Singapore: Smartkarma raises $13.5m in Sequoia-led Series B round

Raghav, Jon and Lee, Courtesy of Smartkarma

Singapore-based independent investment research and analysis provider Smartkarma has secured $13.5 million in a Series B financing round led by Sequoia India for its international expansion.

Existing investors Wavemaker Partners, Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds also joined this round, bringing the total funding raised by the startup to $21 million, according to Smartkarma announcement on Monday.

Smartkarma was founded in 2014 by Raghav Kapoor, Jon Foster and Lee Mitchell who are experienced in equity research, marketing and sales. Kapoor and Foster were also co-founders of Aviate Research, which was acquired in 2010 by Religare Capital Markets.

The firm provides a platform to connect investment managers with a large community of research experts and analysts. It claims to have over 400 independent analysts covering more than 2,400 companies across 15 Asian markets on its platform. Customers, who pay an annual fee to access the analysis, include 150 leading institutional asset managers worldwide, it said in its statement.

“The traditional equity research model has been broken for a while. Smartkarma is empowering independent researchers and creating a new paradigm of transparent pricing in this industry,” said Shailendra Singh, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore Pte Ltd.

“We recognized early on that the market was fractured and there was an opportunity to reinvent how research is created, shared and used in order to drive an unconflicted and efficient industry,” said Jon Foster, co-founder and chairman of Smartkarma.

It plans to use the funds to expand into the international market, augment the tools and features on the platform, and offer additional services. In September, Smartkarma launched a UK office, which will serve as a hub to build out its independent research analyst community in Europe and support its buy-side investor clientele.

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