Gullak: Mobile Startup Making A Million Users Keep Expenses Under Control

Keeping a balanced expense can help one stay on track and sleep better at night. We all mean well when we plan out our budget, but without discipline, information, diligent logging of income and expenses, we tend to go overboard with spending.

Now when the number of payment modes has extended beyond cash & swiping cards, expense tracking has become harder than before. Owing to the rise in online spending and the movement towards a cashless economy, India based personal finance expense manager app Gullak is trying to make its space among the digital consumers.

What is Gullak?

Founded by Saurabh Singh in 2015, Gullak is a financial wellness company that makes people understand their regular expenses & helps them in tracking money. It works on SMS based data science, intelligent predictive analytics and mobile technology. It automatically tracks all your spendings made from all Indian banks, ATM, Debit/Credit cards & bills securely without any bank passwords or OTPs.

When asked further of how they track details without OTPs and passwords. Saurabh stated that their app asks for the permission to read text messages, as the user gets a text that Rs X was drawn for Y purpose, the app read data and syncs it accordingly.

Gullak-TeamThe concept was ideated by Saurabh in 2010 but he then dropped the idea in a few months as they thought this was not the right timing to place the product in the market. Their previous app was named ‘Daily Expense Manager’. Saurabh said, “The idea of expense manager app emerged from the experiences of people who strive hard to keep a check on their expenses & monthly budgets. Overspending is one of the biggest concerns among young professionals and our app addresses this issue in a most hassle free manner. Gullak makes people aware of money and takes them toward smart Savings.”

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Each section is organized to give the big picture of finances. There’s also an updates section in the app which includes all transactions and how the user has been using accounts. In all, one can get account totals, monthly budget, credit score, alerts for where they went over budget, and spending broken down by category. Moreover, it analyses spending habits, highlighting areas in which money can be saved. The company also stores all your previous expense information to provide analytics by month.

The company is also planning to introduce features like Personal & Professional Tax Calculation, Calculate Loan, EMI, Fixed deposit, Term deposit, RD Recurring Deposit, PPF Public Provident Fund, Instalments, Interest etc.

Response Till Date

Gullak claims to have achieved approximately 1 million app downloads so far, with its Android app having an:  average rating of 4.3 on Google PlayStore.

The company is not monetising but has plans to expand the reach of its services. “We’re planning them to provide them services like suggesting them products like mutual funds. Basically, we’ll just be suggesting them how to add more money. They can start with Rs 500 with no time limit, the user can withdraw the amount anytime they want. We just want to provide them with best returns.”

Saurabh stated that they’re looking to raise and are actively in touch with investors. Saurabh said, “We’re not looking to raise a seed round as we’ve already used a bigger sum than that. Further, whatever we raise will be used in product development and technological expansion.”

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Companies like Mvelopes, Mint, Money View, OfficeTime etc are working in a similar segment. The market is huge, especially in a developing country like India where everyone wants to save more. Saurabh during the conversation made us aware of the term robo-advisers. Roboadvisers are personal assistants that advise you on a particular topic, for instance, how and where to invest your money to get maximum returns. Companies have been using this technology in the US and other European countries, Gullak is introducing a similar thing in the market. Markets differ geographically, if something has worked in US, it might not necessarily work in Singapore or India and vice-versa. If an app can ask people to invest in a thing like mutual funds to get good returns then we assume that our behaviour is exactly the same as US in 90’s.