A majority of Indian households are still not very encouraging towards women taking charge of financial matters. “Women are born money managers. When armed with the right attributes of being risk-aware, disciplined, making informed decisions, and staying calm under stress, women can go from managing home budgets to becoming smart investors,” starts Priti Rathi Gupta, founder of LXME, a financial platform exclusively for women.
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During the uncertain times of a global pandemic, financial planning has attained greater significance for women as families battle unforeseen incidences disrupting livelihoods. However, long-term financial decisions, such as investing, financial planning, and estate planning, for long has been seen as a man’s domain.
“Encouraging women to have money conversations is the first step towards breaking the barrier of women and money management followed by rich relevant content on demystifying financial jargon,” insists Priti.
The 2018-19 beta launch of LXME had a minimum viable product (MVP) with the objective of enabling trust and building confidence through a community, imparting financial literacy and awareness and offering a platform with products curated for differentiated financial needs. After testing the community feature on Facebook and seeing a great impact on investment conversions and also engagement, the team recently launched LXME 2.0 with the community built on to the app. LXME is currently bootstrapped by the AnandRathi Group.
According to DSP Mutual Fund’s ‘DSP Winvestor Pulse 2019’ survey, only 33% of women invest, as opposed to 64% of men. Among them, just one third take their own financial decisions; the rest have investments done on their behalf by someone else.
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Meanwhile, an LXME survey with over 5,000 women across metro cities as well as Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities in the age group of 25-45 years with varied professions further indicated the key barriers that stop women from investing their own money were lack of awareness, high association with risk and most importantly social orientation, the belief that investment is essentially a man’s domain.
According to Priti, while imparting financial literacy among women is one part of the solution to make women active investors, extending this journey of awareness and education to action through a hassle-free and easy investment platform with curated financial products is what will bring the idea into reality.
“This is what makes LXME a holistic one-of-its-kind financial platform for women,” says Priti.
At the heart of LXME is a growing community of more than 15,000 app users and an additional 10,000 members Facebook community of women who actively ask, learn and share about money decisions and manage personal finances.
To help women overcome the barrier of financial jargon and risk associated with financial planning and instruments, LXME offers palatable and tailored content across formats from blog posts to videos and interactive workshops that help women make informed investment decisions. It offers an investment platform with goal-based investment options in Mutual Funds and Gold.
The UX experience
“With the objective of making financial planning easy, accessible and hassle-free, we approached the UX from the point of view of a first time or novice investor looking out to explore financial planning,” says Priti.
Its BeingLXME community is aimed at providing a social app experience where women can ask, learn and engage in money conversations with other like-minded women as easily as talking to a friend. “There is power in collective growth and mentoring amongst women that play a very critical role in behaviour change,” believes Priti.
It then leads the user towards learning more about financial planning with demystified content on money management and financial calculators on retirement planning, tax planning and other financial goals that help you evaluate how far you are from your goal and guide you to start your investment journey.
Finally once the user is well aware of her financial goals, understands different financial instruments, the money tab is presented which is equipped with financial tools like curated mutual fund plans and gold products for investment. The account opening and Know Your Customer (KYC) can be done online.
- The Mumbai-based startup focuses on educating women on financial products like mutual funds, stocks, and bonds, and creates a community of women to engage them in conversations around their finances.
- LXME’s Think module offers financial content, while the Learn feature offers interactive online courses on money management.
- The Financial Fitness Bootcamp helps users to learn about the basics of financial planning including investing across life stages, debt management, and the importance of insurance.
- The startup also offers articles on financial topics, goal-based investment calculators, and the option for women on the platform to invest in mutual funds, based on their goals and timelines for the investments.
- In its endeavour to be inclusive, LXME plans to work with the transgender community as well to understand their financial goals and build a journey to service them.
The bigger picture
LXME does not offer cryptocurrencies on its platform as it is not regulated. Their stance on investing in crypto is very clear and this is what they also tell their community members who have shown immense interest in learning about crypto-investing: “Between Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, cryptocurrency is reaching a wider audience than ever before. The skyrocketing prices are surely tempting, but you should be aware of the risks before jumping in,” says Priti.
Sharing her views about the future of investments in women-led fin-tech companies within the next five years in India, Priti says: “The global financial services industry could potentially gain nearly $330 billion in annual revenue by focussing on women-centric financial products and services. This was highlighted by a 2018 Bank of New York Mellon and United Nations Foundation report.”
The financial services industry in India is expected to reach ₹6.21 lakh crore by 2025 from ₹1.92 lakh crore in 2019, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 22.7 % during the 2020-2025 period, according to a Research and Markets report.
“Fintech firms such as LXME that cater specifically to women can play a substantial role in powering this growth. The future of financial freedom for women is the onset of an evolutionary change, and it begins with a simple adaptation of money management, as a life skill,” she adds.
The LXME app can be installed for free and is iOS- and Android-compatible