Sqrrl Success Story - How Sqrrl Simplifies Personal Finance

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 Sqrrl.

Today, in contrast to savings, the internet offers various unprecedented methods to spend money. One can easily see that spending have become increasingly easier and savings has become gradually difficult. To bridge this huge chasm between saving and spending patterns, Sanjeev and Samant decided to tap a new market - the millennials & GenZs , by launching Sqrrl.

Sqrrl is a wealth management platform founded by Samant Sikka (Chief Dreamer), Sanjeev Sharma and Dhananjay Singh. The Sqrrl team works to simplify personal finance for millions of young Indians. Sqrrl's mission is to impact the lives of 3 million young Indians by helping them save, invest and prosper by 2021!

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Samant Sikka (Founder & Chief Dreamer, Sqrrl) to know about the Sqrrl Success Story along with getting a glance on How Sqrrl started, Sqrrl Funding, Business model, growth, founders, products, future plans & more...

Sqrrl - Company Highlights

Startup Name Sqrrl
Founder Samant Sikka (Chief Dreamer),Sanjeev Sharma, Dhananjay Singh
Founded 2017
Headquarter Gurgaon, New Delhi
Sector Finance and Investment/Fintech
Website sqrrl.in

Lets go through the Journey of Sqrrl-

Sqrrl - About
Sqrrl - Industry and Target Market Size
Sqrrl - Idea/How it started?
Sqrrl - Product/Service offered
Sqrrl - Founders and Team
Sqrrl - Name, Tagline and Logo
Sqrrl - Business Model and Revenue Model
Sqrrl - Startup Launch
Sqrrl - Startup Challenges
Sqrrl - Growth
Sqrrl - Funding and Investors
Sqrrl - Advisors and Mentors
Sqrrl - Competitors
Sqrrl - Recognition and Achievements
Sqrrl - Future Plans
Sqrrl - FAQs

Sqrrl - About

Sqrrl is a platform aimed at helping young Indians save their earnings while keeping things simple. With Sqrrl, it's not about putting away large chunks of salary, but rather small sums with just a couple of clicks. Sqrrl is a wealth management platform. Sqrrl is an app-only platform with the MVP around savings and investment products powered by Mutual Funds.

Technology is being used for the greater good today, even in personal lives. It is an attempt to stay at the forefront of this new wave of technology by combining a great user experience with something substantial. The Sqrrl team works to simplify personal finance for millions of young Indians.

As of today (Feb 2021), Sqrrl provides 7 different products under their app —

  • Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
  • Goal-based investment
  • Axe Tax
  • Sqrrl Away
  • Lump sum investment
  • Fixed Deposit
  • Personal Loans

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Sqrrl - Industry and Target Market Size

Sqrrl operates in the personal finance space. The main target users are young Indians - both millennials and GenZs.

With an acute focus on the financial aspirations of the new age generation, Sqrrl is geared to capitalize on India's 440 Mn millennials (390 Mn GenZ). The challenge here is that the younger generation finds financial products, boring, jargonized and not adding any value to their lives. The company wishes to change that by offering simple financial solutions that will bring a huge change in the financial wellness of its customers.

Sqrrl - Product/Service offered

The Sqrrl platform gauges the personalized investment needs of individuals and matches them with funds available in the industry. It is like a personal finance buddy that one can rely on to save and grow money. Sqrrl is an app-only platform with the MVP around savings and investment products powered by Mutual Funds.

As of today (Feb 2021), Sqrrl provides 7 different products — Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), Goal-based investment, Axe Tax, Sqrrl Away, Lump sum investment, Fixed Deposit and Personal Loans — under the app.


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Sqrrl - Founders and Team

Samant Sikka (Chief Dreamer), Sanjeev Sharma and Dhananjay Singh are the co-founders of Sqrrl.

Samant Sikka (Founder & Chief Dreamer, Sqrrl)

Samant Sikka, the founder of the fintech has over 20 years of experience in financial services. He has major stints in Sales, Business Development, Strategy and Marketing with firms like Franklin Templeton, AIG Investments, Goldman Sachs & Axis Asset Management.

Sqrrl Founder
Samant Sikka, Chief Dreamer & Founder, Sqrrl

Sanjeev Sharma (Co-founder, Sqrrl)

Co-founder, Sanjeev Sharma, has over 16 years experience in financial services with background in business setup and expansion, financing and operational excellence with firms like Franklin Templeton Investments, AIG Investment & Pine Bridge Investments. Sanjeev and Samant have worked together in the past in Franklin Templeton and AIG and continued to be in touch.

