Recently we interacted with Mr. Prakhar Pandey, Founder and CEO, Moolaah, a wealth-tech ecosystem, with the aim of delivering a secure financial future to individuals and families with the help of Moolaah Partners.
Here are the interview highlights:
- Tell us about the platform you are building and what is the problem you aim to solve with Moolaah?
Honing extensive knowledge plays a crucial role when it comes to identifying the right investment avenues for managing wealth. This is where the need for access to a good wealth manager comes in. They can guide you towards not only creating a holistic investment plan that will help diversify across different investment tools but also drive long-term gains. This need for access is conveniently fulfilled by Moolaah.
Moolaah is a unique aggregator platform designed and built to offer assistance for all investment solutions that an investor needs across avenues. In simpler terms, we help retail investors get connected to the best independent wealth managers in the country, while allowing them to choose, transact, execute & monitor all their investment decisions. It is a one-stop shop for investors to overlook their entire financial journey. Over the years of working in the fintech space, Prakhar Pandey (CEO & Founder) along with his Co-Founders
Paramjeet Singh & Jayaram Srinivasan recognized a need gap, i.e wealth management primarily means investment advisory & asset allocation, however, most of the existing firms in the last few years were focused on disrupting the online execution piece, rather than actually solving the needs of the client, which is curated advice based on their investment portfolios.
Hence, Moolaah was established in 2021 to bridge the need gap, i.e. an investor looking for the best wealth manager to manage their entire wealth including planning for the future. It is one of the first platforms in the country to charge ‘’zero fees’’ to both investors as well as wealth advisors. At the same time, provide comprehensive access to a combination of technology that is built to help drive substantial investment, along with bespoke recommendations by highly experienced wealth managers called Moolaah Partners. These independent partners, on one hand, have created a distinctive space for large-volume investors to actively build their income and on the other side help anyone with or without financial literacy, invest in the asset class that is fit for them.
- What inspired you to enter the wealth-tech universe and how has the journey been so far?
The wealth tech universe is a fragmented market with the market divided into 3 tiers. The upper tier is serviced by large premier private wealth outfits, and the bottom tier is serviced by great execution-focused firms like Scripbox, Groww, and Kuvera. The middle tier, which is the need looked at globally, is also, called assisted investment, and is the hottest underserved market as of date. The category means, you provide the best suggestions/guidance to the retail investor and he will service it on his own. This means a complete guided investment, for the retail investor to feel both autonomous as well as handheld across his investment journey.
Our product has received good validation after the testing phase and we expect Moolaah to bring Moolaah retail investors.
- Tell us more about the funds raised so far and how have they been used? Do you plan to go for another round of funding anytime soon?
Until now, Moolaah has raised an investment of a total of $3001K Million in funding led by angel investors such as Pawan Danwar, Amitava Ranjan, DP Singh and the like. Moolaah has successfully onboarded multiple advisors and retail investors since its launch and has been partnering with various Independent wealth managers to garner larger AUMs and provide them the best as per industry standards. Moolaah has also won an incubation from Shiv Nadar, Sardar Patel TBI and Nasscom incubation.
Moolaah plans to raise a Pre-Series A round by March 2023.
- Did you face any challenges while building up the app? As an entrepreneur how did you manage to overcome those challenges?
There were multiple challenges faced while building the app and making it market ready, along with leading it to a phase of actual transact ability. Tech Talent is one of the premier challenges faced by any startup, and for us, that was at its peak, when most tech startups were ready to throw in any kind of money to hire the right resource. Along with finding talent for the team, the ever-evolving regulatory space under SEBI & AMFI also leaves a lot of room for innovation but also to pertain under the laws of the regulator we had to fine-tune our product multi-folds. Many times the timeline doesn’t match the expectations of the delivery needed, as the patience level of the retail in the market has come down, due to the ease with which alternatives are available. To overcome any and every challenge, the most important is to have a like-minded team who comprehends the challenge and believes in the product and its delivery, to change the lives of its users. With that belief and sheer hard work on the product, we try to overcome every obstacle that comes our way, as one unit.
- What are the products you have on your platform and what is the technology used?
We have more than 10,000+ Investable products on the platform, across multiple asset classes namely, Equity, Mutual Funds, Foreign Equity, PMS, and AIFs. New product asset classes, like Fixed Income, P2P lending, Fractional RE, etc are also on their way to provide retail investors and advisors, with multiple options to choose from and a diversified portfolio with diversified experiences of different wealth managers.
We have used every bit of technological framework available, as the software is built from scratch. We have used Python, Java, C++, HTML/CSS, Django, Flutter, AWS, AI/ML, Multiple API Integrations, and React Native.
- Could you tell us more about your revenue model?
We have more than 9 revenue models. We don’t earn if the investor or the wealth manager doesn’t earn. So we are codependent on any transaction that takes place on the platform.
- How do the coming years look for tech inclusion in the wealth management industry in India?
We believe the future of wealth management rides on two factors. The capability of the system/individual to grasp the delinquencies in the investor’s portfolio, rectify them and provide the best kind of advice/ suggestion in a time bound manner. The second is to provide the best available opportunities or create the right financial products for the investor to participate in.
In India, due to the sheer market gap, and availability of an extensive market offering in front of us, the only way to solve this dire need is through a big tech inclusion. Tech is here to expand the reach of varied products and services in the market, and with this fragmented market looking at only a few players to provide them with the best service, usage of high end technology will help us cater to all of their needs at once, and Moolaah looks at servicing all wealth management needs of both the investors and the wealth managers, along with financial product makers at one single place.
- What are your future plans when it comes to Moolaah? And anything that you want to highlight?
With the platform already launched, it has created advisory-based wealth solutions for retail investors basis on geotagging (nearest wealth manager around your area) along with direct-to-consumer models, that can service client investment needs/portfolios on a consultation basis.
As a part of the coming future, Moolaah is developing the capability to self-incubate wealth managers/asset allocators as quasi-fund managers with their Model Portfolios/Stacks across asset classes (Debt, Equity, Mutual Funds, Invits, AIFs, REITs etc) for retail clients, based on financial products approved by Moolaah with API’s linked directly to the existing asset class players to execute any transaction.
Eg. I want to invest Rs.50,000, I go to Moolaah’s platform & select a Moolaah Partner basis on their experience and performance, who will give me a suggestion for an investment on the platform, probably say 30,000 in Equity Mutual Funds and 20,000 in Equity stocks. Only if I find the recommendations valid and right for my portfolio, I execute the transaction by any transaction platform like BSE, NSE, Zerodha, Groww, ICICI securities, etc. Also, If I don’t like the suggestion I can choose to have another wealth manager or as many as I want. The best part of the platform is it shows only the invested amount to the advisor as per their suggestions, and the entire portfolio to the investor. So no more hassles, of going to different platforms to overlook your portfolio, Moolaah is self-sufficient.
Moolaah also plans to become a TSP of an account aggregator platform, strongly believing AA becoming the UPI of financial markets, along with probably a metaverse version of interaction b/w a wealth manager and an investor.