Akudo, a learning-focused neobank for teenagers in India, has raised $4.2 million in its seed funding round led by Y Combinator, JAFCO Asia, Incubate Fund India, and AET Fund.
Tribe Capital, Cabra Capital, and marquee angels like Lalit Keshre (Co-founder Groww), Rohit Taneja (Co-Founder Decentro), Anup Singh (Ex Axis Bank, ICICI Bank), Romeen Sheth (Metasys), Sriram Krishnan (Ex Spotify, Tinder), Mohit Daga and others have also participated in the round.
With the latest round of investments, the company aims to expand its team and further refine its product offering to reach millions of financially under-prepared and under-served teenagers in India.
Akudo is a digital bank for teenagers in India. It is crafted with the vision of raising generations of money-smart young Indians. The word 'akudo' (pronounced aku-doe) comes from Igbo and means 'peaceful wealth'.
Founded in August 2020 by IIT Roorkee and BITS Pilani alumni Lavika Aggarwal, Sajal Khanna, and Jagveer Gandhi, Akudo provides personalized debit cards that can be used by teenagers independently, with the aim to help them save money, and gives them exciting rewards under a gamified set up when they're good at their personal finance.
Commenting on the capital raised, Co-founder of Akudo Lavika Aggarwal said,
"We are deeply grateful to have such experienced and established investors join our journey as we craft India's first learning-focused neobank for teenagers. This capital will help us hire the right team and build in-app intelligence and features which will make financial learning more enjoyable for teenagers. We want every teenager to own their Akudo card as soon as they turn 13 and learn crucial lessons early on. Akudo is also bound to positively impact families of teens who will undertake their first step towards financial literacy and ultimately towards true financial empowerment."
Currently, the Bengaluru-based startup has over 1 lakh registered customers and has recorded a 75 percent week-on-week growth in transaction volumes. The startup has also issued more than 25,000 cards across 360 plus cities across India.
Akudo offers a one-stop technology solution to the three dimensions of learning about money management viz awareness, practice, and habit building. Its mission is to empower India's teenagers with financial knowledge and independence.
Supriya Singh, Head of South Asia Investments, JAFCO Asia, said,
"Personal finance for young users has largely been unaddressed. This is the right time to do it and Akudo is the most responsible and thoughtful go-to product for the young users to understand nuances of spending and saving. Lavika and Sajal are just the right guys with the perfect mix of technical expertise and the understanding of the user group."
With Akudo, teenagers can start banking under parental oversight in under 2 minutes. They can also learn the golden principles of wealth through bite-sized videos and curated resources. Minors can get into the habit of saving money through a host of mindfully designed micro-features that nudge and reward children for saving more and achieve tasks/goals to earn pocket money and rewards.
Last month, Akudo raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-seed funding round led by Y-Combinator, Incubate Fund India, and other Indian angels investors.