The next time you hail an Uber for a ride, don’t be surprised if the driver strikes up a conversation with you about mutual funds and the schemes offering the best returns. Kuvera a direct seller of mutual fund schemes has inked an agreement with Uber to extend the option of investing in mutual funds to its associated drivers in Bangalore. Kuvera will look to inform and educate the driver community about the benefits of investing in mutual fund schemes and guide them on the best schemes for their needs.
Under the “direct” mutual fund sales system, Kuvera will not be charging the commission usually paid by fund houses to the distributors. This will lower the cost of mutual fund investments for an individual. Kuvera presently offers a free basic plan and a monthly chargeable plan for its services, based on the size of your investments.
There is no restriction on anyone using their online portal to invest. Other prominent players in the online mutual fund sales segment are Scripbox and Funds India. Both these players empower individuals with the tools, analysis and rankings of mutual fund schemes to help guide their investment decisions. They also offer convenience in mutual fund portfolio management, exits and reshuffling.
Being online allows them the ability to serve investors across the country and offer a wide range of schemes from numerous fund houses seamlessly. With smartphones being commonly used by people across the country and attractive data plans on offer by players in an increasingly competitive market, the potential to popularise mutual fund investments among lower income communities has increased exponentially.
This is reflected in the asset under management numbers for the industry. The towns beyond the top 15 cities saw their mutual fund assets increase by 46% year-on-year at the end of June 2017, to Rs 3.54 trillion. These cities now contribute 18% of the total assets under management for the industry, and their share will likely only rise further with SEBI and the Association of Mutual Funds of India (Amfi) making efforts to promote mutual fund investments to individuals living in cities, towns and villages beyond the top 15 cities.
With Uber signing up, it is quite likely that other cab aggregators like market leader Ola and those in other sectors with large numbers of partners / associates might join the wealth management benefits wagon. If this trend does catch on, it could prise open a whole new channel for mutual fund investment flows.
A lot rides on how Uber’s drivers take to this new turn for managing their wealth. If they signal a green light, mutual funds could well be on a very fast growth lane.