[Funding alert] Fintech startup Jar raises $32M in Series A round led by Tiger Global

The eight-month-old saving and investment app, Jar, aims to broaden its offerings beyond digital gold and reach more users

Bangalore-based saving and investment app Jar on Friday raised $32 million in its Series A financing round led by US-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management.

Rocketship.vc, Third Prime, Stonks, and Force Ventures also came on board as new investors, while the existing backers Arkam Ventures and WEH Ventures contributed in the round. The Series A round follows a $4.5 million seed funding round that took place in August last year. 

A clutch of high-profile investors, including Victor Jacobsson (Founder at Klarna), Suleman Ali (Co-founder and General Partner at Ali Capital), Shamir Karkal (Founder at Sila Money), Byron Ling (Partner at Canaan Partners), Joel John (Principal at Ledger Prime), and Jeremy Cai (Founder at Italic) were also participants in the round.

The latest round, which brings Jar’s funding to a total of $36.5 million, will be deployed to build new financial instruments besides its current offering—digital gold. The startup will also deploy the capital to offer users lending and insurance.

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. 

The app allows users to save money by taking a small amount from their everyday online transactions and automatically investing in digital gold. 

Users can commit to investing any amount starting from Re 1 and have the option to set up per transaction, daily or one-time mandate as per their choice.

The investments in digital gold are backed by physical gold of the same amount and users can choose to withdraw that much gold or liquidate their investments at any time.

In less than a year, the app has managed to acquire a user base of over four million, most of whom, according to the founders, are making any kind of investment for the first time in their lives. It processes over 100 transactions per minute and has a pan-India reach.  

“We are helping people get comfortable with the idea of investing,” said Co-founder Nishchay. “What we have found is that once people build a familiarity with investments, they build a habit to invest more. A habit and discipline is clearly being formed and we see a jump of 20 percent in investments month over month by users.” 

As the users get “more comfortable” with investing in digital gold, the startup will offer them other financial instruments to diversify.

Speaking on the occasion, Alex Cook, Partner at Tiger Global, said, “Jar is bringing new users into the online investing space, starting with digital gold as the first product. We are bought into Jar’s mission of helping users build a daily savings habit, and we’re excited to partner with the team as they scale to millions of customers.”

India, the world’s second-largest internet market, is witnessing a promising shift as a majority of Gen Z begins to lean toward responsibly saving money as they enter the workforce, says Co-founder Misbah. 

Interestingly, millennials and Generation Z have become a big part of fintech’s core market in India. A slew of savings, investment, trading, and financial planning apps, targeted towards the new generation, have come up in the Indian market. Digital apps like Walnut, Saveabhi, and Splitwise are targeted towards saving money, while others like Fundsindia, Kuvera, Invezta, Zerodha, and Groww are more focused on wealth management. 

What works to Jar’s advantage is people’s trust in the asset class—gold. The majority of people, especially the new generation, look for ease of investments and higher returns, but also for assets that help them fulfil their aspirational needs and are a good emergency corpus.

Commenting on the investment, Sailesh Ramakrishnan, Partner at Rocketship.vc, said, “India has a large underserved population in terms of financial saving products, especially in Tier-II and III cities. Jar serves these people with a simple and easy to use a product that enables savings and builds trust and hence Jar’s growth is off the charts!” 

“Jar has generated an extraordinary level of customer love and is in a promising position to establish and lead the category of digital savings. Achieving financial wellbeing through easy and repetitive digital savings can mean smoothening of household cash flow for hundreds of millions of millennial customers,” Rahul Chandra, Managing Director at Arkam Ventures.
Edited by Megha Reddy and Kanishk Singh