Tokyo-based WealthNavi raises $37.6m in Series D round

Visual from WealthNavi's Facebook page

Tokyo-based WealthNavi, provider of Japan’s biggest financial robo-adviser service, has secured 4.1 billion yen ($37.6 million) in its Series D funding round backed by a fund launched by Sony Financial Ventures and Global Brain, according to an announcement.

Other investors including UTokyo Innovation Platform, SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuho Bank, Opt Ventures, and Resona Capital also participated in the funding round that brings the total funding into WealthNavi to over $130 million, the company said,

Established in 2015 by Kazuhisa Shibayama, WealthNavi offers a platform for asset managers to provide advice using risk management algorithm. The company has opened 240,000 accounts with assets under management of 180 billion yen ($1.6 billion).

WealthNavi said it will use the proceeds from the latest fundraising to further develop and strengthen its robo-adviser and asset management application. It will also allocate funds for marketing and management expansion.

The company last raised $41.2 million in its Series C funding round led by Mirai Creation Fund in February 2018. It closed its Series A round in 2015 with $5 million and its Series B in 2016 with $14.4 million in funding.

WealthNavi’s latest funding comes as assets under management in the global robo-advisory market is expected to hit $2.5 trillion by 2023, up from $980 billion this year, according to data provider Statista.

The Japanese robo-advisor, however, facing heated competition in Asia. Last week, Singapore bank DBS announced that it has developed a hybrid human-robo investment service to customers in the city-state.

DBS said it is launching digiPortfolio to democratise wealth management, and harness robo-advisory technology to offer access to investment services traditionally only available to private banking clients.

Another Singapore-based robo-advisor, StashAway, also raised $12 million in a Series B funding round led by Eight Roads, a global proprietary investment firm backed by Fidelity.

The Singapore-based robo-advisor functions as a digital wealth management platform that delivers automated and personalised portfolio management to its clients.

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.