Groww : Journey from Bootstrapped startup to the largest brokerage in India | Technical, Finance, Investment Questions

Groww : Journey from Bootstrapped startup to the largest brokerage in India

Anushka Trivedi

3 months ago

A decade ago, investing was lots of paperwork, bank visits, and queues, often leading to days of application processing. Pair that with limited financial knowledge and misguidance from agents, and the experience turned into a nightmare. But now, it's a different process—a bank account, some disposable income, and a smartphone open doors to investing, growing wealth, and financial management. 


Today the gen-z and millennials are into mutual funds, equities, and diverse platforms breaking the myth of paperwork and the need for financial knowledge for investing because behind the scenes it’s Groww, which is simplifying stockbroking and direct mutual fund investments. Groww’s journey tells the story of how it has made investing accessible and effortless for millions of Indians.


What is Groww?


Groww stands as more than just an investment platform.It's a gateway to financial empowerment for millions. At its core, Groww is a web-based investment platform designed to simplify investment in mutual funds and equities. But it's more than numbers and transactions—it's about accessibility, transparency, and a paperless approach to investing.

Through Groww, investing in mutual funds becomes the best experience—whether it's through SIPs or equity-linked savings, catering to a diverse range of investment preferences.

But what sets Groww apart isn't just its functionality; it's the community it cultivates. With over 20 million registered users, predominantly under 40 and glued to their phones, Groww has become more than a platform—it's a shared journey towards financial growth and stability. Offering a rich array of over 5,000 mutual funds, Groww doesn't just provide options; it crafts opportunities.

Accessible through both iOS and Android, it's a tool that doesn't discriminate based on age or expertise; instead, it invites everyone to partake in their financial future. 


What’s the USP of Groww?


Discount broker Groww beats Zerodha to become #1 Stockbroker in India.

So, how did Groww manage to surpass one of their major competitor?


  1. User Growth : First is the number of active investors. Groww had 66.28 lakh active investors at the end of September, with a 19.9 per cent market share. Zerodha had 64.79 lakh investors, with a 19.4 per cent market share in the same period.
  2. Successful Fundraising Strategy : Groww secured a total of $393 million in funding, with its latest round in October 2021 reaching $251 million at a $3 billion valuation. This financial backing has fueled Groww's innovative efforts and expansion, contributing to a steady increase in market share.
  3. User-Friendly Onboarding Process : Groww distinguishes itself by eliminating entry barriers. Unlike competitors like Zerodha, which charges joining fees, Groww provides a more affordable and user-friendly starting point for investors.
  4. Financial Education Focus : Recognizing the importance of financial literacy in India, Groww actively promotes education alongside accessibility. They aim to educate the growing retail investor base, especially the young Indians through extensive outreach on platforms ranging from LinkedIn to YouTube.
  5. Everyday Investor-Focused UX : While Zerodha caters to top traders, Groww targets everyday investors with a user experience designed for a broader audience. Their super app includes everything from stocks to mutual funds to gold, reaching a wider demographic compared to Zerodha's primary appeal to traders.



Startup Journey :


The founders, with their background at Flipkart, recognized the shift in e-commerce and saw investment as the next big opportunity. As the e-commerce surge indicated rising incomes and tech savviness, they understood the potential of individuals having discretionary cash needing guidance for wise investments.


Their journey began with thorough market exploration, understanding user pain points, and conducting numerous tests for the best user experience. Ensuring safety for users' investments took precedence, leading to a deliberate and secure solution development phase.


Starting as a direct mutual fund distribution platform in 2016, Groww evolved. Responding to customer demand, it expanded to equities in 2020, followed by digital gold, ETFs, intraday trading, and IPOs the following year.


Based in Bangalore, Groww, operated by Nextbillion Technology Private Limited, emerged as a go-to platform for discounted online brokerage services in stocks, IPOs, and mutual funds. With a mission to empower consumers with information and resources, Groww aims to accelerate the journey of getting people started with investing.


The strategy of Groww :


Groww operates on a unique strategy where the fees are covered by the mutual fund firm, not the client, allowing for direct investing opportunities without added commissions. By consolidating various funds and companies on a single platform, Groww widens the scope of investment choices for users.


Their approach focuses on simplifying technology to reach and retain the right customer base, reducing operational costs, and fostering long-term relationships. This strategy ensures users can access mutual funds and equities globally, enabling easy ownership with just a few clicks.


The Growth and Revenue :


The parent company of Groww, Nextbillion Technology Private Limited, recorded a substantial revenue increase, reaching Rs 1,294 crore in FY23 compared to Rs 367 crore in FY22. Groww, within this framework, achieved a net profit of Rs73 crore.


Groww’s Timeline :


Groww began in 2017, focusing on mutual funds and FDs. By 2020, it expanded to equities, gaining 4.5 Lakh Demat accounts.

In 2021, it became a unicorn after a $83 million Series D led by Tiger Global. Venturing into neo-banking, intraday trading, and ETFs, Groww explored lending based on user transactions.

In 2023, it initiated "Ab India Karega Invest" for tier 2 and 3 cities and received SEBI approval for mutual funds.



Funding :


Seed Round (July 9, 2018) : Groww initiated its fundraising journey with a seed round, securing $1.6 million without any specified lead investor.

Series A (January 23, 2019) : In January 2019, Groww raised $6.2 million in its Series A round, with Sequoia Capital India as a key investor.

Series B (September 18, 2019) : Groww progressed to its Series B round, acquiring $21.4 million, led by Ribbit Capital.

Series C (September 10, 2020) : The company proceeded to its Series C round, securing $30 million, with Y Combinator Continuity Fund playing a significant role as a lead investor.

Series D (April 7, 2021) : Groww elevated its funding by $83 million in the Series D round, led by Tiger Global Management.

Series E (October 24, 2021) : Most recently, Groww raised a substantial $251 million in its Series E round, led by Iconiq Growth.


Across these funding rounds, Groww has raised approximately $393 million. 


What’s in store for Groww?


Groww plans to roll out several new investment options including deposits, US equities, sovereign gold bonds, and derivative products. The company, prioritizing financial education, aims to further develop the financial services sector. With a user-centric philosophy focusing on transparency and simplicity, Groww seeks to provide extensive educational initiatives for Indian retail investors.

CEO and co-founder Keshre emphasized the goal of offering diverse investment products while empowering users with essential information rather than direct advice. 


With a significant customer base, particularly from Tier 2 and beyond cities, Groww aims to expand further into these regions in the coming years.








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Anushka Trivedi

Writer at Xeloxo

3 months ago

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