Upwardly raises seed fund from senior finance industry executives
Bengaluru: Financial advisory start-up Upwardly (Triskaidekaphillia Solutions Pvt. Ltd) has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a clutch of senior finance industry executives to fuel growth, said a senior company executive.
Upwardly’s bouquet of investors include Sreeram Iyer, chief operating officer at ANZ Bank for 20 countries, Suvo Sarkar, senior executive vice-president and group head, retail banking and wealth management at Emirates NBD, and Anita Gupta, head of equity strategy at Emirates NBD and Likemind Ventures.
Upwardly was founded in June last year by former Myntra executive Prateek Mehta, Shashank Agarwal of ANZ, former Urban Ladder executive Prithvi Raj Tejavath and former JP Morgan Chase executive Vivek Agarwal. Incidentally, this is Tejavath’s second venture. He earlier sold online home and lifestyle store BuynBrag.com to Urban Ladder in December 2014.
Armed with funds, Upwardly, which currently facilitates goal-based investments in mutual funds, aims to expand its offering and grow its 10-member team.
“Broadly, there are three areas where we are thinking of deploying the fund. One is increasing use cases. Right now it is only investments. But financial advisory is far wider. Second, we are building an intelligent system, so data science is another area of investment. Third, hire people in technology and other functions,” said chief executive Mehta.
In the months to come, Upwardly will facilitate investments in gold, equities, real estate, crypto currency and bond papers, among others, apart from introducing a full-fledged portfolio management service, Mehta said.
The company, which lets consumers meet goals such as buying a house, car or bike, taking a vacation, building an emergency corpus or anniversary funds and education expenses, among others, claims to have facilitated at least Rs75 crore in mutual funds investments.
This apart, the company is also planning to partner with organizations to fulfil consumers’ goals. For instance, Upwardly could partner with a travel company for goals set around vacation or a real estate portal for the ones around buying a house.
Mehta claimed that Upwardly gets about 50,000-60,000 unique monthly visitors, but did not disclose the numbers of transacting users.
“There are three parts to a consumer journey: exploration, getting started and then become a consummate investor. We have created offerings for all of that. We have rich content which lets you explore tools of investment, learn about products etc. To get started, we have goal based investing,” he said.
Upwardly currently earns a commission from mutual funds on every transaction. The company, however, plans to charge consumers a fee for financial advisory, once the service is rolled out.
Upwardly competes with the likes of Scripbox.com India Pvt. Ltd, Goalwise (Alphafront Finserv Pvt. Ltd) and Tauro Wealth (Tauro Investment Advisors Pvt Ltd), among others. While Scripbox, backed by Accel Partners and Omidyar Network, has raised at least $3 million, Tauro was seed funded by TracxnLabs in March last year. Goalwise had mopped about $1 million from a clutch of angel investors in May last year.