Indians have a tendency to save but not many invest. Only 2% of Indians invest! But the case is reverse in the US, who follow Robert Kiyosaki’s philosophy of – “Make money work for you”. They believe in investing more than saving.
And it makes sense too! Think of it – since there is continuous inflation, the money that is idly kept lying in a bank account, would lose its value naturally. Hence, ‘invest’ should be the mantra!
Having said that – the investment market is seen to be growing drastically!
Even though fixed deposits, gold and realty continue to dominate investments in India, there is a growing number of the population who believe in the equity market and other financial instruments.
With an intention to tap such customers – Scripbox has been initiated!
What is Scripbox.com?
Incorporated in January 2012 and launched in January 2013 – Scripbox is a (Old Airport Road) Bangalore-based company that in simple, allows users to invest in mutual funds.
Some of their unique features include: tax-efficient re-balancing, capital gains statement for income tax return filing, etc which makes your life easy.
Scripbox offers a lot of systematic investment plans that also gives you the option to choose the amounts you want to invest in each scheme, along with the calculation of capital gains tax that would be charged, which is useful at the time of filing your tax returns.
The firm has been incubated by Probe Equity Research – an equity research company that specialises in providing research to companies, private equity firms and so on.
Scripbox (which is also the name of their wealth management tool), mediates your money into a basket of MF schemes. Whether you are a seasoned investor or a beginner, Scripbox is an investment service that helps you save and grow your wealth without confusing you with complex financial terms, and along with clear options and powerful tools.
Now, if you are unaware – A mutual fund is an investment instrument that is made up of a pool of funds that is collected from several investors for the purpose of investing in as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. Mutual funds provide the best way to participate in equity, debt and tax-saving asset classes. Ideal for individual investors!
Other than several other factors, Scripbox only considers diversified equity funds that have more than five years of track record or more than ₹250 crore assets. We only look at because that is in line with the profile of our target investors.
What’s makes Scripbox different from the others in the market is their focus that goes beyond just the transaction, and they literally track your portfolio, provide annual review and re-balancing services, and also assist you in making your money work hard for you.
Plus, there is a big difference in approach as well!
Others look at the investing experience from a distributors point of view, and approach the problem of investing by providing more tools and more data.
On the other hand, Scripbox wants to create a transparent jargon-free experience for customers and looks at the investing experience from a customer’s view point rather than a distributor’s, and takes the approach of reducing the scope of the decision making, and lets that part be dealt by applying scientific principles of investment selection (algorithms).
Additionally, if you are looking for automated best practice investing, Scripbox is your answer! Interestingly, instead of manually doing the selection of the schemes, they have adopted a selection algorithm (of MF schemes) that is completely “untouched by hand”, and completely relies on a rule book that comprises of quantitative parameters, which makes them un-manipulatable by any individual. The algorithm also looks at the consistency of the performance while selection. Basically, there is no human element involved in this whole process.
Other than the regular checks that they perform to keep a track of the changes to the fund; they officially, also have a once a calendar year review process irrespective of whether there are any changes that affect the funds or not. And if there are any adversely affects, then they would change that fund.
Additionally, every once a year, they rebalance and change funds, making the new money go into the newer funds.
What is their operating model?
Let’s begin with how they function: -
They only cater to mutual funds, and moreover, easily explain the financial concepts as well. This clears the gap that most investors feel otherwise.
Additionally, a lot of investors also find it exceedingly difficult to decide which mutual funds to invest in out of the 8000+ too.
That’s where Scripbox comes into picture! Scripbox offers a portfolio of 10 scientifically pre-selected funds that is spread across 4 categories ––– 4) long-term money funds (equity), 3) short-term money funds (debt), 2) tax-saving funds (equity with 3-year lock-in) and 1) daily spending money fund (any time cash fund with debit card).
They help you in investing in these funds through their portal. You can set up automatic monthly investment plans, post which Scripbox keeps a track of how your money is doing and sends you regular alerts and statements.
And then based on the review of the fund performance of a particular year, they review the selection of funds for the next year and recommend changes if better funds are available.
These changes are pretty much instant. Also, when they help you make the change, they track your old fund holdings and ensure the change is triggered only when you don’t lose money.
And all of this – without any added cost, fees or charges to you!
To be able to create a Scripbox account, you need to be:
- Investing as an individual (Scripbox is not available to companies, trusts, firms etc)
- You have to have an Income Tax Permanent Account Number (PAN)
- You are a resident citizen of India; or a non-resident (NRI), foreign citizen holding a Person of Indian Origin (PIO), or an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card , not living in the US or Canada, and have NRO or NRE account with a bank in India.
If you match the aforementioned criteria, all you need to do is: -
- Visit Scripbox.com
- Click on “REGISTER” and sign-up online
- Sign the pre-filled application that is sent to you and send it back to them with the required documents
- And done! Then all you need to do is, tell them how much and how often you want to invest.
