This woman entrepreneur’s wealthtech startup helps millennials plan and manage their finances and investments
When Archana Elapavuluri joined the workforce, she immediately wanted to start investing — right from her first paycheck. However, she did not find a platform that would help her choose the right type of investment.
She explains, “Even today, the question is the same for most people — which asset class should you invest in based on your risk profiling? Checking with professionals can be intimidating, especially if the investable amount is of small size.”
Archana discovered there was a need for a platform that makes it effortless, easy, and efficient to manage money by helping people to invest in smart curated portfolios. This would be akin to a personal financial assistant who manages money and lets the client know where to invest, when to invest, and how to invest.
This laid the foundation for, a Bengaluru-based wealthtech startup she founded with former colleague Namandeep Bhatia in 2019. With expertise in AI and ML, Naman has previously developed fintech products that are scalable and hands-on.
Archana has a master’s in computer science, and has worked at UBS in the US, and as an architect at a Silicon Valley startup that was later acquired by Oracle.
Financial assistant in your pocket
Pickright Technologies is a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), which uses deeptech, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine language (ML) modules to build smart portfolios in an autopilot mode, irrespective of the size of the investment via its application and website.
Archana explains, “The platform offers a one-stop solution to retail investors where they can curate smart diversified portfolios integrated with all alternate assets like bonds, loans, insurance, gold, real asset tokens, etc., and direct assets like mutual funds and equities. For a user, Pickright is the window for their first step towards wealth growing journey and subsequently as well.”
“Our aim is to be a financial assistant to users and enable them to be better manage their finances. Our strategy is to work on digital-first smart advisory platform and start partnering with as many players to commodotise wealth management and make it a daily habit,” she adds.
The AI/ML-based algorithm creates curated diversified portfolios for every user while allowing them to invest what they are eligible for month-on-month across asset classes.
Its services include:
- Complete diversified readymade portfolios called ‘Investpacks’ consisting of different asset classes like MF, Equities, ETFs, and cold.
- Rebalancing, managing, and monitoring at periodic intervals.
- Customised hyper-personalised portfolios for everyone.
- Readymade portfolios for women and students for their investment journey.
- Smart advisory to execution across asset classes.
Its target audience is young people between 18 and 30, who are looking to start investing and learning how to create additional income from investments. Pickright’s revenue model is subscription-based.
According to Archana, the company is projected to hit $100,000 in revenue by the end of FY23 and will be looking at a user base of growing 10 lakh, user base and making Rs 5.5 crore (or $750,000) inK revenue by FY24.
Naman takes care of tech and process, while Archana oversees the product roadmap, execution, and growth.
While startups like INDmoney, smallcase, and WealthDesk are in a similar space, Archana believes that the market is big enough to have many players.
“Wealthtech is at a nascent stage; out of a population of 1.5 billion, only 2 percent are into investments and savings. There is huge potential for everyone to become big. Also, our strategy is to partner with as many players in every vertical and offer a smart advisory platform,” she says.
Pickright has raised $375,000K so far, and is looking to raise Series A in the next quarter. Naman and Archana bootstrapped this venture in the beginning, and in 2020, later raised their first round from 100X.VC.
In May 2021, it raised $200,000 in a funding round led by JITO Angel Network (JAN). Mumbai Angels and a consortium of other angels also participated in this funding round.
Being a digital-first company with zero operations overhead, Archana says the pandemic has had very less impact on the business.
“In fact, COVID-19 actually helped in creating more awareness towards financial stability and how we have to brace for uncertainty. This was a wakeup call for many and we have seen an almost 100 percent surge in people opening demat accounts, taking insurance, and of course, an increased attention towards health and fitness,” she adds.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta