This Bengaluru-based financial services startup can manage your wealth using predictive technology

Founded by Vivek Banka, a veteran in the financial services industry, GoalTeller startup hopes to sign in one million users by 2021.
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Do you feel a little apprehensive and confused while making investments? If so, you’re a part of the majority. Making investments can become a little challenging, but like in any industry, tech comes to the rescue as using algorithms to make investments is gradually taking precedence. This has led to the likes of Zerodha becoming popular (and a unicorn), and several other startups are also making algorithimic financial planning a reality.

Founded by Vivek Banka in 2020, Bengaluru-based GoalTeller is attempting to help users build automated financial plans with the help of predictive technology.

"In this process, the tech would guide the user with various "what if" simulations and calculations, considering multiple scenarios such as tax, cash flow, and goals to achieve a plan that is realistic and best suited," Vivek tells YourStory.

GoalTeller Snapshot

Vivek has nearly two decades of experience across various verticals of the investment industry, such as stockbroking, wealth management, and tech and analytics. He has previously worked at IIFL, Altiore Capital, and BNP Paribas.

"A massive lacuna existed in wealth management where there was no platform that allowed users to create a financial plan that was best suited to them, incorporated all possibilities, and guided the user towards this objective. Despite the advent of tech, most known tech platforms were attempting to act as execution engines and only a handful of them were trying to solve the problem of holistic financial planning," says Vivek.

Currently, the majority of the wealthtech/invest-tech platforms in India are essentially execution platforms that enable users to buy or sell mutual funds, and in some cases, other financial instruments. There are very few platforms that provide a truly automated financial plan. Most of them are B2C, however, some B2B platforms target the advisor wherein the investment advisor can hop on to the platform and provide the same services to the clients.

The demand for financial planners is huge, primarily because there are around 40 million retail investors in India. According to Statista, insurance penetration in India is less than 3 percent.

Founder of GoalTeller, Vivek Banka

The GoalTeller solution

Once the user logs in, he fills in questions and then comes across multiple solutions (retirement, planning for travel) to any challenges that the system can visualise to meet the financial goals. The user then chooses the path which suits them the best and a financial plan is created, enabling investors to make goals based on financial planning.

The USP of the product would primarily be the tech-driven as it allows users to experience how markets are moving using its algorithms it guides them to create their financial plan. The user will get the help of advanced simulators and calculators that will allow them to practically gaze into the future and then take decisions that help them achieve financial security for them and their family.

GoalTeller only advises financial planning and is not yet trading or selling products. It acts as a financial guide rather than an investment arm.

The founder has invested around $100,000 and he intends to invest another $100,000 in the next six months.

"We haven’t raised any growth capital yet, however, we have an initial set of angels whohave evinced interest and we might look at raising the seed round over the next couple of months towards the latter half of 2021," he says.

"Our business model would be a premium model where certain features would be available free of cost to the users, while a portion of it would be premium and available at a subscription fee,” he adds.

Challenges and the way ahead

Setting up an algorithmic trading fund comes with its own set of challenges. Most of the talent goes to big companies, and then there are regulatory hurdles.

Secondly, Vivek says navigating through the complex maze of regulatory requirements and sudden changes has been difficult.

According to the RBI, an entity seeking authorisation as an ETP operator has to maintain a minimum net-worth of Rs 5 crore. The existing entities operating ETPs with a net-worth lower than what is prescribed would also need to have a minimum net-worth of Rs 5 crore within a year from the date of authorisation. Banks seeking authorisation to operate ETP need to earmark a minimum capital of Rs 5 crore for the purpose as well.

The startup is just six months into the business and does not want to disclose monthly revenues as yet because it is in the user acquisition stage.

We are targeting total visitors of one million by the end of 2021, with a subscriber base of 25,000 users," says Vivek.

It competes with FinTap, Thrive, and FYERS.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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