (Wholesale) at RBL Bank, and Ajay Rajan, Senior Group President, Yes Bank.
Castler’s success in the escrow industry has been remarkable, especially given the many risks involved in online businesses. Singh’s experience with internet-based businesses, combined with a targeted approach and secure services, has enabled Castler to make a significant impact in a short time. The company’s growth trajectory and expansion plans appear promising, with more advancements expected in the future.