Upstox - How it Empowers Investments with Zero Brokerage Model?

Upstox - How it Empowers Investments with Zero Brokerage Model?
Upstox - How it Empowers Investments with Zero Brokerage Model?

The modern investment landscape has undergone a profound shift, extending far beyond traditional avenues like banks and insurance companies. The emergence of stock and equities trading platforms has led to a diversification of investment choices, serving a range of clientele including people, corporations, stockbrokers, and retail investors. Stock trading has undergone a digital makeover. Previously a labor-intensive, office-only procedure, it is now easy to use and frictionless.

Mumbai-based fintech pioneer Upstox sticks out in this changing landscape with its array of cutting-edge investment choices. Most notably, Upstox changed the industry by inventing the zero-brokerage model and providing traders and end users with affordable, user-friendly stock trading and securities brokerage services. Within the ever-evolving fintech space, Upstox is essential in bringing investing closer to the general public while maintaining its ethical standards.

Read more about Upstox Founders, Business model, Revenue Model, Mission and Vision, Funding and Investors, Competitors, Future Plans, and more.

Upstox - Company Highlights

Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Sector Financial Services, Trading Platform
Founders Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Kavitha Subramanian and Shrini Viswanath
Founded 2009

Upstox - About
Upstox - How it Works?
Upstox - Industry
Upstox - Founders and Team
Upstox - Startup Story
Upstox - Mission and Vision
Upstox - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Upstox - Business Model
Upstox - Revenue Model
Upstox - Challenges Faced
Upstox - Funding and Investors
Upstox - Growth
Upstox - Partnership
Upstox - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns
Upstox - Competitors
Upstox - Future Plans

Upstox - About

Upstox is a financial technology firm that provides consumers with unique investing choices. With its tech-driven, fast, and simplified stock trading and securities brokerage services, Upstox aims to empower its clients to make wiser investment decisions with utmost convenience.

Furthermore, the company also promises a zero brokerage model that is designed to leverage prudent use of design and technology, which would help significantly cut costs for the company and would also greatly benefit the end-users. Headquartered in Mumbai, Upstox is driven by the aim of disrupting the brokerage industry by bringing down the costs accrued by the online trading platforms, thereby making stock trading, efficient, and cost-effective.

Upstox - How it Works?

The Upstox platform offers a comprehensive suite of financial instruments, covering stocks, IPOs, mutual funds, futures and options, commodities, and currencies. Upstox distinguishes itself in the charges domain by implementing a user-friendly methodology. In contrast to conventional brokerage practices, Upstox doesn't charge clients for investments in mutual funds and IPO.

Upstox retains a single brokerage cost of Rs 20 per order for other transactions, notably equity, F&O, commodity, and currency orders executed by customers onboarded on or after September 21, 2021, guaranteeing affordability and transparency for all users. Upstox is a top option in the fintech space because of its dedication to efficiency and affordability, providing traders and investors with easy-to-use and reasonably priced financial solutions.

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Upstox - Industry

The fintech industry in India is expanding remarkably, with investment tech emerging as the fastest-growing sector and expected to grow at an astonishing 30% annual pace between 2022 and 2030, as per report analysis of Statista. The financial software as a service industry is projected to grow at a strong rate of 27%.

The country's fintech market as a whole is expected to be valued more than $2 trillion by 2030, demonstrating the significant influence and promise of this industry. Based on a thorough research, these numbers show the fintech industry's dynamic trajectory in India and indicate that technology will continue to transform and redefine the financial services industry in the future.

Upstox - Founders and Team

Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Kavitha Subramanian, and Shrini Viswanath are the Upstox founders, who founded the company in 2009.

Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, and Shrini Vishwanath, Co-Founders of Upstox ( Left to Right)
Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, and Shrini Vishwanath, Co-Founders of Upstox ( Left to Right)

Ravi Kumar

Ravi Kumar, a distinguished co-founder and Board member at Upstox, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Renowned for his ability to start successful businesses, Ravi is not only a pivotal member of the Upstox team but also the founder of RK Trading Partnership and RKSV, demonstrating his many contributions to the trading and finance industries.

Raghu Kumar

Raghu Kumar, sibling to Ravi Kumar and a co-founder of Upstox and RKSV Partnership, played a central role in shaping the trajectory of the company since its inception. He co-founded RKSV, which developed into a well-known retail brokerage platform, with his brother and Shrini.

In 2012, they made a big decision by opening RKSV to the retail public. They then rebranded that market as Upstox. Raghu is an actuarial science bachelor's degree holder from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Even though Raghu left the company in December 2019, he became a co-founder of Rain Platforms, demonstrating his continued dedication to improving the financial industry.

