[App Fridays] Zerodha’s stock market learning app for ‘Robinhood Traders’ crosses a million downloads

Zerodha Varsity brings stock market education and trading tips to beginners. In a short time, it has become one of the largest financial learning resources on the web.

Zerodha is to stock trading in India what Flipkart was to online shopping — a pioneer and a name synonymous with the industry itself. 

After creating an online discount broking empire with its suite of apps, the fintech unicorn set out to impart stock market education and demystify the workings of the bourses for noobs. While learning and knowledge sharing have always been at the core of Zerodha — it holds webinars, trading Q&As, video lessons, etc. — it launched the Zerodha Varsity app in April 2019. 

Zerodha Varsity is an easy-to-grasp collection of stock market lessons for Robinhood Traders (millennial first-time investors).

The app offers in-depth notes on trading, practical tips and insights on the capital markets, learning modules on key financial topics, tests, quizzes, and more. It acquaints Robinhood Traders, who have led to a 300 percent surge in new account openings on Zerodha, with the tricks of the trade. Literally. 

Zerodha Varsity is a free app and is already gunning to be one of the largest financial learning resources on the web. It has crossed a million downloads on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.4 out of 5. 

Photo: Zerodha

Key features of the app

Users can log into Zerodha Varsity through their Zerodha Kite trading accounts or by using the Google/Facebook log-ins.

The app is neatly divided into four sections — Home, The Wall, Bookmarks, and Profile — that can be accessed from the menu below. 

At the start, users can set up daily goals to pace up their learning. This includes setting the number of cards to be read per day and getting daily nudges for the same.

They can also track learning progress using the ‘Streak’ (number of days you continuously achieve the goals) feature, earn points, and badges. This can be accessed on the ‘Profile’ tab. 

‘Home’ displays all learning Modules, including Stock Market Basics, Technical Analysis, Options Trading, Commodity and Government Securities, Markets and Taxation, and more. Each module is organised into chapters delivered via bite-sized cards that can be read on the fly. 

Modules are further divided into three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Users can choose their level at the start. The Module Quiz lets them test their knowledge across chapters. 

The quiz can be attempted a maximum of five times, and a minimum score of 60 percent is required to qualify for the certification exam. The in-app test is to be completed within 90 minutes. (Refer to the score grid)

In ‘The Wall’ section, users can access expert opinions on top market events to enhance their understanding of key financial concepts. They can also sort wall opinions and track interactions with experts on the app. 

‘Bookmarks’ is a nifty feature that can be used to favourite cards, chapters, and quiz questions. Users can even bunch similar bookmarked cards under a single tag, which later serves as a collection of assorted tags.

All features of Zerodha Varsity can be accessed both online and offline.

Verdict: Great concept, but needs bug fixes

It would be hard to critique the concept or content of Zerodha Varsity. It is, as a user wrote on Google Play Store, “a phenomenal app for newbies”. 

The learning modules are well-structured, comprehensive, and of high quality; the information flow is seamless; the design is aesthetically pleasing; and the app comes with sufficient interactive features

Of course, it could do with some additions like a Highlights feature that lets users mark text or excerpts and come back to them (like on Kindle). Some users have also requested a dark mode and full-screen options. These incremental additions can go a long way in boosting user engagement. 

Zerodha Varsity has crossed a million downloads

But more importantly, Zerodha Varsity needs some bug fixes

One, the Streaks feature is inconsistent. Several users have reported that their goals don’t reflect correctly even after the completion of modules.

Two, the Quiz feature is glitchy, with the user’s chosen answers not reflecting correcting at the end of a test. And three — not really a bug but a fix wouldn’t hurt — the app and web modules aren’t in sync

The app almost always lags by a few chapters. At present, Zerodha Varsity’s web module has 14 chapters, but the app shows only eight, with three more tagged as ‘coming soon’.  This has created some dissonance in users. 

Despite these minor inadequacies, Zerodha Varsity solves a critical pain point in an uncomplicated manner. As a user wrote on Google Play Store, “Financial literacy is the most important thing that is lacking in education the world over. Excellent concept, excellent app, a must for all.” 

Quite that!

Edited by Teja Lele Desai