As Investec abandons digital wealth, Wealthsimple lands bumper $75m from Allianz

By Oliver Smith on 22nd May 2019

Robo-Advice

CEO Mike Katchen labels it "a major endorsement of our company and growth trajectory."

As Investec abandons digital wealth, Wealthsimple lands bumper $75m from Allianz
Image source: Mike Katchen/Wealthsimple

Just days after Investec pulled the plug on its Click & Invest platform—writing off £20m in the process and blaming demand which “remains low”—Canada’s Wealthsimple revealed a wholly different story.

Wealthsimple this afternoon closed a bumper $74.6m funding round led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz, and existing investors from the Power Financial group.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Allianz as an investor and partner in Wealthsimple, which is a major endorsement of our company and growth trajectory,” said Mike Katchen, co-founder and CEO, Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple started as a digital wealth manager under the Wealthsimple Invest brand, which now manages $3.35bn across Canada, the US and UK, and recently expanded to launch a commission-free stock trading service in Canada called Wealthsimple Trade.

“We're now backed by companies that represent trillions of assets globally. We believe their deep expertise, plus the product, the brand and the team we’ve built, are a winning combination to further our mission to make great financial products and advice accessible to everyone.”

Wealthsimple launched in 2014 and expanded to the UK in 2017, where it has also launched a Wealthsimple Pension along with a pension tracing service similar to Pensionbee.

Unlike Investec’s Click & Invest, which had a £10k minimum on accounts that it only recently slashed to £2.5k, Wealthsimple has no minimum investment and differentiates itself from the likes of Nutmeg by offering free human advice via a team of investment advisers.

Paul Desmarais III, chair of Wealthsimple, said: "We believe the coming together of large incumbent companies that understand how to build global asset managers, with innovative, digital-first companies, is the future of financial services."

A spokesperson declined to reveal Wealthsimple’s valuation as part of this funding round.

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