Scripbox.com, a startup which helps users to invest in mutual funds, has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to raise funding from foreign investors. The report, however, does not disclose how much funding the company plans to raise. It’s not clear whether the company has received an approval from the Indian Government, as the report states that decision on the proposal will be communicated separately. Scripbox informs MediaNama that the company is just readying papers in order if they look for investment in future, and does not have any immediate plans to infuse funds. We wonder why they would apply for an FIPB approval without any deal in place.
Scripbox is a financial service startup that provides its users a virtual basket of scientifically chosen mutual funds for users. Founded by Atul Shinghal (CEO) and Sanjiv Singhal (COO), Scripbox was launched in November 2012 and is an AMFI registered distributor.
How it works: To use the service users need to sign up on the portal with their email address, password, PAN card details, and residential address and Bank details. The portal then asks users to fill in their monthly salary and asks to confirm the application. Users need to provide documents such as signed application form, a cancelled cheque, ECS Mandate (Signed) and a PAN card copy. Update: Scripbox has informed us that it does not ask for monthly income and that the annual income bracket asked is as per the requirement for KYC.
Based upon the monthly salary provided, the portal provides with a basket of investment options, what it calls a Scripbox, depending on how much a user wants to invest per month. Users can design their Scripbox and then select the basket of investment they prefer.
Since a user has already granted ECS Mandate, Scripbox will automatically deposit money to the verified mutual funds from the user’s bank account, however, user needs to individually initiate the payment instance each month. The company says that it offers limited investment options by eliminating the complexity of decision making and making the choices simple. It handles selection and monitoring of funds, processing of instructions and providing users with all the information.
Monetization: Singhal informs MediaNama that Scripbox earns a commission from the Mutual fund companies for investments made through the site. He also claims that the amount varies and and is disclosed on their website.
Are Indians ready? While a lot has been happening in the Indian personalized investment space, do Indian users trust Internet based sites to manage their investments? Traditionally, mutual fund investments are made by users on the persuasion of agents.
Earlier in the month, the Aditya Birla Group had launched a personal finance website called MyUniverse, which enabled users to link their online bank accounts and browse through credit card bills, debit card expenses, loans, mutual funds, FDs, and other financial instruments. One could also manually add physical assets such as gold and jewellery, real estate and offline investments and savings to the list, set bill reminders for utility and other payments and pay them through Billdesk payment gateway.
Besides this, the site also featured a tax planning service and trading and investment service from Aditya Birla Money, the broking and distribution company of Aditya Birla Group. The service was priced at Rs 500 per year (excluding taxes), after a 30 day free trial.