Bangalore-based RupeeStreet Financial Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the website moneysights.com, has raised Rs 1.21 crore ($270,000) from Blume Ventures, as well as from Naveen Tewari, founder of the mobile ad network InMobi. The funds are being used to expand the company’s 10-member team and step up its partnership efforts. The deal was closed in February this year but was not announced till date as the company was waiting for a commercial launch of moneysights.com in a bid to build up enough traction.
RupeeStreet had raised an angel round of funding from Prasad Duvvuri (Head, Service Delivery, India Media & Entertainment) of IBM India and Naveen Tewari (InMobi) in early 2010. However, co-founder Santosh Navlani did not disclose that initial deal amount.
Founded in April, 2009, RupeeStreet is a consumer internet start-up in the financial services domain. The company was started by Mukesh Kalra and Santosh Navlani, who previously worked with InMobi (then called mKhoj).
So far, RupeeStreet has tied up with nine AMCs including ICICI Prudential, Birla Sunlife, UTI, Franklin-Templeton, IDFC and Reliance. It will have 12 AMCs by July, according to the company. According to a KPMG report, assets under management of mutual fund companies are slated to grow to $430 billion by 2015, which translates into a distribution market size of $2.25 billion.
Moneysights.com is a website that lets users search and find mutual fund investments best suited for their needs. Its recommendation engine creates a portfolio of mutual funds to minimise investment risks and picks one which is diversified across sectors and market capitalisation. Currently, it does not allow users to purchase mutual funds online.
Moneysights.com began with a business-to-business (B2B), subscription-driven model and, over the past year, transitioned into a consumer-focused, transaction-based model. This was primarily due to changes in regulation and resistance by advisors to adopting a solutions-driven approach, said Navlani.
On May 20, 2011, the site was taken out of its private beta phase and officially launched. The company has not shares its current user base but said that it has around 2,000-3,000 regular users manage their equity market investments via the site.
“It is not just an information portal but a complete solution that takes raw data on mutual fund schemes and processes the information to allow users to take informed decisions while planning investments. We have our own algorithm that comes up with the right information and even has eligibility criteria for schemes to be included into the algorithm,” said Navlani.
Although only five per cent of mutual funds are bought over the internet in India, the company believes that this trend is changing fast.
Discussing the current scenario, Navlani said, “Today, mutual fund products are being sold in three ways – through banks where a relationship manager is the point; through websites like Indiainfoline and Bajaj Capital who have a huge offline sales force and through independent advisors, who are typically insurance agents or father’s friends. We are focusing on internet-savvy customers who may not want to work with offline agents. Most online finance forums show that they are looking for unbiased recommendations.”
What’s Next For RupeeStreet?
Next, the company plans to begin transactions on the website, so that users can purchase mutual funds online. This facility will be enabled by July this year, Navlani has detailed.
The site will help users track their investments and offer valuable insight by combining user behaviour and product performance data from the markets. RupeeStreet will also continue its marketing efforts through financial blogs to drive awareness on the website. According to Navlani, Moneysights has veered away from the ad-based model and is a non-ad-realising company.
Next year, the company plans to develop Moneysights.com further to allow users to invest in stocks and buy insurances online.
Moneysights.com currently competes with various online lead aggregators and financial products comparison sites such as Apnapaisa.com, Policybazaar.com by Etechaces Marketing and Consulting Pvt Ltd, which recently raised Rs 10 crore from Info Edge (India) Ltd.
BankBazaar.com, an online loan information and processing website, recently raised $6 million from Walden International and in February, 2011, Mumbai-based iGear Financial Services Pvt Ltd, which runs MyInsuranceClub.com, received an angel round of funding. Other sites include Sequoia Capital and JAFCO Asia-backed ApnaPaisa.com, i-Save, InsuranceMall.in, ApnaInsurance.com, Peacock Financial Advisors Pvt Ltd’s Getmeinsure.com, Click2Insure, Insurancepandit.com by A&M Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd etc.
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