- Simran Kaur is the founder of Girls That Invest, a financial literacy platform.
- She started a podcast and used platforms like Instagram to help establish the company.
- The business has brought in $1.4 million dollars in revenue in three years.
Simran Kaur was taken aback when she discovered how much money her best friend of 20 years had saved. She and Sonya Gupthan had grown up in New Zealand together and knew each other’s deepest secrets, but they had never discussed money until they started a podcast together.
Their conversation was one of the reasons Kaur founded the financial literacy platform Girls That Invest in March 2020, which aims to provide women, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, with tools and information to help them build wealth. Girls That Invest’s weekly podcast is one of its main tenets, which is how Kaur and Gupthan came to discuss their own personal finance journeys. Over the last month, the podcast has ranked among the top 100 investing podcasts in the United States on Apple.
Kaur stated that the podcast was critical in assisting the company in developing a strong relationship with its audience, who are primarily women of color.
“It’s an intimate type of conversation, you’re in someone’s ear while they’re going about their day,” Insider’s New Zealand-based founder explained. “It’s also about the relatability of being two South Asian girls that builds trust, because the personal finance space isn’t very diverse.”
Girls That Invest is now a million-dollar media company, not just a podcast. The company sells financial literacy courses and books with the goal of assisting women in managing and growing their wealth. According to documents reviewed by Insider, the company has made $1.4 million in revenue over the last three years.
“We’re successful because we went where the audience was already — on TikTok, on Instagram — and inserted ourselves in,” she explained.
Podcasting enabled a more personal conversation with listeners.
Before becoming a founder, Kaur worked as a content creator. She founded the Indian Feminist Instagram account in 2016 with the goal of discussing and challenging traditional expectations and roles of women in the Indian diaspora.
“Back then, influencing wasn’t even a thing, so I didn’t consider myself a creator,” she explained. “Today, I think that’s exactly what it was because I was creating online spaces for people to talk about issues that were important to me.”
Her success with Indian Feminist, which has 296,000 Instagram followers, inspired Kaur to try her hand at a different medium, giving birth to Girls That Invest. She and Gupthan considered starting a YouTube channel, but ultimately settled on a podcast.
“It came down to what was the lowest barrier to entry,” she explained. “We could remain off-camera, we wouldn’t have to buy a nice camera or equipment or anything, and there was free software to edit out any sneezes or coughs.”
She also believed that podcasting would aid in the development of a stronger relationship with listeners because it is more accessible — it is hands-free and people can listen while doing other things such as driving to work, folding laundry, or cooking.
“We wanted to become a part of someone’s daily routine until it becomes second nature to listen in,” she explained.
Podcasting quickly resulted in the sale of online courses and books.
Kaur used to be an optometrist, and every day after work, she focused on growing Girls That Invest.
“I always tell people that my 9-to-5 job was my first investor,” she says. “Not just the money, but also the time it gave me to focus because my job didn’t allow me to take work home.”
When the podcast became popular, Kaur knew the next step was to promote their platform on TikTok and Instagram, where they now have 121,000 and 255,000 followers, respectively.
She got over her fear of appearing on camera by filming Instagram reels and TikTok videos explaining concepts like blue-chip stocks and bull markets in the hopes of attracting more listeners to the podcast. Soon after, listeners began requesting more in-depth information, so the platform launched paid online courses and published books. In addition, the company hosts investing workshops with companies such as Shopify, Lululemon, Salesforce, and L’Oreal.
Getting over her apprehension about putting herself out there on social media sparked the next stage of her business.
“It’s cringe to make a TikTok account and post daily, but just feel the cringe and do it anyway because it will pay off,” Kaur explained. “I wouldn’t have a successful media company today if I was worried about what other people would say.”