Nadia is the CEO & Co-Founder of Sribuu, an AI-powered personal financial advisor that helps Indonesians reach their financial dreams. We had a very interesting chat last week about her journey throughout building Sribuu. From receiving inappropriate messages online, to getting admitted into Y-Combinator. This is her story.
Hi Nadia! How have you been? What are you doing during your free time?
I'm doing great! Been working on Sribuu for years now. We're focusing on recommending the right financial product for our users. Asides from that, I’ve recently picked up a lot of physical activities. My goal this year is to maintain physical fitness and eat cleaner.
Could you tell me more about Sribuu and what prompted you to build it?
We started this initiative in the form of an NGO in 2016. Back then, financial literacy was pretty low. A lot of people didn’t understand personal finance, even among my peers. Seeing this, I wanted to spread awareness of how important financial literacy is, starting with my close friends. As time progressed, this project became bigger and bigger, within 4 years, 50k people have already signed up for our programs. We started from advising people on personal finance, and eventually began to educate them on suitable financial products that fit their future goals.
What is your vision for Sribuu?
The name “Sribuu” stems from the belief we try to instill in our users - that even starting from only Seribu Rupiah (IDR 1,000), they will be able to reach their financial goals.
What surprised you the most during the journey of building Sribuu?
One thing I learned the hard way was to not be emotionally attached to your business. This happened when Sribuu was just operating for 8 months, and I was directly involved in handling messages on Sribuu's social media alongside 3 other people. I received a couple of offensive messages;, people were sending their complaints with harsh words. There were even calling me names, and people sending inappropriate pictures to us.
What is the important milestone you have achieved this past year?
Sribuu team has been working really hard, we achieve growth from 40k to 500k users within a year without burning a significant amount of money.
Sribuu is an all-women-led company, which is quite uncommon in the Indonesian tech industry. How is it all started?
Francisca Susan (Sribuu co-founder) and I were high school friends, then we went to MIT. During our time there, we participated in an entrepreneurship project, where Sribuu got its initial funding. While Sribuu was still running, I went back to Indonesia and met Nadia Fadila (another Sribuu co-founder), an old friend with whom I’ve built a lot of small businesses with.
Is there a current project you want to let our audience know about?
We are currently trying to build Sribuu to be a sustainable business. Sribuu will still focus on its vision to help connect the dots for people who want to reach their financial goals. Aside from that, Sribuu has recently launched its new feature called Save Now Buy Later (SNBL), where we help our users to practice consistency in saving money to afford items that they desire.
What movie would you recommend to our audience?
I'm currently watching a Korean series called “Big Mouth”. This series is very interesting and somehow reminds me of when someone told me I was too naive in the way I viewed the world; it also kind of opened my eyes to how law not only exists to protect you, but can also be used as a weapon. One big lesson learned for me is to read all legal paperwork thoroughly!