It’s an unfortunate fact that the people who need the honest financial advice often cannot afford it, or they don’t realize that their so-called adviser isn’t an adviser at all, but a salesman.
When Krishna’s neighbor, a 60 year retiree, was sold a ULIP and his mother was sold a dynamic bond when she went to a bank to update her passbook, it got him thinking on how commission based selling takes place without any consideration to the customer’s risk profile and financial needs.
He started doing some research and the more he dug in, the more he realized the level of financial ignorance in India. Initially he would offer advices to his friends on financial issues and later on registered himself as a SEBI registered investment advisor (RIA). However, after registration he realized that there is a huge potential for an application to connect the uninformed customers and the RIAs.
This is when finvestor.in took birth in June. The venture helps the customers to have their risk profile analyzed with qualified personals and have proper financial planning according to their requirements.
Krishna Rath, the co-founder of finvestor.in is an IIM alumnus and has worked in the Information Technology industry for 13 years before starting up. After a decade of corporate life, Krishna decided to take a new innings and plunged into entrepreneurship with the starting of finvestor.
Rahul Malewar, the other co-founder, heads and leads a very successful training institute for High End Data warehouse and Business Intelligence in Pune and has trained more than 1800 IT professionals in and around Pune. He also heads a product development firm that develops new age application for smartphones. Rahul has strong network in Pune for IT developers and for business growth.
Krishna and Rahul had, in the past, worked together for 3 years implementing critical services for a Fortune 500 financial giant. They knew how fee based services were making an impact in the US, and knew that it would a matter of time before Indian investors realize the potential of fee based financial advisory.
How does Finvestor work?
Finvestor uses technology and internet to present the users with a 360 degree financial model to plan their profile and search for RIAs as per their needs, risk profile and life goals. They plan to provide the solution of fee based advisory in stages. Currently, the website allows an investor to search and select a fee based SEBI Registered Investment Advisor. The advisory services will then be provided by the SEBI RIA. The users can sign in to the dashboard with their social accounts and have insights of their activities on the website.
The customers are presented with a dynamic dashboard where they can search for RIAs and post queries on their concerned services. After the customer makes the payment, Finvestor assigns an RIA from their database of most qualified RIAs in the country. The website has a provision for the RIAs to login via their LinkedIn profiles to keep professionalism at the priority.
The assigned RIA then can interact with the customer through e-mails, phone calls or IM chats to understand the concern in depth and to provide the best solution for the same. The RIA then submits the final report on the website and gets paid from Finvestor after deducting the service tax and Finvestor charges. The customer can rate the RIA as per their satisfaction level on the service provided.
Finvestor.in also has social media sites operating, hence, allowing the RIA to focus on advisory work instead of marketing. Several RIAs have expressed interest to list on the portal. India has only 100 odd SEBI RIA and finvestor targets to list at least 20 RIA by September of 2015.
Revenue Model and Monetization
The startup follows a commission based revenue model. It has subscription services divided into three categories viz, Query (INR 699), Detailed (INR 3999) and Comprehensive (INR 12499).
The market the startup is addressing is numerous as the size of banking assets in India is expected to touch $28.5 trillion by 2025 and according to The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) data the mutual fund industry have already hit $190 billion.
At the moment, Finvestor does not have much direct competition, aside from the smattering of unbiased advisers that charge a flat or hourly fee. This startup can change the fortune of financial investors in India.