Dhananjay Singh (Co-founder, Sqrrl)

The founders were very clear about the role of technology in solving the challenges for the customers and therefore, decided to bring in Dhananjay, who brought the Tech domain to the team which plays a critical role in our business. Co-founder, Dhananjay Singh is an IIT-Kharagpur graduate with an experience of over 20 years in data science and analytics, a professional with products and canned solutions background with firms like PWC, Tech Mahindra, United Healthcare and Axtria.


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Sqrrl - Idea/How it started?

Sqrrl came into existence in early 2017 with the sole aim of simplifying personal finance for young Indians. The journey behind establishing Sqrrl is best described by Mr. Samant Sikka and Mr. Sanjeev Sharma who collectively have over 37 years of experience in the financial services.

Between 2006 to 2016, both Samant and Sanjeev observed an alarming trend with regards to savings in Indian households. India, which is generally described as a saving-oriented country, saw a huge dip in household savings in the last decade wrapping up in March 2016. Statistics show that household savings fell from 22% to 19% as compared to GDP’s ratio, which increased from Rs 0.23 lakh crore to Rs 1.36 lakh crore during the same 10 year period.  

Today, in contrast to savings the internet offers various unprecedented methods to spend money. One can easily see that spending is becoming increasingly easier and savings is becoming gradually difficult. To bridge this huge chasm between saving and spending patterns, Sanjeev and Samant decided to tap a new market - the millennials & GenZs.

Before launching Sqrrl, they did a hands-on primary research by meeting with salaried millennials at coffee shops, eateries and even hosted ‘Pizza & Beer on us’ sessions. Sanjeev and Samant ended up meeting approximately 400 young Indians in the age group of 25-35. The intent was to understand their relationship with money and challenges, whatever they were. Through these sessions, they collected some very powerful feedback.

Sanjeev and Samant says - The biggest lesson that we learnt is that for millennials the value of money as a concept has completely morphed into money-as-a currency, a mere tool to spend on stuff that they like.

Along with that, the biggest revelation faced by the founders of Sqrrl was -  that a significant portion of this generation is living from salary to salary with barely any savings. Even though they are starting to work earlier than the older generations and getting higher salary packages, they are still struggling to save for anything. Using this feedback, they built multiple financial products to promote both savings and investing.

The founders were very clear about the role of technology in solving the challenges for the customers and therefore, decided to bring in Dhananjay, who brought the Tech domain to the team .


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As one would think, the name Sqrrl was inspired by the tiniest of animals, Squirrel.

Sqrrl Logo

The main reason behind it is that a squirrel, despite its small size, plans for the future carefully. It saves a small amount of nuts gradually to build a full stock for the winters. And it does so, by being prepared for even the most desperate times in advance. The sheer size of the whole affair - a small squirrel working hard to save small everyday to make a full pile for the winters is very motivating. The main idea to imbibe financial discipline into young minds through a new financial product - to promote both savings and investing which fortunately, was achieved very well by this.

That’s what the founders of Sqqrl wanted people to think of when they looked at the brand. They wanted to use a young, fresh and vibrant brand name which millennials will associate with. Saving a small amount of money over a long period of time can do wonders.


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Sqrrl - Business Model and Revenue Model

Sqrrl’s business model is a combination of B2B and B2C.

  • Sqrrl has an app that helps the customers directly in saving and investing in mutual funds and taking personal loans
  • Sqrrl also has multiple integrations with banks and NBFCs that helps in bringing a substantial amount of revenue.
  • The platform’s subscription called Sqrrl Prime is another source of monetization for the business.

Sqrrl - Startup Launch

For the first 100 users of Sqrrl , it was a soft launch. The initial users were mainly people from the founders' network. Slowly, the team started communicating with its target users through educating them about the need for financial planning in today’s world.

With education comes awareness and we were banking on that awareness to drive our product further into the hearts and mind of people. Facebook and Google definitely helped us in increasing the traction during initial days and even now - Says Samant Sikka (Founder, Sqrrl)

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Sqrrl - Startup Challenges

The initial challenge faced by the Sqrrl team was to build a Minimum Viable Product(MVP). There is no debate that one will always have aspirations to build a fully loaded offering with scarce resources. Humans are very optimistic like but it was important to draw a line. Therefore, few of the important decisions that the team had to make were about saying NO. Say NO to many features that the various customers will need. Instead of that they focused on building a sharp cut around a user persona with a particular use case.

