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The Story of Sora Finance


Sora Finance is founded by two founders Siddhartha Oza and Rohit Agarwal. Both founders have significant industry experience in product development, business strategy, finance and sales. With their stellar background and the strength of their idea, investors did not hesitate to invest more than two million dollars to launch the business. They needed a CTO to help drive the technology towards a successful product and business launch. They chose Bixan because they believed in Bixan’s experience in product development, especially in fintech.

The Company

Sora Finance is a mission-driven company to help clients find better deals for their homes, auto, and student loans and seamlessly move into them. Sora monitors the market continuously for the clients to find the better loan. If it finds one, it recommends that to the client with a clear articulation of advantages.

Like any other startup, Sora’s primary goal was to find the product-market fit of the Fintech product they were building. And to find it quickly. Fintech products by nature of its security, privacy and regulatory compliance requirements are difficult, time-consuming and challenging to develop.

The Beginning

Sora’s product idea is very compelling. It is also solidly data-driven. This compelling nature of the product and its data-dependency also mean that the product is complex in its integration with multiple external services for data. The product not only brings in relevant but hard-to-find data from many disparate sources, it analyzes them, stitches them together so that they make sense as a whole and does intelligent comparisons.

Sora needed someone who has experience in building and launching new and data-driven products, in working in a startup environment, in understanding the complexity of financial products for the US market, in scaling business with technology. That person needs to architect the product, assemble the team of engineers to code and test the product, establish the process for development, plan for the launch and post-launch improvements. In addition, that person has to be a technology partner to the founders who they can trust with the technology strategy and decision making. They needed a hands-on CTO who can operate both at strategic and tactical level.

Sora founders also needed to quickly assemble a team of engineers. They have an impressive  network of friends, colleagues and business acquaintances. But given the challenging hiring environment, they needed all the help they could get to quickly assemble the team.

Why Sora Chose Bixan

Sambit, from Bixan, came with a long experience of building and launching products, especially for startups. That he also scaled a fintech product in the recent past was an added bonus. It was also important for the founders that Sambit can roll up his sleeves if there is a need. In the early days, getting somebody with Sambit’s experience as fractional CTO was good for the pocketbook.

How Sora Collaborated with Bixan

Before the engagement started, Sambit provided a tentative roadmap as a baseline to lay out a plan towards launch. He laid out the technical opportunities and challenges ahead that had business impacts, laid out the risks and plans to mitigate those risks.

Sambit proposed a hybrid onshore-offshore team for optimum effect. The founders sourced the onshore engineers, Bixan helped source and hire the offshore engineers. Bixan also brought along a senior frontend architect who helped vetting the engineers, established best practices and helped setup development cadence.

Early on, Sambit and the founders created a framework for prioritizing the features for an MVP launch. The framework laid out a map of business impact against the cost of development. This framework gave a working model to prioritize product features. Bixan calls it a prioritization framework. Not only at MVP level, this framework is valuable for prioritization along the whole software lifecycle.

The Results

After some initial churn, the full team got assembled and started working in earnest. It took 5-months to launch MVP from the day the first line of code was written, and it was 2.5 months from when the full team was assembled. It was not perfect. No MVP is. Far from it. It’s easy for one to see that things are put together with duct tapes, cable ties and velcro bands. Some of these are by design (you may need to change it in a very near future to put those in proper implementation), others are by necessity of speed.

Even though it sounds cliche, MVP is truly the beginning of the journey towards finding the proper product-market fit. So far all indications are that Sora has found its product-market fit.  It now works towards making the core value proposition of the product more compelling on a more solid foundation. Post-MVP, it gradually becomes a scaling exercise.


If you think you are in a similar situation, know that you are not alone. There are many, many, many founders who start here before becoming a force to reckon.