SG’s fintech firm Syfe raises $18.6m in Series A round led by Valar Ventures

Singapore Dollars | Photo: Reuters

Digital wealth management player Syfe has raised S$25.2 million ($18.6 million) in its Series A funding round led by fintech venture capital fund Valar Ventures, the Singapore-based company said in a press release Wednesday.

Existing investor Unbound, based in the UK, and Presight Capital also participated in the round, the release said. Unbound led Syfe’s seed round in July 2019.

“The need to invest for the future has become even more evident during these times of increased uncertainty. Since the beginning of the year, we have seen our customer numbers and assets increase by ten times and this fundraising allows us to sharply accelerate our growth,” Dhruv Arora, founder and CEO of Syfe, said in the statement.

Syfe plans to use the funds to enter new markets, develop new products and hire talent. The company’s wealth management platform offers automated access to a wide range of services, with the option to tap a human advisor as needed.

Syfe’s proprietary algorithm was developed in-house and monitors and adjusts each customer’s portfolio to maximise returns and manage risk; it has no minimum entry amount or lock-in period.

The company offers three portfolios: Global ARI, or automated risk-managed investment, which uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to create a blend of equities, bonds and gold; Equity100, an all-equity portfolio using ETFs; and REIT+, which is a Singapore REIT-focused index-tracking portfolio.

Of Southeast Asia’s adult population of around 400 million, only around 104 million are fully banked, with access to a full range of financial services, including bank accounts, credit, investments and insurance, according to the e-Conomy SEA 2019 report from tech behemoth Google, Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek and consultancy Bain & Co.

Around 98 million people in the region are “underbanked,” or only have access to a bank account, the report said, adding the segment was likely to be a “growth engine” for fintechs.

In the press release, Andrew McCormack, founding partner at Valar Ventures, said, “The potential of Asia as a region – with a fast-growing number of mass-affluent consumers aiming to grow their wealth, combined with the pedigree of the team and strong traction makes Syfe a very compelling opportunity.”

US-based Valar Ventures has previously led early funding rounds of TransferWise, Xero and European digital bank N26.

Previously, Syfe raised around S$5.2 million from 10 investors, including Rahul Mehta, Tom Stafford, Jan Beckers, Florian Hagenbuch, Paul Redbourn, MPGI, Mate Pencz, Philipp Freise and David Rogers, formerly at State Street Global Advisors, according to Crunchbase data.

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.