Who is their targeted audience and what kind of strategies have they adopted?
Scripbox is meant for anyone who wishes to invest in mutual funds, but struggles with the research and selection of schemes to invest in.
Their fund selection methodology is largely driven by an investor profile that is the online-savvy audience in the earning phase (22-50 years of age) of their life and is planning to invest for the long term.
To add to that, Since Scripbox is completely an online-based, it is more convenient for those who can buy funds by merely transferring money over the Internet.
Additionally, since Scripbox only considers diversified equity schemes, including large-cap schemes, which leaves out all other schemes including mid-cap, balanced, debt and even equity-linked saving schemes, as well.
All of this leads narrows down the target investors to, people who want to save for their retirement and will remain invested for a long time. To be precise – they target people that are looking to invest ₹2-5 lakhs, or someone that saves anything between ₹10 and ₹25k a month.
To target this audience – Scripbox makes use Content Marketing!
Scripbox greatly makes use of the power of content to help the audience understand the need for the product. The theme that Scripbox’s content marketing efforts relied on, mainly included relevant, engaging, and focus.
As a matter of fact – even after being just a 4-year-old company; Scripbox has been ranked #2 among the 50 most effective financial services brands after Citibank (that includes: Allianz, ABN Amro, American Express, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Canadian company Payfirma), in terms of using the LinkedIn platform to engage, educate, and inspire its target audience.
This LinkedIn list was prepared using the LinkedIn Content Marketing Score (CMS), which is calculated by measuring the ratio between the total target audience and the unique users that engaged with the content in 2015.
Furthermore, it also evaluates all content-based activities on the LinkedIn platform, including: company page updates, employee shares, sponsored updates, and influencer and employee posts through self-publishing on LinkedIn too.
Who leads the show at Scripbox?
Scripbox was founded by Sanjiv Singhal and is currently run by Ashok Kumar as their CEO!
Ashok brings in an experience of 20 years of building high growth businesses that are customer obsessed. He has held working at several leadership positions at IT, Telecom & Hi-tech companies such as Wipro, Intel, Airtel, Nortel and Cisco. He has completed his Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science from Thiagarajar College of Engineering and PGDCM in General Management from IIM (Kozhikode)
Talking about the founder….
Sanjiv acts as the Founder and Head of Product Strategy at Scripbox!
He has completed his Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, along with MBA in Finance and Marketing from the IIM (Bangalore).
Overall, Sanjiv holds a working experience of roughly 20 years that revolves around finance and technology.
This includes a good 4 years with Kotak Mahindra (Vice President), 2 and half years with Matrix Information Services (Business Manager) and CyberCash (CEO), more than a year with Orbitech Solutions (Product Manager/ Senior Vice President), 2+ years with Polaris Software (Product Manager/ Senior Vice President), and 4 years with Herald Logic (Director).
During this phase, he had also founded Strategis.in, a consulting firm specialising in strategy & technology solutions for financial services, which he ran for almost 4 years from 2005 to 2008 as well.
How has their growth been so far?
The company that had started with merely 400 users, and was incubated within Accel Partners backed – Probe Equity Research, grew on to a point where it offered an unbiased selection of mutual funds to customers and had also become one of top 100 distributors in India by net inflow in FY 2014-15.
Furthermore, they also received their Series A round of investment of ₹16 crores in 2015 from from Accel Partners and a group of leading angel investors. Scripbox offers. This round of investment follows an earlier seed investment of INR 4 crores made by Accel Partners and Balakrishna Adiga (IT Industry Veteran); Dr H S Nagaraja (Educationist) and S. Sriniwasan (CEO, Kotak Realty fund).
Using this fund, Scripbox decided to further consolidate its presence and expand its customer base.
Over the period of time, Scripbox today accounts for a customer base that spreads across 370 cities and towns and has expanded by 10-fold in the last 18 months as well.
They currently manage a corpus of about ₹160 crores in investments from its customers, 70% of whom are first-time investors in mutual funds.
With a household penetration of mutual funds of only 3-4%, against mature markets like the US that stand at 45%, we have less than 1 crore people investing in mutual funds in India.
What many don’t realise is that, unlike inflation-par instruments like FDs or gold, the options that Scripbox offers are inflation-beating instruments such as – Equities, that will give you a 14-15% return compared to traditional forms of investing.
Hence, their primary goal now is to encourage young Indians to develop a long term investing habit, given that individual customers use Scripbox’s services to build systematic investment plans for as little as ₹500/month.
More recently, the company also raised an undisclosed amount in funding led by Omidyar Network in June 2016. A support from Omidyar Network (started by eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar), will come as a “tremendous boost” to Scripbox, in several ways.
The company plans to use the fresh capital to scale-up its operations in 1,000 cities by 2020 and to educate young working professionals on savings.