Bengaluru startup Jiraaf empowers retail investors to earn high-yield returns

In September 2021, Vineet Agrawal and Saurav Ghosh, two finance professionals, launched Jiraaf to create a convenient and credible platform for all things fixed income for investors.

“Traditionally, retail investors had access to fixed deposits (FDs), real estate, gold and debt funds in the fixed income space, but other structured fixed income products do not were available only to the ultra-rich”, Vineet Agrawal, Co-founder, Jiraaf.

As a former Piramal Fund Management executive, Vineet has seen several big deals and often felt tempted to invest as well. However, like him, several people found the high entry barrier of Rs 1 to Rs 2 crore difficult.

This was the genesis of Bangalore-based digital-based alternative investment startup that offers fixed income alternative investment products including corporate debt, bill discounting, leveraged leasing to assets, venture capital debt and revenue-based financing, etc.

Currently, Jiraaf has over 20,000 registered investors on its platform. It is aimed at investors with portfolios between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 10 crore.

USP

Jiraaf is not an aggregator, says Vineet.

On the supply side, the startup exclusively creates and curates investment opportunities for retail investors, and its technology solutions facilitate their investment journey and portfolio monitoring.

Finally, Jiraaf reaches its users through online and traditional marketing means to respond to customer queries.

“We strive to make it easier to learn about new financial products and to allow investors to judge whether they want to invest. Moreover, after the investment, having a high-quality view of the portfolio remains essential for effective financial planning,” says co-founder Saurav.

Alumnus of BITS Pilani and IIM Ahmedabad, the co-founder has 10 years of experience in corporate finance with property developers.

How it works

According to Vineet, Jiraaf is the first horizontal platform to offer a wide variety of fixed income products, ensuring there is something for every investor’s financial goals and risk appetite. detail.

These include a duration ranging from 30 days to three years and a yield ranging from 8-20%, allowing an investor to create a truly diversified portfolio.

Co-founder Saurav adds, “Every opportunity available on the platform has gone through extensive due diligence, credit checks and a structuring process.”

In less than a year, Jiraaf has seen transactions worth over Rs 375 crore on its platform.

Sanjay Guha, the former President – UK and Nordics, Coca-Cola, as well as an angel investor and mentor, who uses the startup, says:

“Jiraaf has truly democratized the debt market for retail investors. It offers a suite of instruments with varying risk and return profiles to help build a strong portfolio. Transactions and reports on the portal are simple and customer service is fast and efficient. »

Although it does not charge any subscription fees from investors, it operates on a commission model for its borrowers i.e. companies in need of capital including Aris Invoice, Wadhwa, 1K Invoice, Everest Fleet, Calpro, Home Credit, etc.

With more than 50 employees, Saurav says Jiraaf’s team has a strong financial services background in corporate banking, investment banking, private equity and venture capital.

The startup’s offering is led by IIM Lucknow graduate Vikas Bansal, a seasoned banking professional.

The Bengaluru startup aims to expand its team size to 75 people before planning a geographic expansion.

In June, Jiraaf raised $7.5 million in a Series A round from Accel Partners, Mankekar Family Office, Aspire Family Office (Dr Bhaskar Shah) and other angel investors.

According to Barath Shankar Subramanian, Partner at Accel Partners, “India has invested close to $2 trillion in term deposits, and the mutual fund industry is valued at $0.5 trillion, which has tripled over the past five years. Jiraaf fills an important market gap by offering diversified fixed income products that can form a significant part of every investor’s portfolio over the next decade, especially in the forecast macroeconomic scenario.

Other platforms in this space include Wint Wealth, Grip Invest, and TradeCred, among others.

“Jiraaf remains differentiated, given that most of these offerings started out as single product focused vertical platforms. We’ve built the team and the process to always be a multi-asset platform for portfolio building,” says Vineet.

The present and the future

According to Saurav, India’s alternative investment market for retail investors is in its infancy.

He says, “Studies indicate that alternative investments will grow from 1-2% in an investor’s portfolio to around 20% over this decade, and current market conditions are accentuating the need for fixed income products. India has nearly $2 trillion in term deposits, where alternative investments can create a brand.

“We are aiming to end the current financial year with a transaction value of Rs 1,000 crore. We also aim to have over 1 million registered investors by the end of FY23. We are seeing a repeat rate of over 55% from investors,” adds Saurav.