[App Friday] This app teaches you to take stock of the share market – without real money

Bengaluru-based StockGro provides stock market enthusiasts with Rs 10 lakh virtual money and allows them to build multiple portfolios, compete against peers to prove their proficiency, and win real-money rewards on creating winning strategies.
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Investors looking for the best investment option have always eyed stocks, but never dared to opt for them due to lack of knowledge and a fear of losing their hard-earned money. 

But technology and awareness are changing this – despite the pandemic hit to the economy. 

Last month, on a day when the BSE Sensex closed above 60,000 points for the first time, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said “confidence was growing in the Indian stock market”. 

The share of individual investors in daily trading volume on the National Stock Exchange soared to 45 percent in 2020-21 from 39 per cent last year. The Central Depository Services Limited added 20 million new investor accounts between February 2020 and June 2021. 

Interest is rising, and Bangalore-based fintech startup StockGro aims to tap this with its social investment gaming platform.

StockGro is working to remove two key barriers for users looking to invest in stocks — lack of understanding of finance and apprehension of losing money.

It aims to help users learn before they invest, allowing them to follow experts, discover new strategies, and build their portfolios like pros. The ultimate idea is to demystify the entire journey of buying and selling stocks, without involving any real money.

The app lets stock market enthusiasts build multiple portfolios and compete against peers to prove their proficiency and win real-money rewards. 

Available on Android and iOS, the company claims to have more than 35 lakh registered users who have crossed a trading volume of  Rs 891,71 crore since inception in June 2020. 

Let’s get started

 One can start using the app with a signup through a mobile number. Since financial details can be critical, the app is pin-protected. 

 

The homepage is a snapshot of what the app is all about, and features winners of the day for daily challenges. The app makers claim these rewards are to the tune of Rs 5 lakh per day. If you scroll down the screen, you will see trending stocks, hottest stocks, 52-week low and high stocks, trending portfolios, and so on. 

 The multiple tabs on the home page have their own functions. The most important tab - the portfolio button at the bottom - has details of the virtual ‘funds’ you have. The app gives you Rs 10 lakh to get started, and you can use the “money” to add stocks to your portfolio. 

 For instance, we added a few - ONGC, UPL, and HDFC. The buying experience is exactly the same as any proper demat app like Zerodha; you can see the real-time share price, order type, quantities, market depth, and charts of a company. 

 

This works well because you can test your skills without burning money. Over time, you will also learn how you are doing in the equity market.  The best part? You don’t need a demat account just to get acquainted with the market.

Social, gaming, and learning

The arena section of the app lets you participate in daily portfolio challenges, where you can earn real money awards. All you need to do is select a portfolio and add stocks. The timing of these challenges is similar to stock markets: from 9.35 am to 3.25 pm. 

 

Winners are decided on the basis of returns. A maximum of 20,000 users and a minimum of 10,000 users can participate in the challenges; all get a reward based on ranks. Apart from the top three-four ranks, users  between 5 and 2000 rank will get the same reward; the rank bracket goes on.

So, if the pool price of the challenge is Rs 1 lakh, a user will still earn a small amount, be it Rs 10 or Rs 800. This turns out to be a great way of testing your portfolio and strategies without burning real money. 

The app also has a social segment, where users can chat with each other, check their strategies with real investors and influencers on the platform, and learn about the stock market. 

Relevance and quality

The app has relevant news and education material on investment-related topics, like intraday trading, short sell, technical and fundamental analysis, and more. It offers intensive tutorials and learning material to know more about the equity market and get started. 

Interestingly, StockGro is also a partner for more than 100 top business schools and colleges like IIMs, VIT, and Christ University, and lets students learn trading and investment. This is testimony to the quality of the content on offer.

Overall, the app has an easy-to-use user interface, but we feel it could have had a more decluttered design. However, that’s workable as this experience may come in handy for real stock trading, which needs a lot of navigation on the system or app for transactions.

The verdict

At this time, the only way people discuss stocks with each other is via apps like WhatsApp, but Stockgro is catering to a niche in a very wide manner. The app is highly recommended for beginners. Real traders can also use the app to experiment with the portfolio. 

The best part is that it’s possible to test shares worth lakhs without using real money. The app also gives you a chance to become an influencer and expert, as you can guide others and build your own community once you are proficient. 

StockGro gets five stars for creating a real stock-trading environment, or let’s call it ‘mock trading’ with a social and gaming element. So try the app to enjoy risk-free trading and gaming!


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Edited by Teja Lele Desai