A Deep Dive into Zerodha’s Startup Journey

Zerodha is an Indian discount brokerage firm that was founded in 2010 by Nithin Kamath and his brother Nikhil Kamath. The company quickly gained popularity in the Indian stock market with its innovative technology-driven trading platforms and low brokerage fees. Today, Zerodha has over 6 million registered users and is one of the leading brokerage firms in India. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the startup journey of Zerodha.


The story of Zerodha starts in 2006 when Nithin Kamath started working as a trader in Bangalore. He found the trading process in India to be very cumbersome and expensive due to the high brokerage fees charged by traditional brokerage firms. He realized that there was a gap in the market for a brokerage firm that offered low brokerage fees and easy-to-use trading platforms. Nithin discussed this idea with his younger brother Nikhil Kamath, who was studying in college at that time. Nikhil was immediately interested in the idea and decided to drop out of college to work with Nithin on this project.

The brothers started working on the idea in 2008 and spent the next two years researching the market, building their trading platform, and getting the necessary regulatory approvals. In 2010, Zerodha was officially launched as a discount brokerage firm that offered online trading platforms with low brokerage fees.

Early Challenges

Zerodha’s early days were not easy. The company faced stiff competition from established brokerage firms that had been operating in India for decades. It was challenging to convince customers to switch from their existing brokers to a new firm. Moreover, the regulatory environment in India was also challenging, and Zerodha had to navigate through various regulatory hurdles to get the necessary approvals.

However, the Kamath brothers were determined to succeed and focused on building a strong brand and customer-centric approach. They invested heavily in customer service and were available to their clients 24/7 through various channels, including phone, email, and chat. They also offered free educational resources and trading tools to their clients, which helped them build a loyal customer base.

Growth and Expansion

Zerodha’s customer-centric approach and innovative technology-driven trading platforms quickly gained popularity among investors in India. The company grew rapidly, and by 2012, it had over 10,000 clients. Zerodha’s success attracted the attention of investors, and the company raised its first round of funding in 2013. The funding helped the company expand its operations and launch new products and services.

Zerodha continued to grow rapidly, and by 2015, it had over 100,000 clients. In the same year, the company launched Kite, its trading platform for mobile devices. Kite was a game-changer in the Indian stock market, as it was the first mobile trading platform in India that offered real-time market data and advanced trading tools. Kite became hugely popular among investors, and by 2017, it had over 1 million users.

Zerodha’s success also led to the launch of other fintech startups in India. The company’s low brokerage fees and customer-centric approach forced traditional brokerage firms to reduce their fees and improve their customer service. This led to a wave of innovation in the Indian financial services industry, with new startups launching innovative products and services.

Zerodha Today

Today, Zerodha is one of the leading brokerage firms in India, with over 7 million registered users. The company has expanded its operations to various parts of India, and it has also launched several new products and services over the years. Some of the key products and services offered by Zerodha today include:

  1. Trading Platforms: Zerodha offers a range of trading platforms, including Kite, Pi, and Console. Kite is a web and mobile trading platform that offers real-time market data, advanced charting tools, and a range of order types. Pi is a desktop trading platform that offers advanced charting tools and customizable trading strategies. Console is a back-office platform that allows users to track their investments, view reports, and manage their accounts.
  2. Mutual Funds: Zerodha offers a range of mutual funds to its clients through its platform called Coin. Coin allows users to buy and sell mutual funds directly from their demat accounts. Coin also offers features like goal-based investing, tax-saving mutual funds, and SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) investments.
  3. Education: Zerodha offers free educational resources to its clients, including online courses, webinars, and articles. The company also has a community forum where users can share their trading experiences and learn from each other.
  4. Investment Advisory: Zerodha offers investment advisory services to its clients through its platform called Zerodha Varsity. Varsity is an online educational platform that offers courses on various topics related to investing and trading.
  5. Commodity Trading: Zerodha offers commodity trading services to its clients through its platform called Commodity Trading. The platform allows users to trade in commodities like gold, silver, and crude oil.

Challenges and Future Plans

Zerodha’s success has not come without challenges. The company has faced criticism over its customer service, and it has also been accused of misleading clients by offering free trading services. In 2021, Zerodha faced a technical glitch that caused trading disruptions for several hours, causing losses for many traders. The company has since apologized and promised to improve its systems.

Looking ahead, Zerodha plans to expand its operations to other countries and launch new products and services. The company is also focusing on improving its customer service and technology infrastructure to provide a seamless trading experience to its clients.


Zerodha’s startup journey is a remarkable story of innovation, determination, and customer-centric approach. The Kamath brothers saw a gap in the market and capitalized on it by offering low brokerage fees and easy-to-use trading platforms. The company’s success has transformed the Indian financial services industry and led to the launch of several new fintech startups. Today, Zerodha is one of the leading brokerage firms in India, and it continues to expand its operations and launch new products and services. However, the company also faces challenges, and it must focus on improving its customer service and technology infrastructure to maintain its position in the market.

  1. Zerodha’s startup journey is a fascinating case study in disruptive innovation. By challenging the status quo of the traditional brokerage industry, the company managed to capture the market’s attention and quickly grow its user base. Its customer-centric approach, focus on low fees, and user-friendly trading platforms were key factors in its success.
  2. Zerodha’s journey also highlights the power of technology to transform the financial services industry. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and innovation, the company was able to offer its users a seamless and convenient trading experience. Its online trading platforms, educational resources, and investment advisory services have helped democratize access to financial markets for millions of people.
  3. As Zerodha looks to the future, it faces new challenges and opportunities. The company’s plans to expand its operations to other countries and launch new products and services show its ambition and determination to stay ahead of the curve. However, it will need to continue to focus on improving its customer service and technology infrastructure to maintain its competitive edge in the market. Overall, Zerodha’s startup journey is a testament to the power of innovation and disruption to create value and transform industries.


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