While dealing with the death of a loved one is traumatising enough, many families have the harrowing job of sieving through the financial mess often left behind, right after their erstwhile breadwinner's passing. Nirmal Rewaria, Sushant Kumar and Pinki Dodhia, who were working together in a finance company, saw how trying this time could be when one of their clients passed away, leaving behind a wife and children who were absolutely clueless about his investments. The idea for FinPeace Technologies rose out of that difficult encounter, in January this year.
The Mumbai-based startup comes to the rescue of the dependents of deceased breadwinners, by helping them deal with the entire hassle of disorganised finances, unknown investments and cumbersome paperwork. The startup helps ensure the dependents receive all the financial benefits deceased left behind for them.
The founders realised this was a common enough problem, as people defer dealing with the topic of death and discussions on how the family has to manage finances and investments. So the trio spent six months creating a service named 'Beyond Life' for the dependents to get ownership of their assets. The startup appoints a counsellor for each family, while handholding them to deal with the financial complexities.
No one can ever prepare one's loved ones for his death. Today, Rs 64,000-crore worth of unclaimed money is lying in suspense accounts with various financial institutions in India,” says Nirmal (47), who has over 18 years of work experience in financial markets including Standard Chartered Securities and Edelweiss.
How does FinPeace work?
“When a client passes away, FinPeace ensures that his or her documents reach a 'Deputy' we appoint, in a simplified and sorted manner. The Deputy gets complete guidance on getting ownership control of financial assets through a dedicated counsellor,” states Pinki, who has around 12 years of experience working with Kotak Securities and Edelweiss.
The startup creates short videos and infographics for clients and deputies in the form of engagement programmes to educate them on ways to preserve money. To ensure the smooth process of documentation, FinPeace also consults with a few lawyers to seek advice.
FinPeace has launched a free app which will enable users to upload the documents by clicking a picture from their smartphone. The data will be preserved in an encrypted format accessible to users at any point of time. In less than a month, the app has seen 250 downloads.
The app also comes with a thoughtful feature of recording the last wishes of the client. It is then handed over to the family after the death, in a CD along with a guidance kit.
We bootstrapped the company with Rs 75 lakh. Putting together money to scale up has been the biggest hurdle during the initial stint,” says Sushant (37), who has over 14 years of experience in financial markets, including Motilal Oswal and way2wealth.
Peeping on B2B model as well…
FinPeace Technologies works with corporates, whereby HR heads incorporate this service under their employee engagement programme, at a subsidised rate.
Beyond Life's annual subscription service amounts to Rs 365 a year. Apart from the subscription-based revenue model, the startup is also planning to generate revenue by tying up with online will service providers to assist their clients. They expect to earn a revenue of about Rs one crore in the first year of operation.
Finpeace has a team of 12, which is a mix of technology professionals and financial market experts. Currently operational in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, the startup plans to reach around 10 lakh users in the next two to three years.
A glimpse at the fintech space
Technological intervention in the financial sector has transformed the entire mechanism around bank transfers, loans and payment. Even National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched its interoperable payments system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), earlier this year. Further, the RBI is looking to regulate P2P lending platforms and get them to register as non-banking financial corporations (NBFCs).
The number of fintech startups funded in the first half of 2016 equals the total number of startups funded in the sector in 2015. According to YourStory Research, $1.2 billion has already been invested in fintech startups in the last two years.
Fintech companies that scooped up decent amount of funding as of 2015–16 include Paytm ($700 million), Freecharge ($80 million), Mobikwik ($75 million), BankBazaar ($60 million), LendingKart ($42 million), PolicyBazaar ($40 million), Vistaar Finance ($39 million, according to the exchange rate then), Capital Float ($38 million), IFMR Holdings ($26.8 million) and Electronic Payments and Services ($25 million).
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- investment banking
- Private equity
- National Payments Corporation
- IFMR Holdings
- business finance
- technology professionals
- non-banking financial corporations
- Standard Chartered Securities
- Kotak Securities
- FinPeace Technologies
- bank transfers