Srinidhi Moodalagiri – Flippy Finance

We have here with us Srinidhi Moodalagiri Co-Founder of flippy. Mr Srinidhi completed his MTech under the Dual Degree programme in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Then he went on to Co-Found flippy in 2021 with Mr Srivar Harlaka. flippy is a social discovery and investment platform for cryptocurrencies.

Srinidhi Moodalagiri

Q1.: We would like to know something from you about Flippy Finance. How is it different from the other social investment platforms?

The main purpose of Flippy Finance is to organize the discovery layer for a user’s investment journey. According to him, there are two parts to an investor’s journey: investment discovery and transaction. Investment discovery means the why, how, and where of investment. The transaction part is going to an exchange/investment tab and putting in your investment. On looking at the already existing ecosystem of investment, he realized that the transaction part had been solved well already. There exist multiple transaction apps like WazirX, CoinDCX, Coinswitch finance, etc. but if one’s discovery part is not clear, they will end up being lost in the big world of investment. He further emphasized that the human tendency is to automatically start feeling that Crypto is a big speculative asset and that one is just supposed to buy low and sell high. People who have been in the ecosystem for long, know that there are fundamentals of Crypto which can help them realize the more valuable assets. So, Flippy Finance was founded to solve the discovery part of the investment journey. 


Q.2: How did you meet your co-founder Mr. Srivar Harlalka and what made you start Flippy Finance together?

Srinidhi and his co-founder Srivar have had an interesting journey having met at an accelerator called Entrepreneur First which both of them joined to build up start-ups. They both had quit their respective jobs and had the conviction of starting up. Srinidhi had always been very interested in Crypto since a young age (even before KGP!) and he knew this was the space he wanted to work in. On the other hand, Srivar came from a business background. So it was a blend of two very unique skillsets for them. In his opinion, this gave them an edge over the other start-ups in the ecosystem where the two founders have come from homogeneous backgrounds and this was the biggest factor for them starting together. They had been very good friends even before starting up and so this helped a lot in easing out their conversations in the first few months. After that, one must talk over the business terms which as Srinidhi believes, no amount of friendship eases. Certainly, being able to talk to one’s co-founder freely helps a lot, pointed out Srinidhi. He rated Srivar as a highly talented person who had run three start-ups before Flippy Finance.


Q3: When did you conceive the idea of Flippy Finance and what was the driving force behind it? How did KGP influence your journey?

Srinidhi stated that he wanted to build a startup in the crypto space in his 2nd year, back in 2015. Flippy Finance was not fundamentally the idea back then. He was interested in building Bitcoin as a payment gateway. That somehow didn’t take off and he was not very convicted, also as he was not mature enough to pursue that so he dropped it off. In the summer of 2020, he knew for a fact that there is a four-year bull run right in crypto, and during the bull run adoption rate increases. In 2021, also there was going to be a bull run, so starting in crypto was something he had clarity on. Initially, they realized that people are struggling to find out how to enter crypto investment as they don’t understand market movements, and don’t care enough to stay updated. So they thought to build a roundup app so every time one would carry out a transaction, it would round it up to the nearest whole number and invest it into a basket of crypto and this was how Flippy Finance came out to be. Right now, they are enabling a one-time thematic investment where one can choose 10 different baskets and can do a one-click investment in that.

Coming to the second part, the KGP community gave him the confidence to survive in the ecosystem, right now if we look at the Indian startup ecosystem KGP is the biggest community out there. Interestingly Gaurav, an alumna is one of the first few people he reached out to when he started up. Srinidhi was grateful because Gaurav apart from being an amazing person also had a lot of interesting connections which helped him in getting the right connections, building it up, and scaling the product. In both building out the business and the team, KGP has been very instrumental.

Q4. Crypto being highly unknown to the Indian masses, how do you intend on spreading further knowledge about crypto and investment among the masses?

Srinidhi said that he doesn’t think that one fine day everybody will know everything about crypto. But one thing they know for the fact is all of the users on their platform are much more mature and responsible compared to people not on Flippy Finance. There are a bunch of reasons behind it. They don’t allow small ticket size investments. When you increase the quantum size of the investment, provide all of the contextual information people think twice before investing in it. Also, Flippy Finance is an investment platform, not a trading platform. In trading, people look at a lot of technical indicators. But Flippy Finance encourages users to think of crypto as an investment opportunity. When people start thinking about it as an investment and as a trade then they stop looking at graphs every other day and start exploring it. They are trying crypto education in multiple ways like putting content on Instagram, and videos on youtube which can be watched on their app as well so that people can come and be a part of crypto.

Following on, Since you said that you don’t do small-ticket investments, do you first educate people on your app about crypto before setting the ticket limit, because most people don’t understand it but just want to come in it? 

According to Srinidhi, large-ticket investment is a subjective thing. In the ecosystem, there are a lot of apps that deal with minimal 5 to 10 rupees conversions in Crypto. That is why the minimum order amount on Flippy Finance is Rs 2500 while the average is approximately Rs 5800, which is comparatively higher than the others. Also, the number of users converting to investors, on Flippy, is quite high. He further pointed out that a lot of people merely download exchange apps, get done with the KYC (Know Your Customer) and then go dormant after a few months. This difference between Flippy Finance and other apps is a nice validation of their content-first approach because at Flippy, one can not only invest but also watch and read the content they put up. In this sense, Flippy Finance is slicing content away from Instagram and YouTube including the shorter formats of the videos and housing it all on the same platform. Flippy Finance takes the user through the entire journey starting from minimal knowledge about crypto investment, to a stage where they realize that Crypto isn’t an indivisible unit- it has various sub-ecosystems like decentralized finance, NFTs, smart contracts, and so on. The motive is said to have been achieved when people no longer get intimidated seeing terms like RSI, EMA, and Canvastics.

