The Siply Way: Making Savings a Second Nature for Indians
Thanks to the startup culture, we are seeing the rise of a new breed of fintechs that exclusively cater to the needs of low & middle-income individuals who have traditionally been underserved whether it be because of limited financial literacy or access to traditional banking services.
Siply is one such platform that prioritises creating sachet savings and investment opportunities, and literacy for financially underserved communities in India. The platform is known for leveraging technology to provide niche micro-savings products and seamless, user-friendly experiences to over 7 million users so that they can manage their finances and improve their financial well-being.
Today, we interact with Sousthav Chakrabarty, the Founder & CEO of Siply, to understand more about this tech-first micro-savings platform.
Who are the founders? What are the unique key points (USP) of Siply?
Founded in July 2020 by Sousthav Chakrabarty and Anil Bhat, Siply is building a tailor-made platform to serve the specific needs of over 400 million middle-income earners and underserved masses in India comprising contract workers, blue-collar workers, gig economy workers, and small business owners. The platform aims to inculcate savings behaviour through sachet financial services where the investment can be as low as INR 1.00 to build a more productive, inclusive and financially secure Bharat. Siply users get a wide range of products to invest in, including the Chit Linked Saving Scheme, Siply Gold Savings Scheme, Siply Gold Jewellery Scheme, Chhotastock, Micro-credit, and more.
Siply strives to be one of India’s top micro-savings platforms by incorporating key features that make it stand out. Our platform is powered by cutting-edge technology, ensuring advanced and high-tech micro-saving services for our clients. To reach a wider audience, we’ve included vernacular support, making our services available in 10 regional languages for better comprehension by the masses. Our hassle-free digital onboarding process provides easy access to micro-savings for those who aspire to save without going through rigorous paperwork. At Siply, we promote financial literacy and empower our customers to make informed investment decisions.
Our micro-savings feature starts at just INR 1, making it accessible to every segment of society. We offer a diverse range of investments to cater to individual affordability. Instant withdrawal is a popular feature, giving our customers the freedom to withdraw their accrued savings at any time. The ability to pause and restart savings on demand adds flexibility to our platform, giving our customers the freedom and flexibility to invest according to their preferences. We are proud to say that with these unique attributes, Siply has become the preferred choice of customers who wish to optimise their financial benefits by investing a small amount.
What inspired the launch of Siply’s innovative sachet financial services such as the Digital Chit Fund, Gold Savings Scheme, and others?
Our goal with Siply is to promote financial security among India’s middle-class and underserved populations by providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools. We want to drive financial inclusion for contract workers, blue-collar workers, gig economy workers, and small business owners, so they can better manage their financial needs during turbulent times. The decision to focus on micro-savings is a deliberate one, as we aim to instil sustainable saving habits in this working-class demographic.
The onset of the pandemic hit the unorganised workforce the hardest, resulting in job losses and income reductions with no end in sight. We realised that if there were existing financial mechanisms in place that catered to this segment, they would have been better equipped to overcome hardships.
At Siply, we have introduced innovative sachet financial services such as Micro Credit, Siply Gold Savings Scheme, Siply Gold Jewellery Scheme, and more, which our users can access to begin their investment journeys with as little as INR 1. For instance, our stock trading feature ‘Chhotastock’ enables Siply users to invest in the top 20 blue-chip stocks in India for as little as Rs.100.
We have recently expanded our offerings to include micro-credit services, which have seen a monthly growth rate of 150% in recent months and partnered with MoneyWide, a leading fintech lending platform, to offer instant paperless personal loans at our phygital branches
Additionally, we recently acquired Finsave Technologies’ myPaisaa, a digital online chit and rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) platform, making 100% compliant ROSCA and chit-based products available to our users on the Siply platform.
We also launched the Siply Gold Savings scheme, which allows customers to purchase a gold coin over a period of 10 months at instalments as low as INR 250 per month. The scheme has been designed to cater to the diverse customer demographics of India and offers customers the opportunity to own a 99.99% pure gold coin without feeling the pinch.
