Investing and Saving made easy with New Financial Apps by Sqrrl
Millennials with expendable income are in the cross hairs of Sqrrl, a company with new financial apps that aim to help young Indians save and make wise investments based on their financial persona. “The idea was to help the young generation in India solve the problems of saving and investing,” Dhananjay Singh, the tech mind behind the platform, told The Tech Panda.
“Only 3% of Indians invest,” Singh told us, “You can look at that in 2 ways – either the market is huge or it is a market that someone should go into. What we felt is that since ‘95 is that jumping into this market early and that a real investment platform would help us.”
So in 2015, founders Sanjeev Sharma and Samant Sikka brought in Singh to get working on their long term ambition to help India save and invest. There were similar products already in the market like Acorn and DIGIT in the US which helped you invest your money without you knowing about it by rounding off your expenses. The two founders have seen this industry for 20 years now and are now using their knowledge towards products that deal with consumer products and behaviour. “That helped us establish what needs to be going out to market and what we have to be careful about market needs,” Singh said of their expertise.
At this stage the products on offer by Sqrrl are only available for people with Indian PAN cards and a bank account in India. In addition to this they’ll also need to have a residency in India. “It’s going to take some time to build products for NRIs as well.” Singh admitted, though he’s sure this too is inevitable.
“We are just 1 and half years into our journey.” Singh said, adding that “We now have a fairly good understanding of what’s working for us and what’s not working for us.” It was clear that the initial market penetration was going to be challenging but that if they established themselves early then they could see it through.
“What we’ve done with our platform is to make it very simple for the guy across the table to invest based on his financial persona. That’s what is offered to you.” Singh said of the investment features available that help invest on sound mutual funds.
Focusing on micro-investments, the saver’s money is at all times available to the customer and the platform can be effected through, wallet, bank, UPI or debit card as things can only be bought by money in the bank account (not by credit card). To this end, the digital wallets used by the platform are Jatpay and Billdus.
In addition to the saving feature SqrrlAway and the investing platforms, the are also other products on the platform that are there to solve the problems in a person’s life-cycle. Axe Tax is a feature that helps users mitigate their tax burden for example.
“In my opinion, it is becoming easier and easier to save. But having said that, it is also becoming difficult because you have tons of people saying buy this buy that.” Singh said of the transformed financial landscape. The aim wasn’t to restrict themselves geographically either. “Anybody who is of the salary class and has a certain amount of disposable income and are upwardly mobile” can benefit from the platform.
“Our idea was once we rolled out this platform, we hoped to capture Pan-India wide. That has already happened.” Singh said of the success that Sqrrl have had so far, in their aim of reaching 3 million young Indians by 2021.