Groww Success Story - How it Disrupted Traditional Ways of Investments?

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
May 14, 2022 15 min read
Groww Success Story - How it Disrupted Traditional Ways of Investments?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Groww.

Investing a decade ago entailed a lot of paperwork, many bank visits, long queues, and application processing that used to take days. When you add in a dearth of knowledge about financial products and widespread misselling by agents, the experience becomes nothing short of a nightmare.

These days, all you need is a bank account, some disposable income, and a smartphone to begin investing, increasing, and managing your wealth. Though some of the new investors are starting with mutual funds, equities, and other investment platforms, many of the investment-averse citizens were also noticed to step out from it altogether. However, with the emergence of Groww, the investment industry, it seems, has witnessed a laudable disruption with the easy ways of investing money with stockbroking and direct mutual funds that the platform has encouraged.

Here goes the Success Story of Groww, an organization that has made investing simple for millions of Indians. Know more about the Founder and History, Mission and Vision, Products, Business model, Revenue and Growth, Funding and Investors, Acquisitions, Awards, Competitors of the company, Challenges Faced, and other details ahead!

Groww - Company Highlights

Startup Name Groww
Owner Nextbillion Technology
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Industry Financial technology, Investment, Mutual Funds
Founders Lalit Keshre (CEO), Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh and Ishan Bansal
Founded April 2016
Valuation $3 billion (November 2021)
Total Funding $393.3 mn (November 2021)
Operating Revenue $7 mn (INR 52.7 crore in FY21)

About Groww and How it Works?
Groww - Founders and Team
Groww - Startup Story
Groww - Mission and Vision
Groww - Name, Logo and Tagline
Groww - Products
Groww - Business Model
Groww - Revenue and Growth
Groww - Funding and Investors
Groww - Acquisitions
Groww - Advisors and Mentors
Groww - Awards
Groww - Competitors
Groww - Challenges Faced
Groww - Future Plans

About Groww and How it Works?

Groww is a web-based investment platform that allows users to invest in mutual funds and equities directly. The company is a creator of a mutual fund direct access platform. Groww's technology is aimed to make investing simple, accessible, transparent, and fully paperless, allowing customers to invest in mutual funds without any difficulties.

Groww users can invest in mutual funds through SIPs and equity-linked savings. According to the company, it has over 20 million registered users, the majority of them are under the age of 40 and prefer to use their phones. It offers over 5,000 mutual funds that can be invested directly through its website and app, which is available on iOS, Android.

It features a straightforward pricing structure that includes cheap trading fees. You can invest in a mutual fund for free with no hidden fees. Groww does not charge an account opening fee or a monthly maintenance cost. Moreover, with Groww's direct mutual fund plan, you can also earn an additional 1.5%.

Groww offers E-books, Resources, and Blogs that provide stock market essentials and updates to assist investors to make better decisions. One can open a paperless account immediately very easily. If you want to participate in the primary market, you can submit an online IPO application. A Brokerage Calculator is included in the software.

Groww - Founders and Team

Groww, which was founded in 2016 by 4 former Flipkart employees Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, aim to make investment more accessible to young people by simplifying the process. The DIY (Do It Yourself) model, in which individual investors establish and manage their own investment portfolios, is preferred by most millennials.

Lalit Keshre

Lalit Keshre is the Co-founder and CEO of Groww. Keshre was a Btech, Electrical Engineering student, Microelectronics from IIT Bombay. He looked after the Product and Engineering of the IITiam Systems. After completing his graduation Lalit founded Eduflix. He eventually joined Flipkart, where he was in the Product department and served for a little less than 3 years before founding Groww in May 2016.

Harsh Jain

Popularly known as the Co-founder and COO of Groww, Harsh Jain was an IIT Delhi student from where he completed his Masters of Technology in Information and Communication Technology. Jain also has an MBA in Product Management and Marketing Technology from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Ishan Bansal

Ishan Bansal is another Co-founder of the company. Bansal was a student of BITS, Pilani, from where he completed his BTech in Mechanical Engineering. He has been a Charter Holder from the CFA Institute. Bansal also has an MBA degree in Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur. Ishan Bansal started his career in ICICI Securities. He eventually left the company and joined Naspers Limited as a Manager. Flipkart was the next company that he joined where he was in Corporate Development. After his brief stint with Flipkart, Ishan opted to co-found Groww.

Neeraj Singh

Neeraj Singh is known as the Co-founder and CTO of Groww. Neeraj is a Bachelors' in Information Technology from ITM University, Gwalior. He then opted for a Post Graduate Diploma in Advance Computing from C-Dac. Singh initially joined JDA Software as a Software Engineer and then opted for Ivy Computech as his company in which he started as a Senior Software Engineer. He eventually joined Flipkart in the SDE department and eventually decided to co-found Groww with the other founders.