In Sqrrl case, the team decided to start with saving and investment products, powered by mutual funds, specifically converting the challenges that they had heard from the target audience into Sqrrl's offerings. However, all the challenges get magnified in case of financial services as there are multiple regulations to adhere to in letter and spirit. The list of things that one cannot do is longer than the things that you one do.

Since the founders of Sqrrl came from the industry some of the industry partners were very encouraging and offered support in making the journey of Sqrrl less complex. The other important challenge was around the product, execution and team. The enough time was spent on studying the ecosystem to build a product that spoke to people in everyday life.

An important decision that the Sqrrl team took was not outsourcing the technology, which meant that they had to slowly but surely start to put together a handpicked team of competent and domain experts who had been able to deliver a great product in a short time frame. There are other challenges that need attention in early days which are Product, Team, Execution, Infra and Funding. Some of these factors can be a big drag on the founder’s bandwidth, the ROTI (Return on Time Invested) is not very high, especially in early days.

"We made some decisions that helped us keep ourselves away from distractions. For example, one of the most important agendas was to keep fixed costs low and flexible, therefore we decided to work out of a co-working space Sproutbox" Says Samant

Fundraise is another time sapping activity and a big distraction from the core of the business.

"We, in the founding team were coming with approx. 2 decades corporate experience. Each decided not to raise any monies till we have demonstrated our ability to execute and therefore bootstrapped the venture initially. These were the easier parts which meant that we kept ourselves away from distractions" Samant added.

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Sqrrl - Growth

During 2020, Sqrrl expanded its wings beyond the sphere of savings and investment. It launched many new products and features to solve various financial problems of the customers. These include income tax return e-filing, starting a Fixed Deposit (FD), offering loans, a subscription plan called ‘Sqrrl Prime’ and protection products like accidental insurance.

Sqrrl's partnership for offering Goal based investments with ICICI bank’s MINE, a millennial banking platform has also gone live in October, 2020.

Sqrrl - Funding and Investors

After almost a year being bootstrapped, Sqrrl raised the the first round of funding from Equanimity Ventures in June 2018 for 1 Million USD.


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Sqrrl - Advisors and Mentors

Sqrrl is fortunate to be led by a team of fantastic mentors including Carl Richards, Advait Dikshit and Shripad Nadkarni.

Carl Richards

Richards is a certified financial planner and has been the creator of the Sketch Guy column, appearing weekly in The New York Times since 2010. He is also the author of the book called The Behavior Gap which has been a huge hit.

Advait Dikshit

Dixit has been a management  consultant for the past 19 years and is an avid speaker.

Shripad Nadkarni

Shripad Nadkarni is a brand and marketing Guru and presently also the co-founder of Maverix, which is a Mumbai based startup in the food space.

Sqrrl - Competitors

Some of the Top Competitors of Sqrrl in the market are Groww, ET Money, Fisdom and Scripbox.


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Sqrrl - Recognition and Achievements

  • Sqrrl got selected at the Reliance GenNext Hub, a scalerator program run by Reliance Industries and Microsoft ventures amongst 23 startups picked from approx. 1200 applications.
  • Sqrrl also have been featured in #Hot100 Startups in India.
  • The Sqrrl app has been featured on multiple occasions by both the Google Playstore  and Apple App Store for its design and features

Sqrrl - Future Plans

In the future, the Sqrrl app plans on offering international investing, and stocks to its customers. Currently, the company is focusing extensively on partnering with banks, NBFCs and other platforms to enhance its distribution and reach.

In addition to that, Sqrrl have tie-ups with banking correspondent platforms and many more of these interesting partnerships are already under integration and closure. With the fast and fantastic evolution of the company, it is constantly finding channels to raise resources by speaking actively with financial and strategic investors.

Sqrrl - FAQs

What is Sqrrl?

Sqrrl is a wealth management platform founded by Samant Sikka (Chief Dreamer),Sanjeev Sharma and Dhananjay Singh. The Sqrrl team works to simplify personal finance for millions of young Indians.

Who are Sqrrl Founders?

Samant Sikka (Chief Dreamer),Sanjeev Sharma, Dhananjay Singh are the founders of Sqrrl.

How much funding has Sqrrl raised?

The first round of funding for Sqrrl came from Equanimity Ventures in June, 2018 for 1 Million USD.

Who are the Top competitors of Sqrrl?

Some of the competitors of Sqrrl in the market are Groww, ET Money, Fisdom and Scripbox.

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About Jeenal Jain

  • Bangalore, India
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