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.