Sqrrl is featured on this year’s Tech30 – YourStory’s list of “high-potential tech startups in India.”
While this is not the first time Sqrrl has been recognised by such a platform, this one is special to us for a lot of reasons.
The theme of this year was ‘India 2025: Inclusive, Future-ready, and Intelligence-led’, and Sqrrl is one of the few consumer facing startups on this list.
For an early stage startup, getting the product right supersedes the need to be inclusive. In fact, conventional business wisdom necessitates the need to win in a small niche before expanding to a broader market.
However, the biggest reason why Sqrrl exists is because of the financial services industry’s opaque and complicated products, which are often (mis)sold using confusing language to consumers. To make matters worse, these consumers are usually not very savvy about managing their money.
The simplification of savings and investments is the heart of our mission at Sqrrl, and making the product accessible to every Indian is therefore embedded in our core. We are also one of the first savings app to be available in eight vernacular languages, another fact which must have weighed in on the YourStory jury while they considered our “inclusiveness”.
The other theme of Tech30 this year is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the technology stack to offer some features, that would otherwise need throwing people at the problem. While AI has been around for over 50 years, only now has it reached the maturity and scale to become incorporated in everyday products.
While Sqrrl does not really have a team of data scientists building complex algorithms, we do incorporate AI in certain sections of our user journeys – from validating KYC documents within the app to extracting transaction data from text messages for our Sqrrl Away round-up feature.
The truth is, thanks to all the work in the open source community as well as the big tech firms like Amazon, Apple and Google, it has become much easier for engineering teams to build custom solutions on top of basic building blocks of AI. We believe that by the time this list is out next year, incorporating AI in a product would be like incorporating a database – an important but not quite remarkable part of the story.
Finally, getting recognised by YourStory is special because of Shradha and the YourStory team. If you have been in the startup community since the last decade like I have, you would agree that they stand apart in their relentless pursuit of celebrating and evangelising startups in a country where parents still push their kids (and their would-be spouses!) into stable corporate jobs.
Building a product that offers delayed gratification to India’s young populace is a really hard endeavour, and our team is grateful for this recognition.
Have a great week ahead, and thank you for flying Sqrrl!