Nageen Kommu was born and brought up in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, where he studied till 12th before moving to study B.E, Computer Science and Engineering in NITK, Surathkal. After that Nageen worked with Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia) for 5 years in Bangalore as a software developer. He went to pursue his MBA in IIM-A from 2009-2011. After completing his degree, he joined Ernst and Young as a Consultant in Telecom department and worked there for 6 years. As a consultant in EY, he was predominantly responsible for providing advice to CXO level personnel in the telecom sector on various projects such as revenue enhancement, product launch, cost reduction and operations management.
Nageen resigned from EY in 2017 as a manager to start his entrepreneurial journey. He co-founded a company called Dribl along with his friend with the sole purpose of enhancing the online experience of sports fans. They wanted to improve the engagement of sports fans in the online space by personalizing their experience with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based technologies.
The main reason for starting this was the fact that the idea had a combination of Technology and Sports – both of which are his passion. This platform work for 2.5 years and had to shut down as they were unable to raise the necessary funds owing to low engagement on the platform.
It is always difficult for founder to close his venture where he is invested lot of time and emotions. But Nageen come over from this situation and decided to start Digitap with the aim to using the AI and ML technologies in the Fintech space to provide onboarding and automated credit underwriting solutions to NBFCs, Banks and Fintechs.
Idea of Digitap
During his stint in Dribl, he became intrigued with the AI-ML technologies and the power of these technologies to make informed decisions by sifting through enormous amounts of data. After Dribl, he was looking for use cases that need the adoption of these technologies. After through research, he was able to hone in on the Fintech industry where there was a gap that can be plugged in through the use of these technologies.
Digitap is a Bangalore-based early-stage tech start-up, focused on building high-tech AI/ ML and compliance related digital solutions for BFSI firms. The aim is to assist such firms to have a seamless and 100% compliant customer journey on their respective platforms along with providing AI/ ML enabled Big Data support to have better risk management and fraud control at their back end. They are live with 70+ clients (BharatPe, KreditBee, NAVI, BalanceHero, Indialends, Loantap, Incred, Motilal Oswal, Faircent, MAS Financial, mPokket, among others) for their solutions including some of the largest Fintech Lending platforms in the country and hope to add many more soon.
In the journey of Digitap, the most challenging time was during the Covid-19 lockdowns and the crisis that occurred due the Chinese loan apps. Digitap just started its journey in November 2019 and acquired first customer in December 2019. By the time startup wanted to expand, the lockdown happened and their focus had to shift from growth to survival. After the first lockdown, as Digitap was beginning to acquire clients, the investigations by Telangana Police into fraudulent activities by lending apps started that affected their business as well. Then the second wave happened in April-May 2021. It was tough with minimal revenue coming in from their clients during this period.
Shutting down Dribl was the hardest, since Nageen had to make a timely decision whether to pursue something else or to give Dribl more time. There was no right answer there. He had to follow his gut.
Biggest factor that has helped
Nageen Kommu is always result-oriented. He set a certain goal and then take steps towards achieving that without getting bogged down by ups and downs during the process of achieving that goal.
Digitap current structure
The company was founded in November 2019 by two Co-founders: Nageen Kommu (ex-EY, IIMA, NITK) and Ankoor Das (ex-Amazon/Delhivery/Citibank, IIMB, IITB). Currently they are a team of around 26 software engineers and 3 Sales resources (excluding the co-founders). They provide API based Data Analytics and Risk Management solutions along with digital Onboarding tools. They work with over 70 clients and have an ARR of >$1m. Currently, Digitap is serving clients in India only and is completely bootstrapped till now and in the process to raise their Pre-Series A funding.
Digitap target audience
Digitap primarily work with Fintech and BFSI industry enterprises, with around 70% of their clientele being digital native businesses.