An app that fights financial illiteracy in Nepal by empowering people to ask and answer complex investment questions.
According to a report published by S&P, Nepal has the highest rate of financial illiteracy in Asia; only 18 percent of Nepalese adults had knowledge about basic economic concepts such as a bank loan and interest rates. As a consequence, many Nepali investors have fallen trap to many fraudulent investment schemes, as the consumer financial protection law in Nepal is non-existent. On an annual basis, there are thousands of people in Nepal who lose all their assets due to bad investments in fraudulent and loss making ventures, only because they do not have easy access to credible information. One of those unfortunate investors was my very own uncle.
Since that day, I have made it my mission to find a solution to the problem of financial illiteracy in Nepal. Me , along with my team, studied the current available technology, but we saw products that were too rigid to handle simple problems, and custom systems that did not account for problems an investor faced on a daily basis. The information gap which we wanted to eradicate still persisted.
Therefore, we built Figaro Financials.
Figaro Financials aims to tackle the problem of financial illiteracy through technology, so that a Nepali investor can create a better financial future for himself and his family.
- Access to revolutionary tools: Previously, in order to access powerful financial data and tools, an investor either had to be an employee of brokerage or investment firms. Not anymore. Figaro has democratized financial tools that everyone did not have access to before. This way the information asymmetry between the powerful investment fund managers and the ordinary investors have narrowed.
- Ease of Use: Usually powerful professional financial tools have a massive learning curve in that it takes ordinary investors months to learn how to use those tools. We have attempted to change that. Figaro Financials is special because it combines the power of professional software with core tools that are intuitive and simple.
- Freemium Model: Our revenue model is our advantage because investors get choose what to use and what to pay for. If the need of an investor is just basic information to keep track of one's investment then he can choose to use our app for free. Whereas, if your need is for powerful financial tools to grow your investments, then you can use our powerful paid tools for a small monthly fee.
Currently we target all the investors in the Nepal Stock Exchange, investors who invests in Gold and Silver, and businesses whose income depend on the value of foreign currencies.
According to NEPSE, there are close to 60 lakh unique investors in the Nepal Stock Market. Furthermore, investment in gold and silver is common among women in Nepali household across all ethnicity. Finally, the majority of trading businesses who have to import raw materials or export their goods are negatively affected by foreign currency prices.
Our app is designed to help all these investors make the data driven investment decision. Does not mean the investors are always going to be right, but at least they will have the data and all the required information so that they know what they are betting on.
Before developing Figaro Financials app, we conducted a survey of both ordinary investors and investment fund managers in an effort to understand their major concerns. We have designed and developed our app to address their concerns. Here are the top three features of our app that addresses their concerns.
Problem 1: The biggest factor contributing to financial illiteracy in Nepal is the lack of comprehensive and updated financial information. As a result, investors are forced to invest their hard earned money relying on guesswork and baseless opinions.
Our Solution: To tackle this problem, we have created Nepal's most comprehensive database on Financial Reports of all the companies whose shares are currently tradable. Using Figaro, an investor can easily access comprehensive financial reports and impactful financial data anytime, anywhere .
Problem 2: One of the primary problems investor face is keeping track of how one's portfolio is performing. Without this key insight, investors are likely to be invested in unprofitable investment for too long while missing out on profitable opportunities.
Our solution: With Figaro, investors can track their overall investment performance every minute. Furthermore, with our performance analytics, investors can analyze their investment allocation and judge if their investments are too concentrated.
Problem 3: One of the biggest problem in Investment analysis is the confusion caused by too many numbers and figures. Finance is all about numbers and data but too many numbers lead to confusion rather than insight.
Our Solution: The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, our approach at Figaro has been to take data, make it visual, make it understandable and ultimately, make it actionable. We have made an effort to turn boring data into visual information that leads to data driven investment decision.
We have already listed our app on the Google Playstore on Dec 1, 2015. As of today, we have distributed the app to about 30 users to track their use patterns and final errors. [You can download the app at this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.figarofinancials&hl=en OR search Figaro Financials on your mobile Playstore ]
We have created a sample account for you to use:
This is to reflect our commitment to run this app as a successful business in the coming days.