The Indian mutual fund sector has been experiencing good growth in recent years. According to sources, the mutual fund industry garnered Rs 8,246 crore via systematic investment plans (SIPs) in October last year, a 3.2% growth as compared to October 2018. Mutual fund startups, along with government-led initiatives, have further accelerated this growth by educating investors about mutual funds and by making it convenient to invest online. However, the industry is still at a nascent stage, owing to the general reluctance of Indians towards mutual fund investments.
With a passion for solving such issues in India, Bangalore-based Goalwise is utilising AI and machine learning to offer personalised mutual fund plans to customers. Founded by Swapnil Bhaskar, Ankur Choudhary and Savitri Bobde in 2015, Goalwise is a goal-based, set-and-forget investment platform that leverages data-driven algorithms to offer personalised mutual fund plans. The company oversees all aspects of goal-based investing, such as goal planning, target tracking, portfolio rebalancing and more. It also facilitates paid one-on-one personal finance planning which is led by an in-house team of financial experts over the phone.
Goalwise is a goal-based investing solution that oversees all aspects of investing, including mutual fund selection, goal planning, portfolio rebalancing, glide path, target tracking etc. Goalwise was established with the simple vision of making fully managed world-class goal-based investing and personal financial planning easily accessible to everyone, and not just to the wealthier segments of the population.
In addition to providing seamless investment solutions through its website and app, Goalwise’s offerings also include paid one-on-one personal finance planning carried by an in-house team of financial experts. Goalwise’s proprietary advisory engine, i.e. GoalSenseTM monitors the investments continuously to ensure that the investor is on track to reach the desired results.
Use of AI and ML
By weighing in various factors such as the customer’s age, appetite for risk, savings, target amount and the time frame, the platform generates a personalised goal plan. The unique goal-based investment platform uses a lot of statistical techniques and ML in selecting mutual funds as well as in designing the optimal glide path, which is a year-by-year asset allocation that maximises the chances of reaching that goal safely – for each goal set by our investors.
At the core tech stack of Goalwise, the backend is written using a mix of PHP and Node.js. The frontend on the web is React, whereas the mobile apps are Native. The developers at Goalwise also use Python on the backend as well for all the computation heavy tasks. For hosting, the company uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) and currently, they are moving towards a serverless architecture using AWS Lambda.
Tackling Hiring Phase
At present, Goalwise is a small team of about 20 people in Bangalore. According to the founders, the company relies heavily on references from the existing employees for hiring, and they also have partnerships with hiring agencies. They said, “Typically we end up going through 40-50 resumes for each person we hire. For us, the most important things while hiring are sincerity and ability to learn.”
Talking about potential competitors, the founders said some of our competitors in India are Fundsindia, Scripbox and Zerodha Coin. However, none of these platforms offers a fully managed goal-based investing solution like we do, which is what attracts our investors.
Currently, the platform has over 40,000 registered users from 450+ cities globally. On the investment side, the company is looking forward to reaching a Mutual Fund AUM of 1000 Crores by the end of 2020. The founders added, “We have also started providing term insurance and are planning to add health insurance and accident insurance. In terms of team size, we are looking to double our tech team and triple our advisory team to meet the huge demand on the financial planning side.”
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