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The Four at Groww are Wooing First Time Retail Investors with Zero Commission Investment Products

Yet to monetize its growth, this investment platform targets first time investors aged 25-35, and claims an average ticket size of Rs 1.5 lakh

Groww, an investment platform for people under 35 years of age was founded by four people, Lalit, Harh, Neeraj, and Ishan.

A graduate of IIT Bombay, Lalit Keshre is cofounder and CEO of Groww and looks after the product and customer experience. Prior to starting Groww, Lalit was with Flipkart where he founded and led Flipkart Quick and helped launch Flipkart Marketplace. 

Harsh Jain, cofounder and COO of Groww, heads customer acquisition, retention and business expansion. He is an AMFI registered mutual fund advisor. Prior to Groww, Harsh was Product Manager at Flipkart. Harsh holds a B-Tech and M-Tech from IIT Delhi and MBA from UCLA in the US.

Neeraj Singh, credited as a cofounder of Groww is responsible for product development and customer research at Groww. A passionate engineer, solution developer and coder, Neeraj was with Flipkart as an engineering manager and built the Flipkart customer returns and refund system prior to starting on Groww. 

The fourth cofounder of the startup, Ishan Bansal, heads finance. Ishan has investment experience in the tech space and across geographies. Ishan has been with Flipkart where he was responsible for corporate development.  He has also handled corporate development and M&A at Naspers. Ishan graduated from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA in Finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur.  Ishan is also a CFA.

Lalit explains that the main problem they wanted to solve with Groww was one they themselves encountered while trying to strike out as retail investors. “We faced many problems when we started investing. We had many questions like where to invest, how much to invest, and how to invest.  Financial products are very complex and opaque. We are building Groww for users who want simplicity and transparency in dealing with their money. Groww leverages data science to build and scale communities that advise each other through their own practical experience to make investing simpler to understand”.

Backed by American accelerator program, Y Combinator, and entrepreneurs Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, the investment platform based in Bangalore has crossed the 150,000 mark. The startup is yet to monetize,a s Lalit says, “Our focus is to become the most customer-focused product. We will start working on monetization later - by providing premium services to our user base”. 

The target customers are first time investors and/or millennials. Most users are working professionals in age group 25 to 35 across metros, with an increasing number of users signing up from tier 2 towns. 

Groww engages users by sharing educational content on investing. Most users come through word of mouth and invest an average of Rs 1.5 lakhs. FundsIndia, Scripbox, ET Money and Zerodha are their main competitors. 

Lalit says, “We are the simplest platform for beginners in India. And we offer zero commission products on our platform to customers. Investors do not need open demat account for investing on Groww”. 

Currently, Groww offers all the mutual funds in India. Users can find customized mutual fund portfolios for various goals and profiles, and can invest without any paperwork. There are two types of mutual funds plans available to the investors - direct and regular. There are no charges for investing in direct plans through Groww. Equity funds too are very popular among first time investors, debt funds are also becoming popular now. 

The biggest challenge in building a platform that manages other people’s money was making sure that it was secure and easy to use for investing purposes. 

“Our first product was an AI based financial advisor that took lot of inputs from customers and answer any question related to finance. However we had to pivot from that idea as we realized that customers don’t rely completely on bots yet. Also we realized that in spite of the complexity of financial products, users need choice - so managing choice while keeping the product simple adds to the complexity,” said Lalit. 


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