Shrini Vishwanath

Shrini Vishwanath, a co-founder and integral member of the Upstox Board of Directors, oversees the technological aspects of Upstox. Shrini, who holds a science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an expert in high-frequency trading and has extensive experience in the automated trading industry developing low-latency, highly scalable systems.

In addition, Shrini contributed significantly as a co-founder of RKSV, demonstrating his breadth of knowledge in the fintech sector. His varied and successful career in technology is highlighted by his positions as a Software Engineer at Cerner Corporation and Technology Analyst at Morgan Stanley before joining Citibank and Upstox.

Kavitha Subramanian

Kavitha Subramanian Co-Founder of Upstox
Kavitha Subramanian Co-Founder of Upstox

Kavitha has been serving as the co-founder of Upstox since October 2016. She is responsible for Upstox's growth, strategy, finance, and customer experience at Upstox. Kavitha has a BTech and MTech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Before joining Upstox, Kavitha worked as the Associate Director at Leapfrog Investments and an Investment Principal at Actis Investments. Furthermore, she also worked for McKinsey & Co. as a Business Analyst and for SKS Microfinance Limited as the AVP of Business Development.

The company has 501–1,000 employees, as per LinkedIn.

Upstox - Startup Story

Upstox was founded by brothers Ravi and Raghu Kumar, who were inspired to trade after experiencing it early in life. Having started trading penny stocks at the age of 17, Ravi further explored the financial markets in 2004 while working at Thinkorswim, particularly the forex market.

Motivated by Ravi's enthusiasm, Raghu studied actuarial science and developed his mathematical and probabilistic skills. After Raghu graduated in 2006, their partnership took a dramatic turn for the better. Ravi coded algorithmic trading algorithms, which helped them succeed in the trading industry.

With an emphasis on algorithmic trading, the brothers founded RKSV in India to pursue their common goal. 2012 saw the realization of their goal to enter the retail brokerage market as RKSV launched for business to the retail public. In May 2016, the business changed its name and became known as Upstox. With a foundation based on a love of stocks and a dedication to cutting-edge trading solutions, Upstox is a major force in the fintech industry.

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Upstox - Mission and Vision

Mission: The mission of Upstox on the company's website state, "Our mission is to help every Indian confidently Up their wealth."

Vision: The vision statement of Upstox on the company's website state

"Our vision is to create a world where, Everyone has financial security without barriers , Indians are investing in India’s growth by investing in her companies, Wealth gap reduces. GDP per capita increases, Everyone is financially literate and empowered, Wealth becomes a given. So that everyone can focus on passion, creativity, growth, contribution & excellence."
Upstox Logo
Upstox Logo

RKSV Securities India Pvt. Ltd. is the parent organization of Upstox. The company a proprietary trading business focused on specialized customers, was formed in 2008. It was in 2012 that the company ventured into retail broking services with the launch of Upstox platform.

Upstox tagline is "Invest Right, Invest Now."

Upstox - Business Model

In contrast to conventional brokerage methods, which base commissions on a percentage of turnover, Upstox takes a novel approach to the market. Users of Upstox pay no brokerage costs because the platform charges flat rates either per trade or per month. This novel approach helps dealers save more money by drastically cutting expenses.

The key to Upstox's zero brokerage model lies in its online-only business strategy. Upstox operates from a single central location situated in the Sunshine Tower at Lower Parel, Mumbai, in contrast to many brokerage firms that maintain multiple branches throughout the nation. Upstox enhances operational efficiency and maintains low costs by eliminating the overheads associated with having several branches. Upstox's unique business strategy enables it to offer its customers affordable services without sacrificing revenue.

Upstox - Revenue Model

Upstox generates revenue through a diversified set of streams, some of the prominent one are listed below:

Brokerage Fees: For a variety of trades, including equity, F&O, commodities, and currency, Upstox levies a small brokerage fee of Rs 20 per order. This charge structure is straightforward and fixed, which helps to generate income.

Margin Trading: Upstox provides margin trading services, enabling users to trade with funds exceeding their account balance. The interest paid on borrowed amounts for margin trading constitutes a significant source of revenue.

Account Opening Fees: Upstox charges a one-time fee of Rs 150 to its customers for Demat Account Opening in order to cover administrative costs, KYC verification, and account opening procedures.

Premium Services: Providing Upstox Pro opens up additional revenue streams for Upstox.

Upstox - Challenges Faced

As Upstox experienced significant growth, it faced challenges related to its ability to handle increased user activity and potential issues with executing trades quickly. One significant setback was in April 2021 when hackers gained access to Upstox's security systems and compromised the personal information, including KYC details, of almost 25 lakh customers. In spite of this security breach, Upstox strengthened its systems right away.

