Coronavirus has practically changed the entire perspective of how buyers and sellers transact. Online sales skyrocketed like never before, and with it came the fleet of fraudulent online activities. It is always difficult to trust people with your money, more so digitally. Banks offer escrow services as part of their solutions. Escrow is the process by which agreement-based transactions are carried out between two or more parties. The process of opening and using a traditional escrow account is time-consuming and more complicated in the case of large-scale transactions. There needs to be an ecosystem for transacting confidently with individuals and businesses.
Castler intends to fill the trust gaps that have arisen due to constantly evolving monetary frauds. It offers enterprise and individual customers with fast, secure, and low-cost digital escrow service. The startup is India’s first trust-based transaction ecosystem for businesses and consumers across multiple industries and use cases. It leverages technology to streamline conventional processes through online KYCs and digital escrow account openings.
This New Delhi-based escrow-as-a-service platform was founded in 2020 by Vineet K Singh and Ritesh Tiwari as ProtectPay, now renamed as Castler. Vineet Singh has built several multi-crore businesses across diverse domains of payments, real estate, ecommerce, jobs, matrimony, and travel. Some of these include MobiKwik, Buildzar, 99acres.com, Naukri.com, NaukriGulf, Naukri FastForward, and Jeevansathi.com. Ritesh Tiwari has more than 10 years of experience in building innovative digital payments, prepaid cards, neobanking, and investment banking products. He has worked with global organizations such as Omnio, Ensygnia, Barclays, and JP Morgan Chase.
“Escrow-as-a-service is a huge, under-served opportunity and we feel privileged to be among the first movers in this space. Our initial traction is outstanding and more importantly industry-agnostic and it vindicates our belief that we are solving a large problem and a large, profitable business can be built in doing so.”
– Vineet K Singh, Co-founder and CEO
Using Castler’s platform, you could create a unique instant digital escrow facility in less than a minute. It helps make transactions more secure by keeping all transaction mediums in an escrow vault. The transaction is processed when all terms of understanding between the transacting parties have been met. Castler is the only secure payments solution that works for both online payment methods as well as offline instruments like cheques, demand drafts, RTGS, etc.
The platform’s multi-party protection and authentication levels make it the safest transaction ecosystem. You can also gain multiple data insights about the transaction flows from your accounts and stay updated with your transaction activities. You can add members of your organization to your virtual escrow accounts to give them customized authorization and access.
The startup had an AUM of almost 50cr in their first month of launch.
Castler raised pre-seed funding of Rs 3.6 crore led by startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts and VC fund PointOne Capital in December 2020. The idea-phase accelerator fund 9Unicorns also participated in the round, along with angel investment firm LetsVenture and other investors.
The fintech industry is already in the next phase of its exponential growth trajectory, and Castler is ushering in a new era of secure transactions for individuals and businesses by democratizing escrow services.