Fintech News

How Univest became profitable in two years: A chat with its CEO

Univest is a fintech startup that offers stock market investment and peer-to-peer lending services to retail investors. Founded in 2022 by Pranit Arora, Avneet Dhamija and Vikash Agarwal, the company claims to have achieved profitability in just two years of operations. In this exclusive interview, Arora shares the secrets behind Univest’s success, its future plans, and the challenges of the capital and debt markets.

Univest’s unique value proposition

Univest aims to improve the returns on investment (ROIs) of its customers by providing them with timely and accurate insights, advice, and tools. The company has two main services: equity advisory and P2P lending.

Equity advisory is a subscription-based service that offers customers access to trusted stock ideas, buy-sell-hold insights, portfolio analysis, and crisp stock research. Customers can choose from three plans: three months, six months, and twelve months. Univest uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and human experts to generate and validate its recommendations.

P2P lending is a partnership with Faircent, a registered NBFC that facilitates loans between individual borrowers and lenders. Univest charges a commission of 1.5% to 3% from the borrowers and helps them with credit assessment, verification, and documentation. Univest claims to offer its lenders up to 12% per annum returns, with interest added daily to their portfolio. The company also claims to have zero default rate so far, as it follows a rigorous screening process and provides insurance cover for the loans.

Univest’s growth and profitability

Univest has witnessed a remarkable growth in its customer base, revenue, and profitability since its launch. The company has onboarded around 4,000 active retail investors, with a monthly active customer base of over 6 lakh. The company has also facilitated over Rs 5,000 crore worth of investments, making it the largest partner for Faircent.

How Univest became profitable in two years: A chat with its CEO

Univest has achieved a 70-fold increase in its monthly business over the past 12 months, and is poised to surpass Rs 50 crore in annual recurring revenue (ARR) this month. The company is also projected to conclude the fiscal year with a profit after tax (PAT) exceeding Rs 3 crore.

Arora attributes Univest’s profitability to its lean and efficient business model, which relies on technology, automation, and data-driven decision making. He also credits his team of 25 members, who work remotely across different locations, for their dedication and passion.

Univest’s funding and valuation

Univest has raised $1.5 million in seed funding in March 2023, co-led by Trinity Media Group, along with participation from other investors including Akash Anand, Deep Bajaj, and Pritesh Talwar. The company was valued at Rs 100 crore (pre-money) at that time.

Arora reveals that the company is in advanced discussions to raise additional funds, as it plans to expand its product portfolio, geographical reach, and team size. He says that the company is looking for strategic partners who can add value to its vision and mission, rather than just capital.

Univest’s future plans and challenges

Univest has an ambitious roadmap for the future, as it aims to become a one-stop solution for all the investment needs of retail investors. The company plans to launch more products and services, such as Univest Live, mutual funds, commodities, and startup investments. The company also plans to explore Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, where it sees a huge potential for fintech innovation and adoption.

However, Univest also faces some challenges and uncertainties in the capital and debt markets, such as regulatory changes, market volatility, competition, and customer behavior. Arora says that the company is prepared to adapt and overcome these challenges, by staying agile, customer-centric, and compliant. He also says that the company is constantly learning from its customers, competitors, and mentors, and strives to improve its offerings and operations.

Arora concludes by saying that Univest’s ultimate goal is to empower retail investors with the best tools and knowledge to make informed and profitable investment decisions. He says that Univest is not just a fintech company, but a community of like-minded investors who share a common passion for wealth creation.


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