Spenny is a personal finance app backed by Y Combinator and Entrepreneurs First. Every time a user makes a digital transaction, the app rounds of the amount to the nearest Rs.10 and automatically invests it into a diversified portfolio for the user.
As with every young company, the big question confronting Spenny is how to create awareness, without breaking the bank. Cracking distribution in the Indian market is a gargantuan task and Team Spenny says they didn’t want to burn VC dollars on a traditional advertising route.
Rathin Shah, Founder & CEO, Gaurav Arora, CTO and Ankit Kumar, Consultant, found the answer in the book ‘Retire Rich’ by PV Subramanyam, where the author claims that anyone can retire rich and become a ‘crorepati’ by just investing Rs.40 a day.
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‘Kab Banega Crorepati’* (KBC) is a simple calculator, where you enter the amount you are prepared to invest daily and the number of years it will take for you to earn Rs. 1 crore is displayed.
Behind the calculations are of course, a number of assumptions. KBC simulates market returns for the last twenty years to predict a growth rate for the next twenty. Interest is compounded over the years right up to the time you reach the goal. Assumptions are also made about increases in your earning and saving potential.
A Call To Action button asking ‘Kaise Banega Crorepati?’* redirects you to the Spenny website.
The interface is vanilla and functional. (THC resident brand experts recommend adding some subtle Spenny branding on the KBC screens, like a ‘Powered by’ endorsement).
The KBC calculator launched on 2nd December 2020, and in just a couple of days, more than twelve thousand people had tried it out. Currently, the only channel that the team is using to spread awareness is Twitter, but promotions are planned on all platforms, including LinkedIn and Reddit. KBC is the first of multiple tools that Spenny hopes to launch in quick succession.
If the objective was to create buzz around Spenny, the calculator seems to have succeeded. Why the excitement, given that practically every financial app offers some kind of calculator?
“Typically calculators are quite complicated and they ask for a lot of unnecessary information. The idea with Kab Banega Crorepati is to remove all unnecessary bits and just answer a very basic question. This is also in line with our overall product philosophy.”Rathin Shah, Founder & CEO, Spenny
Product as Campaign
Simple, free tools that are fun to use can be a smart way to kickstart growth. Startups like Stir, a platform that enables digital creators to manage their revenue streams and share funds with collaborators, have taken a similar approach. To make noise amongst its target audience for example, Stir launched an initiative called Drops that periodically launches simple tools for creators. This includes OnlyTweets, which enables creators to offer exclusive Twitter content for a monthly subscription fee.
Tempting as it may seem, using simple products to create awareness is not as easy as it looks. KBC works because it addresses three core brand requirements.
First, the target community for KBC and Spenny are aligned and so is the value-proposition of saving and investing.
Secondly, the KBC landing page instantly answers the question “What’s in it for me?” Almost everyone will want to enter the daily saving rate and see the resulting time to become a crorepati. (This author kept entering different rates to see if she could feasibly shorten her journey to a crore.)
Finally, with KBC, Spenny has created something ‘remarkable’. As Seth Godin said, remarkable is not just about being different, it is about building something others find worthy of remarking on and sharing.