Aggregate Terminal

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What started as an idea for a B-Plan competition turned into my first full fledged project. Aggregate Terminal was my introduction to the world of building which eventually led me to my start-up - Writee AI.

Problem Statement

India is the home to the biggest stock exchange in the world (Bombay Stock Exchange) with 5,400+ companies listed as on September’21. Yet, the country lacks an accurate and affordable source of market data. While US softwares like Bloomberg Terminal and YCharts are available to Indians, exchange rates inflate the price of an already expensive software. API providers like Alpha Vantage, IEX Cloud and Polygon provide excellent data for the US Market, but their coverage of the Indian markets are subpar at best. It is ironic that in the information age, reliable data is either scarce or very expensive.

With Indian investment analysis portals, you can barely visualise the trend in revenues for a company let alone any other complex processes. This must change since the world’s next superpower cannot rely on exorbitantly priced foreign portals for its internal data.

The Product

Aggregate Terminal was conceptualised to be the one-stop platform for all things investments. The primary offerings were:

  1. Access to raw data via APIs and Excel Sheets: To own your data and run processes as you see fit
  2. Portfolio Tracker: To be on top of all changes happening to your portfolio at any given time
  3. Stock Aggregated: One-page to know everything about the stock - Check it out here
  4. Equity Visualisation: Get the freedom to visualise any metric of your choice - Check it out here
  5. Mutual Fund Analysis: The most in-depth analysis of Mutual Funds with more than 22 factors taken into account

And the list goes on…..

Aggregate Terminal Product Offerings

Map of our offerings

Aggregate Terminal Pitch Deck

The feasibility of the idea

There were 2 main factors which convinced us to pursue this idea:

  1. Personal Experience: When you invest in a stock, a mutual fund, or an insurance; you are investing in your family’s future. Hence, in-depth research is warranted. Today, if you try to research a stock, you will have 100s of tabs open, each tab for a website which provides you with one metric. This makes researching investments a pain and also discourages a lot of potential investors from even entering the financial markets.
  2. Financialisation of Indian Savings: RBI has pointed out that only 5% of India’s household wealth is in financial assets. This comes out to about $500 billion. RBI has opined that this is unsustainable. This 5% figure is going to increase. But by how much? If we assume a 1 percentage point increase per year, in 10 years the financial market would have trebled. With more people investing their money, they will need brokers, PMS services, direct indexing options, and a robust research terminal.

This fit the initial criterias for a good business idea - it was a problem I experienced personally and the market for the product was growing. But what went wrong then?

Not a sustainable model

There are 2 primary sources of revenue for this product:

  1. Premium features on the Platform - to be introduced after 50,000 users
  2. API as a Service - requires months of product development

Our major expenditures would be:

  1. Hosting Services (AWS, Microsoft Azure etc)
  2. Purchase of Raw Data from the exchanges

By nature of this industry, we must start off by providing our services for free, so as to build a strong base which trusts us. It can be seen that the barrier-to-entry for this industry is very high. To even start-off we need access to raw data which costs around Rs 3,000,000. While a higher barrier-to-entry is another sign of a good business, it deters a first year student from entering the market.

Lessons & Takeaways

Aggregate Terminal was my introduction to the world of business and entrepreneurship. Through this project I learnt multiple key elements which helped me start-up eventually. Some key takeaways were:

  1. Creation of a pitch deck - This was the first pitch deck I created, and it was a tedious process. Every term in the deck was new to me, but exposure to pitch decks in my first year itself acclimated me to the concept.
  2. Analysis of a business idea - Concepts such as recurring revenue, barrier-to-entry, market size, addressable market size are fundamentals to analysing and choosing your business idea. People without the knowledge of these concepts are more susceptible to picking an idea without enough market potential.
  3. Working and leading a team - This was the first time I led a team of 5 in a project. I’ve had team experiences in my school, but none were similar to this. While leading a project, one must take into account the views of everyone and build a common consensus before moving ahead. Lack of consensus is the number one reason for start-ups failing.

While Aggregate Terminal didn’t end up turning into a massive business, it gave me a number of practical skills that I value to this day. On a lighter note, we pitched the idea to 100X.VC and received incredible feedback on it.