Following on, So Flippy is making the user comfortable using Crypto and getting them to the point of investment?

Srinidhi explained that this is a problem everyone is trying to address in different ways. Some platforms are educating users through webinars on Instagram, or other social media but are not helping the ecosystem a lot. At Flippy, the entire journey is integrated into a single platform where one can consume content, have fun and see where the others are putting their investments by checking out their public profiles and can then self-invest or learn from the others’ investment strategies. This is currently the differentiating factor but moving forward, he affirms that they need to continuously evolve by talking to their users, understanding their issues, and coming up with the most innovative solution to those problems. This will always be Flippy’s differentiating factor.


Q5: The larger exposure to the online world, courtesy the pandemic, has raised the awareness regarding online investment. What were its benefits to your business?

During the pandemic, everybody had disposable income as a lot of users, say students in their first and second years itself had started doing internships and were getting paid. This is something that most of the students didn’t do pre-pandemic as amidst going out, being involved in societies, attending classes and so on, they never really got the time to do something beyond it. Right now, he feels that things have changed- there are online lectures, exams where students have more or less figured out how to crack the code (laughs), thus having a lot of disposable time. He says that ‘n’ number of things have thus happened-first from a hiring perspective, there are a lot of quality people doing quality work when they are in college and secondly, from users’ perspective since a lot of people are at home right now, erstwhile expenses like in eating out, travelling, rent or even trips have gone down- this has resulted in a lot of this money lying in their bank account and people have started to think of doing something with it and investing it because they have realized that FD(Fixed Deposit) only decreases the value of their money each year. This, he feels, is really helpful because it means that the content they are putting up is being followed by a lot of people, especially India’s earning or intellectual class who are quite curious and smart- they get a lot of interactions, and feedback, and advice. Secondly, from the quantum of investment perspective, if given a responsible investment platform, people are prepared to take that bet on their own as we are talking about the intellectual class who can make decisions for themselves and hence, look for investment opportunities where they have some sort of control and sense as in where their money is going. So, Flippy Finance fits well into that particular need of the new-age investor. So, Srinidhi thinks that the pandemic has helped them on multiple fronts starting from hiring, investments, and the number of people who are looking to invest as well.


Q.6: How did your previous work experience, as an intern or full-time employee in another company, help you in your journey of entrepreneurship?

According to Srinidhi, it definitely helps as it’s all counted as a life experience. Mostly, it’s from the perspective of what experience it took him through. There are parts of every job that one might not like, be it entrepreneurship, a corporate job, an early-stage or a late-stage start-up, so it all boils down to priorities. Personally, Srinidhi was very passionate about the Crypto investment space but was unable to explore it further within his organization. So, Flippy Finance came more out of hunger or need which was evoked from the thought that if the status quo continued, he would keep on working in the same job and aspiring to work somewhere else, so it was better to just get started. What helped him from his job experience was a realization that big corporate organizations are process-driven to the extent that even if a donkey goes to work there, the company wouldn’t shut down- something or the other will be extracted out from him too. It’s a very beautiful thing because start-ups are not so process-driven- here it’s more like a group of ten people together where everyone has to do something different. Thus, there needs to be an eleventh person who comes in and says that they need a Governor who will put some processes, take initiatives, follow up and hence put an entire structure in place which is very important in entrepreneurship or start-ups. So, looking at those processes gave him an idea of how work can be done. Those are legacy processes though, so it takes time to get several approvals before things get done, so all those parts he hated. Nevertheless what he loved was that everything had a concrete structure- for example, he was once working in a research team on some fringe projects -even there the entire system was very process-driven- that was something that stuck with him. Secondly, working at an organization helps us meet a lot of different people. Starting up right after college was not an option as he felt he needed experience and the mindset to work alongside people coming from different backgrounds and having different life experiences. This, he got to learn there. Having said that, if one has the conviction to start up without any work experience or an internship – it’s not a bad idea as well. People realize when and how to start up at different times in their life,  so it’s subjective.  

Q.7 What skills do you think are necessary for entrepreneurs?

Srinidhi replied that one needs to be brutally honest and it is very important to have clarity. Initially, when working as a one or two-person team, one can do a slight discount because they will not be that clear. He said that once you start getting a lot of employees, you start becoming responsible for their lives, and their careers. You have to start asking yourself if you want this person to spend so much time doing a specific task. One has to contemplate if you want to pick up this new workstream considering four other competitors in space. One needs to have that conviction that I will make a decision and not delay stuff just because I am confused. 

Second, one should know how to delegate. Delegation is an art and at first, do so yourself, and once you know what is to be done, you take the person who respects you and understands what is to be done. Initially, you guide that person to do the same task and then get that person to scale that work.

 Lastly, one should know how to talk to people and get them to understand what they are trying to build. One should know how to sell their product, team, and vision. So that people can understand this is the product they want or the team they want to be a part of or the vision they want to work upon. It’s more than acquiring customers and raising funds. It’s a type of sales-driven process. One must be extremely smart in explaining what they are doing.

Q.8: What advice would you like to give in general to the students of IIT Kharagpur?

According to Srinidhi, there is no need to run or hurry through things. Good things take time. So it takes time to understand what one wants to do. It’s okay to be a little confused in college. Looking at his seniors and peers, he sometimes felt that he needed to be done with a checklist of things in his third or second year, or he should have done so in his first year. None of that is true. He said that we are already in a very good place. The entire KGP experience builds students for entrepreneurship. It’s probably because KGPians are isolated from the rest of the world and are on their own. Talking back to himself in his second year, he would want to know that there is no need to take the stress. Things are going to work out. One just needs to stick to his journey and figure out what they want to do, but there should be no pressure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *