1) The Founders
Samant Sikka, Sanjeev Sharma and Dhananjay Singh. A 20-year stint with asset management companies helped Sikka realise how difficult it could be for young people to understand the importance of saving money and making the right investment choices. So, he teamed up with Sanjeev Sharma, who worked in the same space, and later brought in IIT-Kharagpur alumnus Dhananjay Singh to build a product that would address this pain point.
2) The Product
Unlike most companies which take the survey route to gain market insights when starting up, the trio met their target audience - the millennials. "We called people and asked them to meet over Friday beer and pizza which would be on us," recalls Sikka. The co-founders were surprised to learn that Gen Y finds it difficult to save money. Consequently, they built an app with four key features. First, there is Spare Change Investment to help users save spare change from their shopping or other expenses. For instance, if one has paid Rs 190 for a Uber ride, she can save the balance Rs 10 and invest the same. User can round up the amount and also decide how frequently they want to do it. Next comes Build Your Own Dreams, a goal-based saving tool. Here you can find out how much you need to save and invest in various assets to fulfil a particular goal within a specific time frame. The app also has tools for tax planning and investments, which can be done via SIP or through lump sum payments.
3) How It Makes Money
As of now, the app is free, but Sqrrl also works as a distributor for a few asset management companies and earns commissions. Plus, it organises financial wellness camps and financial literacy workshops for corporate houses and charges them a service fee. The start-up will soon launch loan, insurance and pension products to increase its revenues.
4) The Way Forward
Going ahead, the company plans to adopt a freemium model for its financial advisory platform. It is also betting big on users from small cities and towns and has already launched its app in eight Indian languages to tap into regional audiences. The company claims that 60 per cent of its users are from B30 cities and 31 per cent of its audience uses a non-English version of the app.