These Founders Want to Reduce Risk in Stock Investing
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Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presented Entrepreneur India’s 35Under35 2020 list which included some leading names from the field of entrepreneurship and smallcase founders—Vasanth Kamath, Rohan Gupta and Anugrah Shrivastava—made it to the coveted list.
Growing up in a family of stock market investors, Vasanth Kamath developed interest for stocks at an early age. Combine to it the fact that he was always keen to have his own start-up.
In 2015, Kamath, Rohan Gupta and Anugrah Shrivastava—friends from IIT-Kharagpur—started to brainstorm about a financial product. Shrivastava was then working in Nomura creating stock portfolios for institutional investors and Gupta was a tech expert at the financial services firm Goldman Sachs. “We started to think if we could use technology to extend the concept of portfolio-based stock investing to individual investors,” recalls Kamath.
And that’s how smallcase came into being.
Smallcase as a platform lets people invest in a portfolio of stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or even create customized portfolios. These portfolios can be sectoral, thematic, large-cap stocks-oriented or give exposure to various assets via ETFs aligned with the chosen asset allocation strategy. For instance, a smallcase product named ‘All Weather Investing’ offers exposure to equity, gold and fixed-income through ETF, whereas another product called ‘Smart Beta’ is large-cap stocks-oriented.
“Portfolio approach to stock investing lets investors diversify and reduce the risk of market volatility, as opposed to taking concentrated single stock exposure,” says the founder and CEO.
Smallcase Founders (Left to Right): Anugrah Shrivastava, 29, Vasanth Kamath, 28 and Rohan Gupta, 29
The company has so far created over 250 portfolios, or smallcases, whereas users have built over 100,000 smallcases. The start-up has tied up with eight brokerages, including HDFC Securities, Kotak Securities, Axis Securities and Zerodha, among others, and has over 680,000 customers investing through its platform and the brokerages combined.
The Bengaluru-based start-up has raised $8 million from Sequoia India, Blume Ventures, Straddle capital, WEH Ventures and Japanese firm Beenext over two rounds of funding and is in no hurry to get more investors onboard. “We are sufficiently capitalized to execute our roadmap for the next couple of years,” points out Kamath. The company’s revenue touched INR 2.5 crore in FY2019 compared with INR 1.2 crore in the previous year.