Founders of Groww -  Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal
Founders of Groww - Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal

Groww - Startup Story

The founders of the company witnessed the change in the e-commerce market during their time at Flipkart and realized that investment is the next big opportunity. The e-commerce boom signaled an increase in average income and technology savvy, and it was at this point that the founders realized that individuals indeed have discretionary cash and will need assistance in putting it to good use.

When the founding team started investigating Indian financial options for interested consumers, they spent a lot of time learning about the market and identifying the users' basic pain concerns. They have to conduct numerous tests in order to determine the best user experience. Furthermore, the users' hard-earned money was on the line. This is why they needed to deliver a safe and secure solution, which required some time to develop.

Groww began as a direct mutual fund distribution platform in 2016 and has since grown to become one of the country's most popular mutual fund investing platforms. Groww added equities in the early part of 2020 in response to customer demand, and the following year, it launched digital gold, ETFs, intraday trading, and IPOs in rapid succession.

Groww is a Bangalore-based brokerage firm that offers online discount brokerage services for a single charge. Groww can help you invest in stocks, IPOs, and mutual funds directly. Nextbillion Technology Private Limited, a SEBI-registered brokerage, is known as Groww. NSE and BSE both have NTPL as a member.

In India, there are about 200 million people with disposable income, but only about 20 million actively invest. Groww' s goal was to provide consumers with the information, resources, and customer engagement they needed to get started with investing as quickly as possible.

Groww - Mission and Vision

The company's mission is to give the investors the greatest experience possible when it comes to managing their money.

Lalit Keshre, Co-founder and CEO, Groww, said – β€œOver the last few years, we have made investing in mutual funds and stocks simple and transparent for millions of investors in India. If we look at the opportunity that lies ahead, it still feels like Day 1. We started our journey with small steps writing blogs and making videos to educate people about investing. Our wealth as a nation will keep growing, and our mission is to provide the best experience for investors to manage their wealth. We are happy to partner with investors who believe in our long term vision."

Groww - Name, Logo and Tagline

The Groww logo consists of a circle of two colours: Green and Blue. The logo depicts an increasing graph.

Company Logo of Groww
Groww Logo

'There's just one right way,' says the company's tagline. The main goal of the company is to make the investing process as simple as possible for their clients. Investors can choose from a variety of mutual funds, and they can also invest in a variety of schemes with varying market capitalizations.

Groww - Products

The list of the products of Groww include :

  • Stocks
  • Mutual Funds
  • Digital Gold
  • US stocks

Groww - Business Model

Groww charges a tiny fee, however, it is paid by the mutual fund firm, not by the client. They profit on the funds they sell, but it's a complicated process.

To begin, there are two types of mutual fund investments: regular and direct. In ordinary mode, a distributor appears, and you must pay the distributor a commission. The commission is calculated in such a way that it compensates you for your investment and profits.

Apps like Groww, on the other hand, give consumers a direct investing opportunity by combining different funds and companies into a single platform, thereby extending them a wide range of possibilities.

For a fintech company like Groww, the first thing to keep in mind is to expand the customer base. Groww leverages technology to reach the proper target audience, which lowers its operating costs. People rarely switch between these types of applications. As a result, once the correct customer base has been established, they are likely to stick with you for the long haul.

Groww allows users to invest in mutual funds and equities from anywhere in the world, thanks to its high level of technology. With just a few mouse clicks, you can become an owner of a specific stock or mutual fund.

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Groww - Revenue and Growth

Groww is one of many that has greatly interested the investors. The company's earnings increased by 4.7 times to a little over INR 1 crore in FY20, up from INR 20.14 lakhs in FY19. Operating revenue increased by 3.25 times to INR 52.05 lakhs, with financial assets contributing an additional INR 48.24 lakhs.

The company has further seen an increase in its operational revenues in FY21, which were recorded at INR 52.71 crores in consolidated operating revenues. The brokerage and allied services that the company provides brought it around INR 34.3 crore in revenues, which was followed by income from its tech platform charges and other operational revenue, which helped the company gain Rs 12.7 crore and INR 5.71 crore in revenues. The expenditure of the company also grew parallelly, making the total expenditure of the company climb to INR 155.66 crore. Looking at the company's financials on a unit level reveals that Groww has managed to earn Re 1 of operating revenue by spending INR 2.95 during FY21. Β 

The Y Combinator-backed business has witnessed a respectable increase in earnings, but it still trails companies like Zerodha and Upstox, which have earnings of INR 1,094 crore and INR 148 crore, respectively. Groww made INR 1 crore while ET Money made INR 2.24 crore in total in FY20.

