Bootstrapped RupeeVest uses an algorithm to customise portfolios to suit client needsNeha Jain
The Kolkata-based fintech startup helps investors plan and invest their savings in a structured and hassle-free manner with their research and transaction model.
Financial literacy still eludes a majority of Indians who do not understand even the most basic financial concepts. IIT Kharagpur alumni Varun Mundra has the first-hand experience of this while working for Oracle Financial Services in Bengaluru in 2013. He found that most of his friends were putting all their money in fixed deposits for want of financial knowledge. His own experience with investing in mutual funds made him realise how cumbersome the process was.
Sensing this need for sound financial advice among people, Varun, along with his friend Mayank Mundra co-founded RupeeVest in 2014 as an online investment and research platform for mutual funds and corporate fixed deposits. They were soon joined by Mitul Daga to handle research and financial planning activities.
RupeeVest offers investment solutions, mutual fund ratings and various interactive and analytical tools like mutual fund screener, mutual fund comparison, various filters to help investors focus on relevant data and take informed decisions. Varun says, “We have built an algorithm where the portfolios are customised on the basis of risk and return profile of our clients. We also have a rating methodology where the funds are rated and investors can choose an option with a higher probability of outperformance.”
RupeeVest also helps customers identify and achieve various financial goals. Investors can choose from a variety of goals like wealth creation, tax saving, best bank fixed deposits, children’s education, etc. based on their needs. Says Varun, “Investors without much knowledge about various financial products can also use it with ease.”
RupeeVest does not charge any fee from the investors. It has tied up with all the major asset management companies and derives its revenue by charging them a commission of 0.1 to 1.5 percent on every investment.
Currently a nine-member team, it claims to be growing at 150 percent year on year. With a client base of 450, it has a total client AUM of Rs 45 crore.
As their online presence has increased over the past couple of months, they have begun serving clients across various cities in India apart from Kolkata.
Creating the right portfolio
Asset allocation being one of the key ingredients of a successful investment strategy, they have built a tool which helps an investor to create a portfolio to suit his risk-return appetite.
“We have outlined the key historical statistics of various combinations of equity and debt market performance of India, so one can select a portfolio which represents his/her return expectations and risk tolerance,” says Varun.
Any chosen portfolio can be further customised by changing the default mutual funds or weight allocated to each fund, to help one manage risk and return in a way that he is comfortable in.
They have features called comparisons made easy where one can add up to four funds and compare them simultaneously on various key parameters such as returns, performance measures, portfolio attributes, etc.
Once a portfolio is finalised, he/she can invest in all the selected funds with the click of a button.
The market landscape
Investments are a key decision and many players have entered the market to help people make the right choice. FundsIndia, Scripbox and Zerodha are amongst the bigger players, while Kuvera, Zerodha-incubated Balance, and ProsperX have recently started operating in the space.
Wixifi is another digital investment management platform offering research tools and research data on more than 3,000 mutual funds and 12,000 mutual fund share classes. There is also the Bengaluru-based Goalwise which has raised $1 million from high net worth individuals.
The team at RupeeVest is looking to expand their business exponentially and have a lot in their pipeline. From being currently focused on mutual funds and corporate fixed deposits, they are planning to expand into equity investing by developing an equity research platform that will provide stock analysis.
They are also adding a portfolio management system for high net worth individuals whose investments are above Rs 25 lakh.
What sets them apart from all the other players in the market, according to Varun, is their research and transaction-based platform. He says, “Investors usually use separate platforms to meet their research and transaction requirements as there are hardly a few platforms that fulfill both requirements. At RupeeVest, we are an end-to-end platform which allows comprehensive research as well as seamless investments. So far, we have been doing good for ourselves and our customers,” he signs off.