Below is our recent interview with Sonal Bagga, Founder at Namma:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Namma makes it easy for family and friends to generate custom loan agreement templates, receive monthly email reminders for payback, and trigger automated bank transfers to fund things like purchasing a car, buying a house, or starting a business. Namma is named for Ur-Nammu, founder of the Sumerian Third Dynasty of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, ruling from 2112 B.C. to 2094 B.C. Ur-Nammu is best known for his legal code, the Code of Ur-Nammu, the oldest known surviving law code in the world. Namma is derived directly from Ur-Nammu’s name to remind consumers of the history of contractual agreements and his work in state-building and community.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: Yes, I would love to share that adoption is inching upwards for this service already. Namma Easy allows our customers to after having signed a loan contract, set up automatic payments based on their decided schedule. Since we have launched the service, 1 out of every 4 loans signs up for the service. The rest at least start a conversation between the customers as to how they want to pay back to each other. Our main goal was for people to use this service for security, showing good intent, and for clear bank traceability. But it is still an optional add-on service. Going forward, this service does become our baseline for what we want to build further.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Namma Starter auto-generates a free, downloadable, custom loan agreement based on mutually agreed-on terms and timelines. It requests an electronic signature from both the borrower and lender. Once users execute the loan, they each receive monthly reminders for recurring payments seven days before the payment due dates. Additionally, borrowers and lenders can enroll in Namma Easy, to automate loan payments according to scheduled dates. Namma will initiate bank-to-bank transfers for a nominal fee
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: We want to build features into our product to attract millennial and Gen Y customers. These might be social media integrations and handling specific use cases for this segment. We also want to start providing folks that are borrowing and lending to each other informally, benefits of the formal lending system. We will be exploring options for transaction furnishment, credit score visibility for our users. Namma has just started and there is a lot to be done to realize our vision of making social lending a viable alternative.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: The company was bootstrapped by me with a very small team and each member of our team wants to be a Namma user or is already one. A pretty diverse team came together organically without even trying. In terms of gender, cultural background, social needs, skill set, the group is quite diverse and our idea generation stays strong. All of us had different use cases for why we would need Namma and turns out whatever we had originally hypothesized for, we are seeing reflected in our customer use cases. But we also see social contracting being used for so many other cases, and that it is very exciting.