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From Zero To Managing 6.5 Crore in College: Shubham Rawal's Story

From Humble Beginnings to Extraordinary Success

Hey Moneymint fans!

Welcome to all the new members who've joined us this week! Thank you for being a part of Moneymint.

Today, I will share the inspirational story of Shubham Rawal.

He struggled to make money while supporting himself in college and helping his family. Then he started making money by throwing college parties (made close to 15 lakhs), then managed 6 crores. Eventually, he founded StockPe, which has raised nearly 2.5 crores in its seed round.

It was one of the most interesting and valuable podcast where he shared every aspect of life and problems that any middle class person faces while trying to build something worthwhile.

PS: There is a video version in the middle for those who prefer to watch instead of read.

I am sorry for not sending the newsletter over the past few weeks. I have been traveling and meeting with founders. But don’t worry, starting next week, I will be sharing interesting stories of founders and how they built their companies. So make sure to keep an eye on your email for our next issue. Please show us some love by sharing this newsletter with your friends and family.

Background and Early Beginnings

Shubham's journey into the world of entrepreneurship began at a young age. "At a very core level, I am just a curious person," he shared. His curiosity led him to start coding at the age of 13, developing management software for schools.

By the age of 15, Shubham had already launched his first profitable venture, an e-commerce store that he built from scratch. "I launched my first e-commerce store myself when platforms like Shopify were not even big," he recalled.

College Years and Early Ventures

Shubham's college years at Galgotias University were a period of intense learning and experimentation.

He pursued a Bachelor of Technology in Artificial Intelligence.

During this time, he also started a tech consulting company, providing services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and helping them build scalable products.

Other than that, he also arranged some parties and trips for college students, earning 5 lakhs from each of these trips.

Shubham and Yash also started small trading business, initially managing smaller amounts of money for their friends and family. "We started with a few thousand, then scaled it up to 6.5 crores," Shubham explained.

"We told people that we would give them working capital every month and protect their downside by 10-15%," Shubham said. This meant that even in the worst-case scenario, investors would not lose more than a specified amount. This approach helped build trust and attract more investors.

Birth Of SabPay

One of his notable ventures during college was SabPay, a biometric-based payment system.

The idea for SabPay emerged from a real-world problem Shubham observed. While visiting a government ration shop in Delhi, he noticed the challenges faced by people in accessing their rations. "I saw a long queue of people waiting to get their ration, and many faced issues with biometric identity verification."

Like many startups, StockPe faced its share of challenges in the early days. One particularly memorable incident involved an attempt to secure a crucial piece of technology:

"We contacted the founder in Italy, and that's when I first knew the power of LinkedIn. I asked the CEO if they had built the device themselves because we couldn't commercialize the device due to the cost involved."

The founder was kind enough to ship that Rs.2 lakh device to India for free but it got stuck due to some customs issues. This experience highlighted the importance of networking, especially LinkedIn.

Watch the full episode here:

The Genesis of StockPe

StockPe was born out of a simple observation: the complexity and tedium of learning about the stock market.

Shubham, then a college student, realized that if he found financial education boring, others probably did too. This insight led to the creation of a platform that gamifies stock market education and investment.

The journey of building StockPe also involved personal sacrifices. Shubham shared a poignant moment when he had to choose between continuing his startup or taking up a job to support his family which was still coping with his father’s demise. "I gave myself until December to make StockPe work," he said.

With the support of his co-founder Yash, who even lent him money to sustain the business, Shubham persevered. "Yash said, 'I trust you, take the money and make it work,'" Shubham recounted. In fact it was Yash who lent initial Rs. 2,500 to run ads for StockPe.

Building StockPe was not without its challenges. One of the most significant hurdles was managing finances and resources. "There were times when we had no money, and I had to code everything myself," Shubham recalled.

Despite these obstacles, they managed to launch their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and secured their first angel investment of 30-35 lakhs from investors in the US.

First Major Funding (Motilal Oswal)

At this time Shubham was trying to build a personal brand on LinkedIn and that strategy worked when he got a partnership text from Motilal Oswal, Head of Strategy. He called them to Mumbai but as Shubham with a smile said, “We do not have enough money to come to Mumbai.”

They were kind enough to reimburse the traveling costs and the deal went through.

One of the significant milestones for StockPe was partnering with Motilal Oswal, a multi-billion dollar company. "When Motilal Oswal backed us, it was a moment of realization that we had made it," Shubham said.

StockPe's unique model of "Play, Learn, and Invest" was designed to make financial education accessible and engaging. The platform quickly gained traction, attracting users and investors alike.

StockPe has also debuted itself in the US market and is seeing some great response as well.

Some Candid Talk and Advice

He credits his parents' struggle and resilience for instilling in him the determination to persevere through challenges:

"I think my mom and dad came from scratch. They built everything coming to Delhi. I saw that struggle, and they never backed out from that struggle. I think it's a generational thing."

He also touches on the evolving nature of how young entrepreneurs approach reputation:

"Kunal Shah said something, his line was that 'Gen Z are going for reputation when they have none.' It's very true. In the initial days, in college life, I used to think, 'What will people think? What will they do?' I started breaking that role, it became very cool for me."

This shift in mindset has allowed Shubham to focus on performance and company growth rather than being overly concerned with others' opinions.

I am traveling and meeting founders of different companies to understand how they started their companies and their origin stories. Are you interested in hearing these stories?

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