dezerv., a new-age, “expert” investing platform, has raised $7Mn in a seed funding round co-led by Elevation Capital and Matrix Partners India, with participation from reputed investors such as Whiteboard Capital and Blume Founders Fund.
This round also featured leading tech founders including Kunal Shah (CRED), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), Asish Mohapatra & Ruchi Kalra (Ofbusiness), Vidit Aatrey & Sanjeev Barnwal (Meesho), Varun Dua (Acko), Nitin Gupta (Uni), Anurag Sinha (OneCard), Shashvat Nakrani & Suhail Sameer (BharatPe), Revant Bhate (Mosaic) along with marquee family offices including Taparia (FamyCare), RK Kedia (Manjushree), CJ Shah and Neeraj Goenka (Texport) and leading industry professionals like Akash Saxena (Hotstar), K Rangarajan (Five Star) and Aashish Sommaiyaa (WhiteOak).
The company plans to use the funds to continue to build a strong team, launch and scale their invest-tech product platform and re-define investment experience for working professionals in India.
Established in April 2021 by former IIFL Wealth Senior Managing Partners—Sandeep Jethwani, Vaibhav Porwal and Sahil Contractor—dezerv. aims to offer a fresh approach and platform to help underserved Indian professionals access investment expertise. Going beyond providing access to vanilla mutual funds, dezerv. will provide a unique Integrated Portfolio Approach (IPA) combined with white-glove expert advisory.
This will help users maximize returns while controlling the downside, with the right portfolio mix and also unlock access to new asset classes – currently available only to high net worth individuals – such as curated, well-diligence high yielding bonds and emerging high growth startups.
A majority of working professionals in India today lack adequate access to differentiated wealth-tech solutions and expert investing approaches. With over 15 years of experience each in the wealth management industry, Sandeep, Sahil and Vaibhav realized this market gap and launched this one-of-a-kind investing platform to disrupt the invest-tech market. As part of the founding team at IIFL Wealth, they had worked with high net worth clients to structure investing products and provide expert advice that helped significantly grow their clients’ wealth.
Moreover, Sandeep led the zero-to-one journey for IIFL One—a platform that leveraged IIFLW’s product expertise and enhanced the investing experience by providing guided expert advisory and transparent pricing. In this period, IIFL One scaled to over $3.5B in AUM.
The founders Sandeep, Sahil and Vaibhav said, “dezerv. will leverage the digital adoption and scalable investment infrastructure of post-pandemic India, coupled with decades of our experience to bring world-class investing to Indian professionals. We are excited to launch our unique Integrated Portfolio Approach that looks beyond selecting individual mutual funds, and delivers high performing portfolios while controlling risk.”
dezerv. has brought together a team of experts across the investing and technology domains with the educational pedigree of globally renowned institutions like MIT, USC, IIMs and IITs. The team has high-quality work experience from global companies like JP Morgan, UBS, Uber, Brookfield, Morgan Stanley and Clevertap.
With more than 80% of large-cap mutual funds underperforming the benchmarks, the odds are already against the average Indian investor. Hence, over 75% of working professionals say that they need guidance on their portfolio and investments, as per a study conducted by the team.
Today, this market comprises ~30 Mn households of working professionals in the country who are adrift without a clear solution to manage their growing pool of wealth. On one end, while DIY platforms offer a marketplace of products, they lack the sophistication in the advisory. On the other end, traditional wealth advisors cater only to the high net worth and ultra-high net worth segments, neglecting the successful, deserving professionals.
With their unique Integrated Portfolio Approach, built by investing experts, dezerv. plans to bring effortless investing to its clients, by providing a curated portfolio combination—handpicked for the individual investor and dynamic to keep abreast with evolving market situations. Currently, the platform is “invite-only”; users can apply on the dezerv.in website to access the platform and join a growing club of investors.
Commenting on the funding, Mridul Arora, Partner at Elevation Capital, said, “We met the dezerv. team earlier this year and were impressed by the depth of insights and wealth of experience that Sandeep, Sahil and Vaibhav brought with them to build dezerv. We are big believers in financialization of savings and democratizing access to financial products for customers across the affluence spectrum. Using a tech-first approach, dezerv. intends to ride on both these tailwinds and become the go-to platform for emerging affluents as they navigate their savings journey and build a portfolio suitable for their unique need and life-goals.”
Vikram Vaidyanathan, Managing Director at Matrix India, said, “Digital-native affluent investors are on the brink of beginning their journey of building a portfolio across different asset classes. They need a solutions-focused approach designed by experts, and dezerv. aims to do just that. With their deep experience in wealth management over a decade, Sandeep, Sahil and Vaibhav are best suited to solve this problem and we’re excited about partnering with them. ”