A live Madonna concert, the 2018 FIFA World Cup final in Russia, a holiday in Morocco, the latest diamond jewellery. All these and more are on the millennial bucket list — but it all has to happen today.
Saving for retirement, or to purchase a home, or for other life goals… these are not things that keep them up at night.
Targeting these lifestyle aspirations of millenials — those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — Bengaluru-based investment advisory and mutual funds platform Upwardly.in has mopped up ₹300 crore in the 18 months since it went live in July 2016.
For instance, Shyamal, a Mumbaikar, has set his heart on a ₹6-lakh Rolex watch for his 50th birthday, and has begun investing ₹1,600 a month for the next 15 years on Upwardly. Megha, 27, from Odisha, is investing ₹25,000 a month for three years on Upwardly, to be able to pay for a ₹12-lakh trousseau. Rajesh is investing ₹3,500 a month for six years to pay ₹2.6 lakh to experience the ‘Wonders of South Africa’.
“While the average household savings rate in the country is 25 per cent, professionals in the 25-40 age-group save 31 per cent of their income on average. However, given that their aspirations soar sky-high, there is a ‘realisation gap’, which we help to fill with goal-based investment solutions,” said Prateek Mehta, founder and CEO, Upwardly.in. “These constitute 40 per cent of the investments we manage.”
Megha, he noted, actually invests ₹9 lakh when her goal is ₹12 lakh; Shyamal invests ₹2.88 lakh for his ₹6-lakh watch. “The average return of 13-15 per cent on investments on Upwardly’s algorithm factors in the price increase of the Rolex watch after 15 years, and Megha’s goal of ₹12 lakh and so on.”
The start-up offers tax-saving funds, equity portfolios, low-risk portfolios (debt funds), balanced portfolios, top mutual funds and gold funds, with options to invest for less than a month, a year, 1-3 years and over 3 years.
Asked if demand had dampened after the recent Budget measure to tax Long Term Capital Gains on equity and MF schemes, Mehta said: “The gains are still much more attractive than other investment options. Our customer base grew 10-12 fold year-on-year, and we think we will maintain this growth over the next three years.” Bengaluru, NCR and Mumbai top the start-up’s customer base, spread across 500 cities.
Founded by Mehta, Shashank Agrawal, Prithvi Raj Tejavath and Vivek Agarwal, formerly with Myntra, ANZ, Urban Ladder and JP Morgan Chase, Upwardly.in attracts 2.5-3 lakh visitors a month and earns a commission from mutual fund houses on every transaction. The start-up has received seed-funding of a little under $1 million to date.
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