Groww is expanding fast and has also achieved unicorn status in April 2021. The company closed an $83 million worth of its Series D funding round led by Tiger Global Management, which helped it turn into a unicorn startup.

Groww Launched Intraday Trading and ETFs

Groww is hailed as a platform that is trusted by more than 30 million users. It is a customer-first company that is bringing in ease and trust for the users while investing in Mutual funds, FDs, Stocks, Futures and Options, IPOs and more. Groww had equities, and then launched Intraday Trading and ETFs , expanding their product suite. With the launch of these products that cater to two diverse niches within the investing spectrum, Groww aims to provide a gamut of investment options to millennial investors with varied investment objectives. With intraday trading now enabled on 350+ stocks and select ETFs on Groww, investors can short sell, place a stop-loss order, and track price movements through candlestick charts, within just a few clicks.

On the other hand, ETFs as an asset class can be explored by users who are inclined towards passive investment instruments. With Groww, investors can check all information related to ETFs such as expense ratio, fund manager details, scheme objectives, as well as track the live price of the underlying securities on-the-go.

Groww launched Intraday Trading at a time when stock trading is gaining unprecedented popularity amongst Indians, especially young millennials. CDSL reported that the number of demat accounts with CDSL crossed 25 million only in the previous month, registering a 25% increase as against the pre-lockdown numbers. Moreover, since March 2020, mobile trades have more than tripled, as reported in September 2020, according to BSE’s trading data.

Speaking on the launch, Lalit Keshre, Co-founder and CEO - Groww said, β€œThe launch of intraday trading and ETFs on our platform is in line with our promise to provide our customers with all kinds of investment options on a single platform. We already have all the direct mutual funds and gold available on the platform. In the days to come, we will keep adding more features to provide an all-encompassing investing experience”.

Groww also plans to follow this launch with a series of learning modules aimed at educating its investors about the intricacies of intra-day trading and ETFs. The company launched stocks investing on its platform in June 2020 and has recorded more than 4.5 Lakh Demat accounts within a short span, thereby becoming one of the fastest-growing discount brokers in the country. Currently in invite-only mode, customers would soon be able to invest in US equities on Groww app as well.

Some other growth insights of the brand can be compiled as:

  • Groww brags about having 30+ million registered users
  • The platform has nearly $400 million in investment
  • Groww is a one-of-a-kind startup that recorded over a 10X jump (from $250-300 million to $3 billion) in valuation in a little over a year in India.
  • The nearest rival of Groww is Upstox, which recently raised a new round at around a $3.4 billion valuation
  • It is a worthy competitor of Zerodha

Groww will Foray into the Neobanking Segment

The company is currently looking to foray into the neobanking space with a new neobanking platform that it will likely launch soon. According to one of the sources close to Groww, the company believes that being a neo-banking company will further make it holistic for the users, which want to emerge as a one-stop solution for banking and investment.

Groww to Launch its Lending Arm

Groww is also looking to foray into lending and is in final talks for the launch of another vertical to its offerings, which would be lending, as per the reports dated January 14, 2021. The company will offer credit lines to some users after selecting them on the basis of their transaction histories as per the mobile app usage, which Groww has already started to do. This step might prove to be playing a great role in multiplying the revenues of Groww, which aren't that noteworthy so far.

Groww Launched Ab Karega Invest

A growing number of investors from tier-II cities are now taking to investing through online platforms. The company will host conferences in selected Indian cities to make investing simple and accessible. Groww, a leading investment platform, stated that 60% of registered users registered with them hail from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In light of this, Groww has launched a one-of-a-kind financial education initiative β€œ Ab India Karega Invest”, to bridge investors’ knowledge gap. As per the initiative, the Groww team will tour 52 select cities in 52 weeks and conduct conferences to explain the nuances of investing. The city meets are focused on creating a knowledge-sharing platform for industry players and aspiring investors as well as fostering local investor communities.

As a pilot campaign, Groww previously held meets in Lucknow, Jaipur, and Patna, and the overwhelming reception led to the extension of the campaign PAN India.
On the occasion of the launch, Lalit Keshre, Co-founder and CEO, Groww said β€œThe penetration of financial services in India is really low beyond metros. Groww is making investing accessible to millions of people in India with a sharp focus on customer experience. For us, there are no boundaries. This program helps us in multiple ways, but the biggest one is to closely engage with aspiring investors spread across these cities in India”.

Groww - Funding and Investors

Groww has raised around $393 mn over 7 funding rounds that the company has seen to date. The company has recently raised around $251 mn in its Series E funding round on October 24, 2021.