Through these innovative micro-saving offerings, we are enabling financial inclusion and promoting financial literacy among the working-class population, which is critical to their financial security and overall well-being.
Tell us about Siply’s funding and how it has supported the company’s growth and development. Why did you acquire MyPaisaa?
Siply’s mission to uplift and empower the masses financially in India has resonated well with a diverse group of investors, resulting in several successful funding rounds. Recently, the company secured $19 million in a fresh funding round led by Qi Ventures, with participation from existing investors LetsVenture and Jito, as well as angel investors, including Vivek Sunder, the CEO of Cuemath and former COO of Swiggy. In October of last year, Siply raised $3.2 million in equity and debt through a round led by LetsVenture, AngelList India, and Founder Room Circle. Siply also secured $4 million in equity and debt in a Pre-Series A round led by LetsVenture and Founder Room Circle, with participation from investors such as Kunal Shah of Cred, Beerud Sheth of Gupshup, and Satish Grampurohit, formerly of Infosys. With Siply’s continued success, we anticipate more investors will join in the funding rounds soon.
The acquisition of myPaisaa marks a significant milestone in our joint pursuit of providing fully digital financial inclusion products to underserved communities in India. As the first digital chit-fund distribution platform in India, myPaisaa is 100% regulated and licensed by the Government of India and the Registrar of Chit Funds, making it an attractive addition to Siply’s impressive array of financial products. The myPaisaa app provides 24-hour payouts of prizes and dividends, targets over 35 crore chit users in India, and has already attracted over 50,000 registered users with committed savings of INR 100 crores. Together, we aim to harness our respective strengths to offer innovative, fully digital sachet financial services to customers and promote growth and financial inclusion in the Indian market. This partnership will also provide more opportunities for Indians to cultivate saving habits and learn how to expand their investments like never before.
Tell us about Siply’s business model and operations and how it differs from others.
Siply’s business model revolves around providing micro-savings and micro-credit services to underserved masses in India. The platform is designed to cater to the specific needs of customers who have been denied the services of traditional financial institutions like banks and mutual fund firms.
Our operations are tech-enabled, and customers can invest and withdraw money at their convenience. Siply’s unique selling point is its flexibility, which allows customers to invest as little as INR 1, making it an accessible option for individuals with low income or irregular earnings. This flexibility has been key to our success, with over 6 million customers and 11 million transactions since starting in 2020.
What technologies has Siply invested in to provide differentiated offerings?
While digital technology has gained widespread acceptance among customers, many still prefer the option of interacting in person with a representative at a local branch. This is particularly true in the fintech industry, where customers often require reassurance about the safety of their investments. Therefore, we believe that the future of financial inclusion lies in a combination of physical and digital infrastructure, commonly referred to as “phygital.”
In fact, many online-focused companies in the retail industry have already established physical locations to cater to customers who prefer to examine products before making a purchase decision. Similarly, physical branches can play a vital role in the fintech industry, providing customers with the education and assurance they need to fully embrace digital banking and gain greater financial independence.
At Siply, we recognised that many of our customers are still new to smartphones and not that technologically savvy, which is why we established physical Siply Seva Kendras. These branches provide our customers with a comfortable, familiar environment where they can learn about our various financial products and how to start their micro-savings journey. Our customers can also interact with our customer representatives in person and ask any questions they might have.
By combining digital advancements with physical infrastructure, companies like Siply can offer their customers the best of both worlds. A phygital presence can help bridge the gap between traditional banking and fintech, making it easier for underserved populations to access and benefit from financial services.
How does the company plan to expand and grow in the future?
Our goal at Siply is to become the first choice of micro-savings aspirants pan India. With the help of our dedicated app, customers can conveniently invest in several different micro-savings products and distribute their savings into various assets.
Considering the remarkable success we have achieved in such a short span, we believe that there is immense demand for micro-savings products in India, and we look forward to bringing more innovative solutions to our customers in the years to come.