Studies indicate that financial illiteracy is widespread among millennials and traditional financial institutions have not been able to get this generation on board. Increasingly, consumers are using third party apps and services to manage their finances; leaving legacy banks in the dust. By bringing banks to the digital era to address the needs of their customers , KapitalWise is an AI- driven platform that analyzes a customer’s financial situation and delivers relevant advice in a timely fashion. Banks are able to integrate the platform to powers the bank’s existing technology stack or implement it as a white label solution.
AlleyWatch chatted with founder and CEO Sajil Koroth about the company and its experience at PeakPitch.
Tell us about KapitalWise.
KaptilWise offers an AI platform that allows financial institutions to interact with their customers at scale. We are able to leverage machine learning to better predict when a customer is a good candidate for a particular product, or when they should be nudged to save, invest or paydown a loan. The platform can be delivered as a set of micro-services within a bank’s tech stack or launched as a separate white-label solution for a specific product, such as robo-advisory.
Banks today are struggling to provide relevant, contextual advice to their customers, and as a result their customers seek out apps outside the banking system. We are different because we help banks build deeper relationships with their customers and become a better partner to them on achieving their financial goals. For larger institutions that may have in-house data science capacity, we help them get to market faster by plugging in our solution rather than building it from scratch in-house.
What market does KapitalWise target and how big is it?
Our focus today is partnering with banks and credit unions, of which there are roughly 10,000 in the US. We’ve also had great response internationally, where banks see great opportunity in building deeper relationships in rapidly developing economies. And beyond banking and wealth management, we see great utility for our platform in other industries where knowing your customer and the ability to nudge them is powerful.
What is the business model?
We operate as a B2B/B2B2C model, really as a tech provider to companies who hold a financial relationship with an end consumer. We charge an implementation fee and then license the technology on a per-user basis.
What inspired the business?
As mobile technology has advanced, we’ve seen consumers expect a contextual, digital experience from all service providers. No one wants to walk into a bank branch anymore. Yet banks have been hamstrung by legacy systems, resulting in external fintechs attempting to fill the gap. We believe the banking system is the cornerstone of the economy and the trusted institutions need to be able to provide their customers with that same level of personalized experience. It’s a huge win for consumers to have their bank or credit union on their side and actively helping them reach their financial goals.
Your company recently participated in Peak Pitch. Would you tell us about your experience?
Peak Pitch was a great way to network with new investment community connections and reconnect with old ones in a one-of-a-kind setting. The whole day event was very well organized and we ended up connecting with few interesting investors and mentors.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are converting our first proof of concept with Barclays to a full contract now and hope to have two more conversions with global Tier-1 banks within the next six months. We are also looking to close our seed round in the next few months.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Christian Lawless from Conversion Capital. We are in the midst of our seed round and looking for early stage investors
Why did you launch in New York?
The startup community, and the fintech ecosystem specifically, makes New York the ideal place for us to center our work. We’ve had great traction in other markets but having a network in the world’s financial center has been incredibly useful for us.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
The modern Middle Eastern restaurant