MEDICI now! Startup Stories highlights the companies that are shaping the new financial technology industry. Keep an eye out each week for new stories! If you or someone you know should be highlighted, send us a note. Without further ado…
Company Name: Kuvera
Name/Title: Gaurav Rastogi, CEO
Industry Segment: Wealth Management
Target: Market: India
LTP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Gaurav Rastogi: I am the CEO of Kuvera.in, a subscription-based online financial planning and investing portal for Indians. I have over 10 years of experience of investing money and I have managed an equity portfolio for Morgan Stanley prior to starting Kuvera. At Kuvera, we are passionate about providing individuals the same tools used by private wealth bankers to make informed investment decisions. I am a graduate of IIT Delhi (computer science) and Chicago Booth (finance).
LTP: Give us a paragraph pitch of your company.
GR: At Kuvera, we are re-imagining how we invest. Individuals do not have access to good investment advice as it gets colored by hidden broker commission and mis-selling. We use technology to remove the conflict of interest and broker commissions in the investing process. We use predictive analysis to help investors identify and plan for their financial goals and behavioral science to help them they stay on the right path to achieve their goals.
LTP: In a sentence or two, what problem are you solving today?
GR: We are reducing the cost of mutual fund investing in India. An investor can see their wealth grow up to 40% more over 25 years by saving on broker commissions by investing through us.
LTP: Who are you selling to?
GR: We sell directly to users who are typically between 25–40 years of age.
LTP: Why did you start the company?
GR: Even though direct mutual fund plans (with zero commissions) have been around in India for four years now, only 9% of retail investors and 17% of HNI investors use them for their investing needs. The majority of us are still paying dearly for broker recommendations through hidden commissions which can be as large as 1.5% per year. There is a huge opportunity to educate users about the benefits of investing in direct mutual fund plans and to help them reach their long-term investment goals.
LTP: What's the most important change coming to your segment in the next 3-5 years?
GR: We see two big changes over the next five years:
- The current 25–40-year cohort is more financially literate compared to their parents and will drive the adoption of commission-free investing.
- Common KYC for banking and investing will reduce the friction associated with onboarding new clients today. </ol>
LTP: What’s your next milestone?
GR: We are deepening our product portfolio and in each segment, we will offer meaningful value to customers. Soon, we will be able to service all your basic financial needs including protection.
LTP: What keeps you awake at night?
GR: Figuring out how to motivate youngsters to start investing early and how to reach out to all misinformed or unaware Regular Plan investors and help them transition seamlessly to Direct Plans.
LTP: Anything else you want to say to our audience?
GR: If you want to learn more about direct mutual funds and zero-commission investing, please read our blog. Once convinced, head over to Kuvera.in to set up your account or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonus – User’s Choice Question!
LTP: If you could change one thing that financial services people do incorrectly, what would that be?
GR: Be honest to you end-customers. When they say “free,” most of these services earn money via commissions. They never inform their customers about it.
LTP: Thank you, Gaurav!
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