Millennials seem to like investing in mutual funds, with more than 64% of them investing in mutual funds according to a Paytm Money report. Another thing millennials love is gaming, and playing video games is a favorite millennial pastime.
, a Bangalore-based fintech startup has brought the two elements together and introduced a unique model that allows users to save, invest and play games. Founded by Manish Maryada and Shourya Lala, the startup aims to make finance fun by combining the elements of finance and gambling.
Whether in the field of games or investments, the goal of the user is the same: to obtain returns. So, Fello decided to bring the two together and allow users to save, play and earn more returns than a traditional savings bank account.
The “Eureka!” moment
Manish says their journey began with customer interviews where they spoke to 1,000 Gen Z and millennial workers from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. they found was that they weren’t inclined towards sound financing options.
He says a major data point in their research found that despite being financially vulnerable, a large portion of millennials chose to spend their money on paid and fantastic online gaming apps. They expect to get big returns while forgetting that they are essentially gambling and can eventually lose all the money they used.
When asked why they don’t use the same amount of money in investments, mutual funds, and savings, the basic response was that the process was extremely boring with no immediate gratification. It gave them a eureka moment when they realized that gaming could excite Gen Z and Millennials to move towards sound finance.
They started brainstorming the business during the height of the pandemic, and although they started building the business in January 2021, the idea and work behind the product didn’t begin until October 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak. Manish says talking to customers before building the product was extremely important, but arranging those talks was a major challenge in the early days.
USP and growth
Speaking about the brand’s USP, Manish says the psyche of millennials between the ages of 21 and 25 is very different, and they expect everything to be fast and they don’t want a curveball. learning is associated with it. While traditional financial platforms make it easy for users to adopt finance by easing the process, they cannot drive engagement in fintech products.
Manish says they aim to boost engagement by adding a whole new dimension to the world of finance in the form of games. “We’re not just trying to make finance easy and exciting, we’re also trying to make it attractive,” he says.
Fello has over 250,000 users at present, and Manish attributes the reason for this growth to Fello’s referral program. He says 94% of their users got onboarded through their referral program, which started happening through their user base and social media influencers.
Explore the digital ecosystem
Manish says that even though it is a mobile platform, they also have low metrics that people are consuming their product significantly on desktop as well. “We also saw multiple products in the same space also open web apps. With the data points we have collected, we expect to open a web application within two quarters,” he says.
Talking about the choice of .in domain, Manish says their target audience was always meant to be Indian millennials. He says, “We wanted to tap into Gen Z and young millennials, so going into .club or .live would have made it a lot more appealing. From my experience in product management, I have learned that having the .in domain will give you a significant advantage in terms of trust and credibility.
He adds that they also tried other extensions, but received the best response for the .in domain, which led them to choose it for their website. In terms of trust and credibility, the .in domain has helped many startups like Fello build trust with their customers. Managed by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), the .in and .Bharat domains are available in 22 Indian languages and have helped several young startups grow significantly.
Looking ahead, Manish says they want to capitalize on the entire influencer marketing network that exists. Another thing they are focusing on, according to Manish, is that they want to use the power of digital marketing and push their product forward in the times to come.
Shaping India Inc’s Online Growth series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how building an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain has fueled their success stories.