Exclusive: Stockal sets sights on $1 bn AUM; Raises $3 mn round led by Ritesh Agarwal’s Aroa Ventures

Exclusive: Stockal sets sights on $1 bn AUM; Raises $3 mn round led by Ritesh Agarwal’s Aroa Ventures
L to R: Sitashwa Srivastava and Vinay Bharathwaj, cofounders at Stockal
5 May, 2021

Stockal, a platform that enables Indian retail investors to trade in listed US securities, has set itself a $1 billion AUM (assets under management) as its next big target, even it expands its presence to Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. The growth plans come on the back of a $3 million (Rs 22.18 crore) pre-Series A funding round that the New York-based startup has raised led by Aroa Ventures, the early stage investing vehicle of OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal. 

The round saw participation from Cadenza Capital Management, wealth management platform Kristal.ai, startup data platform Tracxn Labs, July Ventures and Credence Family office, Stockal co-founder Vinay Bharatwaj said. 

“In the current round, we haven’t met most of the investors in person and managed to close the round over calls and Zoom,” he added. 

With the latest infusion, the six-year-old startup, which has an office in Bengaluru, has raised $ 5 million since it was founded. It is also in talks with institutional investors to raise over $10 million for an upcoming Series A round. 

The current round will help Stockal to expand its presence to Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as licensing to enable customers from these countries to invest through the platform.

“Most of these companies not only sell in India but also get their work done in India but the wealth distribution was always in the US,” co-founder Sitashwa Srivastava said. 

He further added, “The idea is to be multi-country and add more asset classes. We have curated portfolios with asset management companies.

Today investments happen in stocks. In the newer phase we will launch newer investment areas—bonds, hedge funds – which people are showing interest in.” The platform is also evaluating aggregating the investments in hedge funds for fractional investments. 

“We are in expansion mode and it is not even the tip of the iceberg. Currently we are at a $100 million AUM but what it takes to get to $1 billion AUM is what we are thinking about,” said Bharathwaj.  

Stockal was founded in 2015 in New York by Srivastava and Bharathwaj to provide investment signals for US stocks to retail investors by analysing news and social media. It was a layer for individuals in the US investing through apps such as Robinhood to make informed decisions.  

In mid-2018, it pivoted to provide a platform to Indian retail investors who wanted to invest in the US markets and formally launched the service here in January last year. It has partnerships with Motilal Oswal, HDFC, Geojit and others for this market. And overall has over 75 wealth management firms, fintech robo-advisors and neo-banks as well as brokerage firms as partners and it has 60,000 Indian investors trading on the platform.  

The platform offers multiple susbscription models for users where it charges brokerage fee per transaction as well as pay-as-you-go model. The average investing account holds investments of $5000 to $11000. 

San Francisco based Vested is another company which operates in a similar space as Stockal. 

Aroa Ventures’ investments in India are advised by Gurugram based ScaleX Partners. ScaleX has received an initial commitment of Rs 100 crore from Aroa Ventures, founder Gaurav Gulati told TechCircle in March this year. It has identified 10 startup investment opportunities across a range of sectors such as foodtech, edtech, fintech, health-tech and SaaS. The investments would be made at the pre-revenue, early and growth stages.