WealthDesk - B2B2C Investment Technology Platform

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
May 19, 2021 10 min read
WealthDesk  - B2B2C Investment Technology Platform

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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 WealthDesk.

WealthDesk is India’s pioneering B2B2C platform that captures the entire Investment/Asset Management/Advisory value chain from portfolio creation on top of Equities and ETFs which are productized into investment products called WealthBaskets.

WealthDesk is driving the Investment product side innovation in India. It has 50+ partners who leverage WealthDesk’s platform to realign their broking and advisory offerings. This includes renowned full-service brokers such as Motilal Oswal, JM Financial, Anand Rathi, Prabhudas Lilladher, among others. As a B2B2C SaaS platform in this space, WealthDesk can get B2B on its platform and create a bigger ecosystem at scale.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Ujjwal Jain (Founder & CEO, WealthDesk) to get an insight on the Success Story of WealthDesk. Know all about WealthDesk's founding team, how it started, growth, future plans & more in this article ahead!

WealthDesk - Company Highlights

Startup Name WealthDesk
Founders Ujjwal Jain (CEO), Yuvraj Thakker (Co-founder & NED)
Founding Year 2016 (Went Live in 2018)
Headquarters Mumbai
Sector Fintech/Investment Platform
Website wealthdesk.in

About WealthDesk
WealthDesk - Founders and Team
WealthDesk Ideation Journey - How it Started?
WealthDesk - Product and USP
WealthDesk - Challenges Faced
WealthDesk - Growth and Current Status
WealthDesk - Future Plans
WealthDesk - FAQs

About WealthDesk

WealthDesk is a B2B2C Investment Technology platform founded in 2016. WealthDesk enables portfolio-based investing on top of stocks and ETFs (Exchange Traded Fund) consolidating advisory, broking, asset, and wealth management ecosystem. It is India’s pioneering B2B2C platform that captures the entire Investment/Asset Management/Advisory value chain from portfolio creation on top of Equities and ETFs which are productized into investment products called WealthBaskets; WealthBaskets are enabled for large scale distribution through broking partners with strong network effects.

Its goal is to make sure all big and small brokers in the country are integrated on the WealthDesk platform on the transaction side (‘UPI’zation of Broking industry) and on the Advisory front, it wants to have some of the Best advisors’ Investment Products (WealthBaskets) on the WealthDesk platform.

WealthDesk Logo

With this dual strategy, WealthDesk drives the Investment product side innovation in India on top of Equities and ETFs (beyond Mutual Funds) and build a highly scalable distribution network for distributing these products at scale through the Broking ecosystem. The team is also pretty keen on focusing on the first-time investors as they are digitally savvy and will appreciate the benefits of the advised wealth management.


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WealthDesk - Founders and Team

Ujjwal Jain is the founder and CEO of WealthDesk. Yuvraj Thakker is the Co-founder of WealthDesk.

WealthDesk Founder
Ujjwal Jain - Founder & CEO, WealthDesk

WealthDesk Ideation Journey - How it Started?

Reminiscing the journey towards inception of WealthDesk, Ujjwal Jain (Founder & CEO of WealthDesk) says -

"I have almost a decade’s experience of working in the fund management industry. During my working tenure with DE Shaw (Wall Street based Hedge Fund), I got an opportunity to shift to Mumbai for a strategic India focused stint, this made me realize the massive India FinTech opportunity in asset management, fund management, advisory and broking. With it, I also realized that while I had demonstrated capabilities in the technology-driven active hedge fund industry, I needed to deep dive into how the Index/ETF-based passive industry works. I then took on a role with the MSCI Mumbai office and worked closely with the MSCI Geneva office which drives the Index business globally.

In less than two years, I was able to work with the research and products team globally to launch multiple Smart Beta Indices. I also worked on setting up the technology platform for launching ESG based Indices that hold a lot of prominence now. Around the same time, I was also a part of a global team looking to platformize/productize Index manufacturing at scale to reduce turnaround time with clients and compete with new technology focused fintech competitors in Index space. Having built a strong institutional and in-depth understanding of both active and passive funds, I felt ready to explore the Fintech opportunity in India.

During the research phase about India, I met several brokers and asset managers in Mumbai to understand their challenges and that of the sector at large. That’s when I clearly saw how technology could address most of the challenges that they are facing, and I began working towards it. During my research phase, I also met Yuvraj, who runs a Brokerage house as a third-generation stakeholder.

We met several times and spent hours/days together in 2015, where Yuvraj gave a sense of the current challenges in Broking and Asset Management Industry as a legacy broker and I could look at these same problems with a complete modern Computer Science mindset. Eventually, we were able to create a roadmap to build WealthDesk platform ecosystem, that incorporated the startup Wealth Technology and Services Private Limited. Yuvraj provided a strong incubation ground within his brokerage house to launch and test the platform between a closed user group.

We were clear that we wanted to build the platform first. We were sure that once we built a platform that addressed the needs of the industry, we would get customers. So, we began building a B2B2C platform ecosystem for advisors, research houses getting into advisory, brokers and investors on AWS. With its strong Start-up network, constant innovation on cloud, a strong presence in India with a vibrant developer community made AWS our default choice from day 1. It took three years for the team to work and build the platform. In 2018, WealthDesk went live. The team then spent the next year getting brokers and advisors on the platform.  Today, WealthDesk is India’s pioneering SaaS-based Neo AMC platform that powers advisory, broking, wealth management, and portfolio management to retail investors at scale.

I believe that AWS has been a key enabler in our success story. Even without offering financial services, AWS has played an instrumental role in reshaping India’s financial landscape. AWS is the technological backbone of many FinTech companies, including WealthDesk, where product innovation through engineering is the integral component of value creation"


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WealthDesk - Product and USP

The product is the WealthDesk platform and it provides two key offerings - For the retail investors and businesses. WealthDesk is a B2B2C Platform ecosystem with one single SaaS offering of Business platform and multiple WealthDesk Consumer SaaS Deployment(B2C) for Brokers and Advisors.