Here's a glimpse of the funding rounds of Groww:

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
October 24, 2021 Series E $251M Iconiq Growth
Apr 7, 2021 Series D $83M Tiger Global Management
Sep 10, 2020 Series C $30M Y Combinator Continuity Fund
Sep 18, 2019 Series B $21.4M Ribbit Capital
Jan 23, 2019 Series A - -
Jan 23, 2019 Series A $6.2M Sequoia Capital India
Jul 9, 2018 Seed Round $1.6M -

Groww - Acquisitions

To date, Groww has acquired only one other mutual fund business, which is Indiabulls AMC. Groww acquired Indiabulls Mutual Fund for INR 175 crore, which includes cash equivalents of INR 100 crore. Groww will be one of the first fintech firms to join the 37 trillion dollar asset management market as a result of this purchase.

Acquiree Name About Acquiree Date Amount
Indiabulls AMC Indiabulls AMC is a mutual fund company provides different types of mutual funds, tax saving investments, SIP investments, SIP calculators. May 11, 2021 $22.99M

Groww - Advisors and Mentors

Groww gets Satya Nadella, CEO of the second most valuable company, Google as its investor and advisor. Groww Co-founder and CEO Lalit Keshre is thrilled about this development and has not missed posting it on Linkedin.

Groww - Awards

Some of the awards that Groww received to date are:

  • 2017-18: BSE Star MF award for Karnataka's 2nd best performer in the RFD category.
  • 2017-2018: 3rd place in the BSE Star MF Fintech – Highest Transactions competition. 2017-2019
  • 2018-19: BSE Star MF Fintech – Highest Transactions 2018-19: 1st position

Groww - Competitors

The top competitors of Groww are -

  • Upstox
  • Zerodha
  • IIFL
  • Finvasia
  • Angel Broking
  • SAS Online
  • Sharekhan
  • Edelweiss
  • Karvy Stock Broking.

Comparing Groww to its basic competitors :

  • Upstox- They offer nearly identical services and a similar brokerage framework
  • 5paisa- They offer the same services as 5paisa, but their cost is different because they offer zero brokerage trading. 5paisa offers superior service and charges a reduced brokerage fee (INR.10 per order flat)
  • Flyers- In this situation, the services and pricing structure are the same as those of Zerodha. They do, however, give an API that is completely free.
  • Angel Broking offers similar services, but with a much bigger profit margin.

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Groww - Challenges Faced

The industry has risen at a pace of 12.5% per year over the last ten years, which is more than double the world growth rate. However, India's mutual fund asset base as a percentage of GDP is only 11%, compared to the world average of 62% this year. Individual investor demographic data suggests that 48% of somewhat older millennials (aged 29-37) participate in equities, whereas only 4% of the young generation (aged 22-28) do so.

Due to the perceived complexity and the need to have advisors on hand at all times to navigate the dangers, as well as the dread of the hazards, young or first-time investors are hesitant to enter the market. The challenge, according to the founder, was to not only alleviate these concerns but also to educate them. Here's where digital services like PhonePe, GPay, Paytm, and others have made a huge difference by combining a simple user interface with interactive instructional content.

Groww clearly displays a variety of goods to potential investors, together with the corresponding risk level and historic performance. It also provides consumers with a comprehensive summary of all mutual fund facts, which helps to educate them.

Groww - Future Plans

In the coming months, Groww will launch deposits, US equities, sovereign gold bonds, Futures & Options, and other derivative products. Groww has prioritized financial education material since the company's beginning.

β€œOur philosophy has been to create an internet finance company, based on best user experience, transparency, and simplicity, with the goal of offering every investment product out there for an Indian retail investor. Further, while we cannot advise a customer on what to buy or sell, we can definitely provide them with the right information through our educational initiatives," Keshre, chief executive and co-founder, said in an interview.

The company intends to launch a flurry of financial education projects geared at millennials and develop the financial services sector over the following two years. It signed up roughly 7 million customers between September 2020 and April 2021, with 60% of those in Tier 2 cities and beyond, according to the business, and it aims to keep expanding in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the upcoming years..


What does Groww do?

Groww is an online investment platform that allows users to invest in mutual funds and equities directly. The company is a creator of a mutual fund direct access platform.

How does Groww make money?

Groww charges a tiny fee, however, it is paid by the mutual fund firm, not by the client.

What is the Groww headquarters location?

Groww headquarters are located in Bengaluru.

Is Groww app Indian?

Yes, Groww is an Indian company.

Which companies do Groww compete with?

The top competitors of Groww are Upstox, Zerodha, Upstox, IIFL, Finvasia, Angel Broking, SAS Online, Sharekhan, Edelweiss, and Karvy Stock Broking.

What are the Groww app charges?

Groww offers accounts for mutual fund investments with zero transaction charges, no redemption charges, or any other hidden charges. Furthermore, it also offers free account opening facilities that requires zero maintenance charges.

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