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Sugar Wallet app makes investing simple for everyday Kiwis

29 June 2022

Sugar Wallet, an app co-founded by University of Auckland alumni, is on a mission to make investing simple for the everyday Kiwi – for those who don’t have time for extensive research, who may not have a passion or investing, or the means to seek professional financial advice. It is designed to help users get into healthy investing habits without having to pick stocks and funds, and allow them the financial freedom to achieve their life goals.

Sugar Wallet was co-founded by commerce alumnus Devrath Soni and engineering alumna Sophia Ritchie. Eighteen months after its inception in August 2020, Sugar Wallet topped the charts in the Finance section of the App Store. “I think Sugar Wallet resonates with people because everyone wants to do something about their finances, but most don’t find it particularly fun,” says Devrath. “Few people want to be learning about investing or growing their money on a Sunday afternoon when they could be spending quality time with friends and family, and that’s perfectly okay. Sugar Wallet exists to help these people make smart investing decisions even if it is not their number one priority.”

Devrath began his own investing journey at university, and learned about financial literacy by observing his father, then trial and error. He says, “My dad was getting back into investing after decades. I’d see him watching the news, reading articles, and talking with others about different stocks. I only had a faint idea of what was being discussed but found out what platforms he was using and decided to give it a go myself. I made $2,000 on the first day and lost most of it the next. My knowledge and experience grew when I started my own business, where I had to learn a bit more about financial management, and after making lots of mistakes.”

“Learning financial literacy can be overwhelming,” says Devrath, “but for me, the most important thing was having clarity about my numbers – how much I make, how much I spend, and how much I save. I took around 20 minutes to download my last two months’ worth of transactions and group them into three buckets – income, spending, and savings. Then, I found it useful looking at Sorted’s six steps on taking control of your money.”

While studying for his Bachelor of Commerce, Devrath got involved with Velocity, the University of Auckland’s student-led entrepreneurship development programme run with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). By participating in challenges and attending events he learned a variety of start-up skills including how to write a business plan, how to network, and received feedback from industry professionals. 

“Being an entrepreneur is about improving the world we live in, to change the status quo,” says Devrath. “Two skills that are critical to this are the ability to take risks, and the ability to come up with solutions to real-world problems, and programmes like Velocity are the perfect place to learn them. I love that side hustles are starting to become more common, and it doesn’t have to be all in from day one. If you find a problem you want to solve, you can absolutely work on it a couple of nights a week and go from there.”

Sugar Wallet is currently raising its next round of funding and growing their team of the “hungriest, brightest people.” Devran says, “At our core, we want to enable everyday people around the globe to have the quality of life they dream for themselves and for generations ahead. I’m not sure exactly what the next few years will bring, but our roadmap will always be aligned with that purpose.”

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

29 June 2022

Sugar Wallet, an app co-founded by University of Auckland alumni, is on a mission to make investing simple for the everyday Kiwi – for those who don’t have time for extensive research, who may not have a passion or investing, or the means to seek professional financial advice. It is designed to help users get into healthy investing habits without having to pick stocks and funds, and allow them the financial freedom to achieve their life goals.

Sugar Wallet was co-founded by commerce alumnus Devrath Soni and engineering alumna Sophia Ritchie. Eighteen months after its inception in August 2020, Sugar Wallet topped the charts in the Finance section of the App Store. “I think Sugar Wallet resonates with people because everyone wants to do something about their finances, but most don’t find it particularly fun,” says Devrath. “Few people want to be learning about investing or growing their money on a Sunday afternoon when they could be spending quality time with friends and family, and that’s perfectly okay. Sugar Wallet exists to help these people make smart investing decisions even if it is not their number one priority.”

Devrath began his own investing journey at university, and learned about financial literacy by observing his father, then trial and error. He says, “My dad was getting back into investing after decades. I’d see him watching the news, reading articles, and talking with others about different stocks. I only had a faint idea of what was being discussed but found out what platforms he was using and decided to give it a go myself. I made $2,000 on the first day and lost most of it the next. My knowledge and experience grew when I started my own business, where I had to learn a bit more about financial management, and after making lots of mistakes.”

“Learning financial literacy can be overwhelming,” says Devrath, “but for me, the most important thing was having clarity about my numbers – how much I make, how much I spend, and how much I save. I took around 20 minutes to download my last two months’ worth of transactions and group them into three buckets – income, spending, and savings. Then, I found it useful looking at Sorted’s six steps on taking control of your money.”

While studying for his Bachelor of Commerce, Devrath got involved with Velocity, the University of Auckland’s student-led entrepreneurship development programme run with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). By participating in challenges and attending events he learned a variety of start-up skills including how to write a business plan, how to network, and received feedback from industry professionals. 

“Being an entrepreneur is about improving the world we live in, to change the status quo,” says Devrath. “Two skills that are critical to this are the ability to take risks, and the ability to come up with solutions to real-world problems, and programmes like Velocity are the perfect place to learn them. I love that side hustles are starting to become more common, and it doesn’t have to be all in from day one. If you find a problem you want to solve, you can absolutely work on it a couple of nights a week and go from there.”

Sugar Wallet is currently raising its next round of funding and growing their team of the “hungriest, brightest people.” Devran says, “At our core, we want to enable everyday people around the globe to have the quality of life they dream for themselves and for generations ahead. I’m not sure exactly what the next few years will bring, but our roadmap will always be aligned with that purpose.”


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