WealthDesk Business along with WealthDesk Consumer platform ecosystem enables Brokers, SEBI Registered Investment Advisors, Portfolio Managers, Research Analysts to manufacture and distribute their Stock/ETFs research as an Investable Portfolio called WealthBasket and distribute to Retail Investors through an ever expanding WealthDesk Consumer multi-broker ecosystem with seamless execution.

WealthDesk solves the problem of retail investors, who look at markets with wealth creation goals. It helps them understand where and how to invest smartly and avoid mis-selling and wrong choices. Given it is still a push-based product, the journey to get first time investors into markets or making someone build a habit for moving savings into investments following a process and with discipline is difficult. Lot of effort needs to be made in that direction as an ecosystem.

These challenges were met by bringing better Investment Products (WealthBaskets) in Indian markets that were beyond Mutual Funds for retail Investors on top of SEBI Registered Investment Advisory and Research Analyst licenses using Stocks and ETFs. The objective behind WealthDesk is to serve first time to seasoned investors with products previously accessible in the form of investable instruments. Also, drive the future of Digital Asset and Wealth management in India at scale and penetrate markets to a large extent across India.

Traditionally investors, brokers and their research & advisory arms, SEBI registered advisors and research houses used to work in silos. This model of engagement does not allow them to serve retail investors and traders with right research and portfolio strategies thus leading to suboptimal returns, misalignment of goals/incentives and is operationally non-scalable to build assets under advisory businesses on top of Equities and ETFs, etc.

Since 2013, regulators like SEBI had already started focusing on bringing transparency in advisory based distribution and streamlining the role of brokers as distributors and the recent draft of this circular (October 2020) is one of the steps in this direction to bring in more transparency, alignment. WealthDesk is pre-empting the eventuality of the industry by offering a platform powered investment instrument called WealthBaskets on top of Equities and ETFs to drive research and advisory based portfolios distribution to retail investors on top of broking. This innovation is the USP of WealthDesk.


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WealthDesk - Challenges Faced

Key challenges faced by the team initially was hiring top Engineering talent to build such a deep tech platform in Capital Markets based out of Mumbai. Once a great team was established, there was no looking back.

Another challenge as well as the opportunity was to make brokers, advisors in the country look at this changing landscape and realize the future and opportunity through the founding team's lens/vision. Once that was done, WealthDesk began growing organically, with zero sales and marketing spend till now.

Yet another challenge was to make retail investors look at markets with wealth creation goals and understand where and how to invest smartly and avoid mis-selling and wrong choices. Given it is still a push-based product, the journey to get first time investors into markets or making someone build a habit for moving savings into investments following a process and with discipline is difficult. Lot of effort needs to be made in that direction as an ecosystem. But that is an opportunity also by creating a nudge-based user journey as a platform, provide right content and marketing push to bring the necessary behavioral change. Another opportunity is that as a B2B2C SaaS platform in this space, WealthDesk can get B2B on its platform and create a bigger ecosystem at scale.

These challenges were overcome by bringing better Investment Products (WealthBaskets) in Indian markets that were beyond Mutual Funds for retail Investors on top of SEBI Registered Investment Advisory and Research Analyst licenses using Stocks and ETFs. The objective behind WealthDesk is to serve first time to seasoned investors with products previously accessible in the form of investable instruments. Also, drive the future of Digital Asset and Wealth management in India at scale and penetrate markets to a large extent across India.


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WealthDesk - Growth and Current Status

WealthDesk ended Calendar year 2020 with 20 broker and advisor partners. It has nearly doubled the number of partners in Q1 of 2021.

Currently, WealthDesk has 50+ partners who have leveraged WealthDesk’s platform to realign their broking and advisory offerings around SmartBeta, Factor based Thematics, Sectoral, Asset Allocation based ETF WealthBaskets that are driving a new product ecosystem.

This includes renowned full-service brokers such as Motilal Oswal, JM Financial, Anand Rathi, Prabhudas Lilladher, among others.

Some of the leading investment advisors such as Quantech Capital (OpenQ), Finmo, Renaissance Investment Managers, Tamohara, Wright Research, etc. are on WealthDesk.

WealthDesk has also integrated with discount brokers such as ICICI Direct, Zerodha and Upstox that allows their users to directly login on WealthDesk.in and invest in WealthBaskets.

WealthDesk has also seamlessly integrated with 63 moon's ODIN trading platform; this platform powers 800+ brokers. This partnership brings Advisory based Value Added Broking to all such brokers in a plug and play model.

WealthDesk - Future Plans

WealthDesk's focus for the future has always been on expanding beyond mutual funds and portfolio management services. With the support and help from its partners, the team believes that they can drive the future of investing in Indian capital markets.

WealthDesk - FAQs

What is WealthDesk?

WealthDesk is India’s pioneering B2B2C platform that captures the entire Investment/Asset Management/Advisory value chain from portfolio creation on top of Equities and ETFs which are productized into investment products called WealthBaskets.

Who are the founders of WealthDesk?

Ujjwal Jain is the founder and CEO of WealthDesk. Yuvraj Thakker is the Co-founder of Wealth Desk.

What is WealthBasket?

WealthDesk Business along with WealthDesk Consumer platform ecosystem enables Brokers, SEBI Registered Investment Advisors, Portfolio Managers, Research Analysts to manufacture and distribute their Stock/ETFs research as an Investable Portfolio called WealthBasket

When was WealthDesk founded?

WealthDesk was founded in 2016. The WealthDesk platform went live in 2018.

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