December 2022: A Wharton, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon alumni-led venture, Yellow, today announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round from institutional and angel investors, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-Founder of Koo, Mukund Rao, Co-Founder of Muvin, TT Jagannathan, Chairman of TTK Prestige, Pranav Pai, Founding Partner of 3one4 Capital, and IIFL Wealth, among others. The company also announced the launch of the Yellow app, which is now available for download on the Google Play Store and is coming soon to the App store.
Yellow was founded in September 2021 by Niranjan Vemulkar(CEO), Nikhil Varghese(CDO), and Niranjan Salimath(CTO). A Wharton and Stanford alum, Niranjan Vemulkar has spent more than 6 years leading FMCG businesses in India and 7 years in investment consulting in the US. Nikhil Varghese spent a large chunk of his 15-year career at two of the “Big Four”, most recently heading the South India Estate Planning arm for a large wealth management firm in India. Niranjan Salimath earned a master’s from Carnegie Mellon University and has more than 16 years of enterprise and startup experience building digital products.
The Yellow app aims to provide a simple, secure, and cost-effective solution for all Indians to protect and preserve their legacies. Designed by estate planning experts with 50+ years of combined experience, protecting over Rs 42,000 crores of assets for Indian families, a Yellow Will is legally valid in India once signed.
“A person’s most basic instinct is to protect and look out for the ones they love. This is truly admirable, yet, many people fall short by not securing their family’s future. This is not because of a lack of intention but due to a lack of information and resources. To bridge this gap, we have developed a first-of-its-kind digital Will-making solution not just for those with access to expensive lawyers and wealth management firms but for everyone,” said Niranjan Vemulkar, Co-Founder & CEO of Yellow.
Starting with a Will, estate planning is necessary for every asset owner regardless of net worth. Intestate death (i.e. without a Will) triggers the legal system, specifically personal laws based on one’s religion, that determine the fate of one’s assets. This also results in burdening the Judiciary in India as properties and family disputes account for 76% of litigation in India today. All this culminates in lengthy asset discovery and a costly process to establish legal heirs. It is estimated that nearly 1.5 lakh crores lie in unclaimed accounts in India due to incomplete financial planning, including lack of a Will, families being unaware of the deceased’s assets, and non-updation of nominees. The Yellow app aims to address these challenges by helping Indians consolidate all their asset information in one place and pass on their wealth to their family members in a smooth and secure manner. Discussing the need for estate planning, Niranjan further commented, “Every household in India needs a Will. To enable this vision, Yellow is a first-of-its-kind digital Will-making and Estate planning app made in India, for Indians.”
“To date, estate planning has only been available to High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth segments in India, considering the costs involved, and we believe the time is right for a disruption in this space. We are confident that Yellow has the makings of a truly revolutionary solution that won’t just address an under-served market in India but will also help millions of Indians secure the financial future of their families,” said Pranav Pai, Founding Partner of 3one4 Capital.