Get full access to one story every week, and to summaries of all other stories. Just create a free account

Jar, a savings and investments app founded in January 2021 by Nishchay AG and Misbah Ashraf, came with a simple proposition for users: you can buy digital gold; no bars at all. Since then, the app has allowed investors to start their portfolio in digital gold with amounts as low as Re 1 (US$0.013). 

This made it easy and convenient for investment novices looking to save money. Investors loved the idea. As a result, the two-year-old company has beaten the odds in the funding winter.

In August, the company raised US$23 million in a Series B round. The clutch of investors included marquee global names such as Tiger Global Management and Rocketship. The valuation? A cool US$300 million—more than double the US$145 million in its US$34-million Series A round in January. The company was valued at just US$14 million about a year ago. 

Jar’s funding wins and its big up-rounds make it an outlier at a time many startups are struggling struggling Inc42 Funding Winter: Indian Startups Record 90% Drop In Funding YoY In July 2022 Read more  to raise funds—nearly 90% of the US$65 million it has raised so far has come in 2022. 

What explains investors’ love for Jar? It’s the number of customers that seem straight out of a dream.  The company claims its registered user base has grown to ~10 million in less than two years of operations—a feat few other wealthtech startups have managed.

 While Jar claims to be a category creator in India, its customer growth hasn’t yet translated into big revenue. Not at least until mid-March, as per the company’s filings seen by The Ken

Jar has not declared its financial results for the year ended March 2022. But the provisional numbers that the company had filed along with a stock-buyback proposal earlier this year, do not paint a pretty picture.

The company’s revenues are meagre, and its losses are heavy even by startup standards. Going by these numbers, investors have paid a very tidy valuation premium. In the August fundraise, the valuation-to-revenue metric is a staggering 4,800X.

For the sake of comparison, a similar metric for Tiger Global-backed wealthtech platform Upstox stood at ~63X, based on FY21 numbers, while it was ~25X for Acorns, a US-based micro-investing platform that offers round-ups like Jar.

To be fair, Jar is a young startup. The financials of the first couple of years may not reflect things to come. 

The founders are also bullish. “Currently, we are clocking almost over 250,000 investment transactions every day.

AUTHOR

Anand Kalyanaraman

A certified Chartered Accountant, Anand chose to pack the power of numbers with words when he left a career of seven years in accounting, putting together MIS reports, and investment research to enter journalism. Before joining The Ken, Anand was Deputy Editor at The Hindu BusinessLine, a newspaper he worked at for 11 years.

View Full Profile

Read this story. Subscribe Now

This story is available across both editions. Subscribe to the one that’s most relevant for you. Questions?

 

Premium

  • 5 original and reported longform business stories every week
  • Access to ONLY India edition
  • Close to 250 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters
  • 4 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to ONLY Southeast Asia edition
  • Close to 200 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to all paywalled stories since March 2020
  • Pick up to 5 premium subscriber newsletters

Rs. 2,750 /year

$ 120 /year

India Edition
Subscribe Subscribe
Most Asked For

Borderless

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories

Rs. 4,200 /year

Subscribe
 

Echelon

  • 8 original and reported longform business stories each week
  • Access to both India and Southeast Asia editions
  • Close to 400 exclusive stories every year
  • Full access to over 5 years of paywalled stories across India and Southeast Asia
  • Unlimited access to all premium subscriber newsletters
  • Visual Stories
  • Bonus annual gift subscription
  • Priority access to all new products and features

Rs. 8,474 /year

Subscribe
Or

Questions?

What kind of subscription plans do you offer?

We have three types of subscriptions
- Premium which gives you access to either the India or the Southeast Asia edition.
- Borderless which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions
- Echelon which gives you complete access to The Ken across both editions along with a bonus gift subscription

What do I get if I subscribe?

The Premium edition gives you access to stories in that edition along with any five subscriber-only newsletters of your choice.

The Borderless and Echelon subscription gives you complete access to The Ken across editions and unlimited access to as many newsletters as you like.

What topics do you usually write about?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics. We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

Our specialised subscriber-only newsletters are written by our expert, award-winning journalists and cover a range of topics across finance, retail, clean energy, cryptocurrency, ed-tech and many more.

How many newsletters do you have?

We are constantly adding specialised subscriber-only newsletters all the time. All of these are written by our team of award-winning journalists on a specialised topic.

You can see the list of newsletters that we publish over here.

Does a Premium subscription to your Indian edition get me access to the Southeast Asia edition? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

We recommend the Borderless or the Echelon Plan which will give you access to stories across both editions.

Do you have a mobile app?

Yes! We have a top-rated mobile app on both iOS and Android which allows you to read on-the-go and has some amazing features like the ability to bookmark stories, save on your device, dark mode, and much more. It’s really the best way to read The Ken.

Is there a free trial?

You can sign up for a free account to experience The Ken and understand our products better. We’ll send you some free stories and newsletters occasionally, and you can access our archive of previously published free stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

The vast majority of our stories, articles and newsletters can be accessed only by a paid subscription.

Do you offer any discounts?

Sorry, no. Our journalism is funded completely by our subscribers. We believe that quality journalism comes at a price, and readers trust and pay us so that we can remain independent.

Do you offer refunds?

No. We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Just write to us at [email protected] with details. We’ll help you out.

I have a few more questions. How can I reach out to you?

Sure. Just email us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.