[Funding alert] Saving and investment app Jar raises $4.5M from Tribe Capital, Arkam Ventures, WEH, Kunal Shah
Jar, a three-month-old Bangalore-based saving and investment app, on Wednesday raised a funding of $4.5 million as part of its Pre-Series A round, led by Tribe Capital, Arkam Ventures and WEH Ventures.
The round also witnessed participation from several angel investors, including Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), Shaan Puri (Senior Director of Product, Mobile Gaming & Emerging Markets at Twitch), Manik Gupta (ex-CPO, Uber and Co-founder of San-Francisco-based CVKey), and Ali Moiz (Founder at US-based Streamlabs, Peanut Labs Media and Stonks Inc).
The startup, founded by Nishchay AG, former director and founding member at mobility startup Bounce, and Misbah Ashraf, founder of community-focused ecommerce platform Marsplay (acquired by Foxy in 2020), was launched in May 2021.
In a short span of three months, the app claims to have registered a month-on-month growth of 350 percent and has reached around 0.5 million users.
Inside the app
The Android app allows users to save money in three ways and invests that money in digital gold.
Users can set up a recurring payment and commit to invest any amount starting from Re 1. Second, a one-time investment can be made by users through the platform, in gold.
Third, users can use Jar’s feature that accrues small sums of money each time they make a transaction. For instance, if a user has spent Rs 17 on a transaction (which the Jar app is able to spot by looking at the SMSs), the app rounds up that money to the nearest 10th — which is Rs 20 in this case — and invests the difference (Rs 3).
The 10-member team startup has partnered with digital gold platform SafeGold and earns a commission from investments.
“Jar is designed to help people build a habit of saving. There are over 900 million Indians who have a bank account, but only about 30 million of them make any kind of investments. We are using gold because it’s an asset that has always delivered,” said Nishchay, who had met his co-founder during his stint at Bounce.
The company was engaging with Misbah’s venture Marsplay for collaboration when the duo began brainstorming over the idea of starting a new venture around savings and investment for GenZ.
“Jar’s vision resonates with our thesis on how millennials’ need for financial well being can be met through extraordinary product innovation. We are impressed by Jar’s ability to drive user behaviour at scale in the very attractive market of financial planning and investing,” said Rahul Chandra, Managing director at Arkam Ventures.
A slew of savings, investment, trading, and financial planning apps, targeted towards the new generation, have come up in the Indian market. These digital apps like Walnut, Saveabhi, Splitwise are targeted towards saving money while others like Fundsindia, Kuvera, Invezta, Zerodha, and Groww are targeted towards wealth management.
“Most of the saving 1.0 products in India were mimicking the western counterparts and therefore couldn’t scale. Jar is a product made for India, ground-up and plays strongly to the Indian ethos of saving. The product is frictionless to use and therefore, users are excited to open the app multiple times in a week, something we don’t see too often in fintech products,” said Rohit Krishna, General Partner at WEH Ventures.
The startup plans to expand its offerings beyond gold in the near future. The funds will be utilised to grow the team and build more products.
US-Based angel investor Ali Moiz placed his bet on the “strong founding team and the hustle mentality of the founders”.
“Jar has built a great team with an impressive background and hustle mentality. The app has demonstrated solid early traction, is intuitive and uses an idea that has already proven successful in the U.S,” he said.