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Dhan takes on Zerodha, Groww; eyes 1 million users in 18 months

Pravin Jadhav, Founder and CEO of Dhan, said the holding company Raise Financial Services will be open to acquiring more licenses through acquisitions and will launch more financial products.

September 21, 2021 / 02:14 PM IST
Dhan is in the process of migrating the 7,000 customers of Moneylicious Securities. [Representative image]

Dhan is in the process of migrating the 7,000 customers of Moneylicious Securities. [Representative image]

After securing seed funding earlier in 2021 and closing an acquisition in August, founder Pravin Jadhav has big plans for Raise Financial Services. The former Paytm Money CEO has unveiled Raise’s app for traders and investors, named Dhan, for early access and will soon add more users to the platform.

With Indians increasingly taking control over their investments coupled with the huge untapped potential for trading on the stock market, Dhan’s focus is on long-term investors and traders who have a few years of experience in the market.

Now, Jadhav is eyeing scale with a target of onboarding a million customers soon. The company is also in the process of migrating the 7,000 customers of Moneylicious Securities, which it acquired on August 10, onto the online platform Dhan.

“Currently we are trying to stabilize the app and enhance user experience ahead of the full-fledged launch. Around 40 percent of our current users have joined the app through referrals from acquaintances. Our ambition is to acquire a million customers within the first 18 months from the launch,” Jadhav told Moneycontrol.

Through the acquisition of offline broker Moneylicious Securities, Raise Financial secured the requisite licenses to become an integrated online stock broker offering trading on all exchanges (BSE, NSE, MCX) and across segments (equity, exchange-traded funds, futures, options, currency, commodities).

Currently, the Dhan app offers 24 features for traders and investors and the company plans to unveil more every few weeks over the next two to six months. Further use cases will be built on the investing platform, Jadhav said.

“We want to be a very product and technology focused company, building products for Tier I & II customers. Also, investing is going to be an anchored product for us and we want to build multiple use cases around it. But for the first 12 to 18 months, the focus is to keep building on investing and trading products,” he explained.

“Post that, we will look at solutions on the wealth management side. For example, if high net worth individuals (HNIs) need portfolio management services etc. And going forward, we will look at insurance, payments, lending and cards products in the long run,” Jadhav added.

Taking on incumbents like Zerodha, Groww and Upstox, Dhan is also focusing on ETFs, and will be open to venturing into mutual funds later.

“As markets mature, we are seeing more mature investors moving towards passive products and ETFs are well-placed to catch the attention of these users. But yes, when we will look at building products for first-time users, we will consider mutual funds,” Jadhav said.

The start-up is adequately funded, Jadhav said, and will be open to acquisitions to expand.

“We will either apply for fresh licenses or look at acquisitions based on what works well. But those plans will be executed only by mid-2022. We will also consider a non-banking financial company (NBFC) license and foray into lending,” he added.

Jadhav worked with mobile payments platform Paytm for three years and served as the founder, managing director and chief executive officer of Paytm Money before he left in May 2020 to start his own venture.

Incorporated in January, Raise announced its seed round funding in February led by Mirae Asset Venture Investments.

The size of the fundraising isn’t known. A host of entrepreneurs and CEOs including CRED founder& CEO Kunal Shah, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamoorthy, PhonePe founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, Pine Labs CEO Amrish Rau and Jupiter Money founder & CEO Jitendra Gupta participated in the seed round.

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Priyanka Iyer
first published: Sep 21, 2021 02:14 pm