The business strengthened third-party data storage, tightened security protocols, and continuously observed its activities in real time. As a safety precaution, Upstox also started an OTP-based secure password reset. Upstox prioritized and strengthened its security procedures in response to this occurrence, guaranteeing the protection of its clients' money and reaffirming its dedication to defending against online attacks.

Upstox - Funding and Investors

Upstox has raised around $143.3 million over 5 funding rounds that it has witnessed.

Here are the funding details:

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Sep 22, 2022 Series C $108 million Tiger Global Management
Aug 26, 2022 Debt Financing - -
Aug 26, 2022 Series C Rs 50 crore -
Sep 20, 2019 Series B $25 million Tiger Global Management
Feb 12, 2016 Series A $4 million Kalaari Capital

Upstox - Growth

Upstox reached a major milestone in 2014, just two years after its founding, with a trading turnover of Rs 4000 crore+. The platform's rapid rise to prominence and trust led to funding from Kalaari Capital and a significant investment from Mr. Ratan Tata, which further fueled the platform's expansion. Interestingly, CDSL recognized Upstox for being the first broker to onboard the 10 lakh number of users in 2020.

As Upstox continued its journey, 2021 marked a year of expansion and collaboration. The platform demonstrated its dedication to sports and entertainment by being the official partner for esteemed events like the TNPL, IPL, and ICC. Upstox experienced a tremendous increase in trade turnover in 2022, surpassing the noteworthy milestone of $60,000 crore+. Upstox's dominant position in the financial market is reinforced by this impressive growth, which highlights the company's successful trajectory and ongoing innovation.


Upstox FY22-FY23 FY22 FY23
Operating Revenue Rs 766 crore Rs 1,000 crore
Profit/ Loss Loss of Rs 445 crore Profit of Rs 25 crore

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Upstox - Partnership

IPL 2021

On March 16, 2021, the IPL Governing Council declared a strategic partnership with Upstox, a prominent digital brokerage firm in India. Upstox was appointed as an official partner for the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to commence on April 9, 2021.

Mr Brijesh Patel, Chairman, IPL, said "We are pleased to have Upstox on board as an official partner of the Indian Premier League 2021. As one of the most-watched cricket leagues in India, IPL along with Upstox, one of India’s fastest-growing digital-trading platforms, can create a huge impact on the audience, especially the millions of Indian youth who are financially independent and looking for more options to manage their portfolios."

Upstox - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

Upstox Campaign

Aiming to educate people on the where, how, and why of investing, Upstox launches the 'Invest Right' campaign. In an effort to change the Indian investment environment and make it more straightforward, understandable, and interesting—much how the Indian Premier League changed cricket in India—the campaign aims to raise investor awareness, consideration, and brand attachment. Through this project, Upstox hopes to empower people with financial literacy and encourage thoughtful, well-informed investment decisions.

Upstox - Competitors

The top competitors in Upstox's competitive set are:

  • Zerodha
  • Groww
  • Finvasia Securities
  • StockGro
  • Kuvera
  • ET Money
  • 5paisa Capital
  • TradingBells
  • Sharekhan

Upstox - Future Plans

With a focus toward the future, Upstox intends to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the next two to three years, with a goal of going public. The company's goal for 2024 is to increase revenue diversification through the introduction of new goods and the utilization of resulting monetization potential as per news report of January 18, 2024.

"Going forward, our strategy will be to focus on quality service, more than quantity. We have built scale, and are now shifting gears with a greater than ever attention on product innovation and exhaustive investor education initiatives." Ravi Kumar, co-founder and CEO, said.


What does Upstox do?

Upstox is a financial technology firm that provides consumers with unique investing choices. It also offers stock trading and securities brokerage services. The program also allows ordinary investors to trade on the stock market.

Is Upstox an Indian company?

Upstox Limited is a stock brokerage firm based in India.

Who are the Upstox founders or who founded Upstox?

Upstox was founded by Raghu Kumar, Ravi Kumar, and Shrini Viswanath in 2009, and Kavitha Subramanian joined in October 2016.

How does Upstox make money?

It charges flat rates, resulting in considerable cost savings. This is why Upstox is a brokerage industry disruptor. Upstox believes in charging zero commission, whether it's a flat price per transaction or a flat fee per month.

Which companies do Upstox compete with?

The top competitors in Upstox's competitive set are Finvasia Securities, Zerodha, Groww, StockGro, Kuvera, ET Money, 5paisa Capital, TradingBells, Sharekhan.

What is the Upstox revenue?

Upstox has registered Rs 1,000 crore in revenues in FY23.

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