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The New-Age Bankers: Srinivas Sarkar and Kushagra Manglik, Co-founders, Coupl 2023 was a pivotal one for the startup as it went from being a savings-focused neobank (helping couples save together for common goals) — to being a payments focused neobank for couples

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Srinivas Sarkar and Kushagra Manglik, Co-founders, Coupl

"Indian couples have evolved, but the traditional joint accounts haven't kept pace," shares Srinivas Sarkar and Kushagra Manglik, cofounders, Coupl. The duo, who met at the Entrepreneur First accelerator program cohort, believe that while India's banking system is relatively advanced compared to the global standard, it failed to serve the needs of specific markets- MSME business banking, teenage banking and of course, couples banking.

"We saw that while couples had evolved over the past two decades, banking products for couples such as joint accounts, had simply not kept pace," shares Sarkar. Taking an example of unmarried couples who are living together and managing expenses together, he shares that "joint account accounts were accessible only to married couples or blood relatives. And young married couples found it extremely hard to open joint accounts. They had to physically visit the bank, fill lots of paperwork and then often get rejected if they had different surnames or addresses." The additional toll of maintaining a joint account also came with high minimum balances.

So, what makes the startup different from its competitors? "Coupl solves this problem completely — by offering a digital, zero-balance joint account with linked RuPay debit cards that can be set up by any couple — married or unmarried. The account can be fully set up in under 60 seconds without having to visit a bank," shares Manglik. The Silicon Valley-backed startup also extends its offerings to LGTBQ couples.

It also provides in-app payments for all home utilities, eg. electricity, gas, FASTag, credit card, etc., as well as budget and expense management features to help couples track their budget. So far, Coupl has catered to 12,000 couples across over 5,000 pin codes in India. Of these couples, a whopping 40 per cent were unmarried. "Our account-holders belong to tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities — across a mix of both dual income and single income couples," adds Manglik.

2023 was a pivotal one for the startup as it went from being a savings-focused neobank (helping couples save together for common goals) — to being a payments focused neobank for couples. It closed a new bank partnership with LivQuik and got approval from RuPay to offer linked RuPay Platinum cards to its users. It also forged a partnership with NPCI to offer Bharat BillPay services on the app and crossed over USD 1 million in transactions processed in a mere four months of launch.

Up next, Coupl's growth trigger will be through the launch of physical debit cards next quarter, and the launch of lending offerings — such as credit cards and personal loans by the end of FY25. They're planning to add family banking to its offering where older couples can add their children to the account for easy money transfers within the family. The duo is looking to explore the US market, and other markets similar to India, such as the MENA market and South East Asia market.

FACTSHEET:

No. Of Founders : 2

No. Of Employees : 12

Year Of Inception; 2022

External Investors : Y Combinator, Entrepreneur First Global Fund, UK

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Entrepreneur Staff

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