Singapore: Robo-advisor StashAway closes $2.15m pre-Series A

Image from the StashAway website

Singapore-based digital wealth advisor StashAway has secured a $2.15 million pre-series A round.

The latest investor in the company is the family of Singapore-based Francis Rozario, the founding chairman and CEO of Asia Capital and Advisors. The investment will see him join the firm’s board of directors.

Founded by Michele Ferrario, Freddy Lim, and Nino Ulsamer, StashAway positions itself as an alternative to traditional financial advisors. It operates on a monthly subscription, using a robot advisor to aid clients in making intelligent investments without the need for a consultant.

The latest investment brings total funds raised to $2.72 million. The wealth advisor closed a seed round of $561,000 in November 2016, led by its founding team and a few angel investors. Currently, it has a team of 10 staff.

Ferrario is the former chief executive of the Zalora Group, while Lim is the former managing director and global head of derivatives at Nomura. Ulsamer has previously managed software companies.

According to StashAway, closing this round translates to it having sufficient funds to be eligible for a retail fund management license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which requires firms to possess a minimum capital amount of S$1 million.

In addition, it will deploy funds towards its launch in Singapore, with the aim of improving the platform and its underlying investment strategies. Its robo-advisory digital wealth management service is set to launch within the next months. Currently, people can only apply to a waiting list. It competes with the likes of Bambu and Bento, who also operate in the robo-advisory space in the city state.

Robo-advisers have been growing in popularity in Singapore, with OCBC Bank among the first to launch robo-advisory services. Robo-advisors make investing easier and more accessible,

According to CB Insights information, the most well-funded robo-advisor is US-based Personal Capital, which has raised over $200 million in funding, while the most well-funded company outside of the US is China-based Wacai, which has raised $186.6 million.

Despite its size, Singapore accounts for 3 per cent of global deal share when it comes to robo-advisors. By comparison, Japan and Canada account for 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. The global leaders in this field are the US, Germany, the UK and China.

Since 2012, private robo-advisors have raised over $1.32 billion globally across 119 equity investments as at 21 April 2017 and compose the largest sub-category of companies in wealthtech, accounting for about 30 per cent of total funding.

Also Read:

SGX partners Crowdo & PwC Venture Hub; Marvelstone launches robo-advisors

Goldman Sachs to hire developer for its new Robo-Adviser platform

Singapore robo-advisory venture Bambu closes $400k seed round

Malaysia: Farringdon to launch Shariah-compliant robo-advisor

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.