Amazon enters Indian wealth management with bet on Smallcase

Amazon.com Inc. has made its maiden investment in India’s wealth management sector, participating in a $40 million round by fintech startup Smallcase Technologies Pvt.

The Bangalore-headquartered startup said the round was led by Faering Capital Pvt and also joined by another new investor, PremjiInvest, the private investment office of technology billionaire Azim Premji. Existing backers including Sequoia Capital India and Blume Ventures also participated, bringing the total capital raised by the firm to over $60 million.

Smallcase was founded in 2015 by three friends Vasanth Kamath, Anugrah Shrivastava and Rohan Gupta, all alumni of the premier Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. It’s riding an unprecedented pandemic-fueled retail investor boom in India’s equity markets and its user base has doubled to more than 3 million users in the past year.

Smallcase improves digital access to capital markets by offering weighted portfolios of stocks and exchange traded funds from in-house licensed professionals as well as access to independent investment managers, brokerages and wealth platforms. It has tie-ups with a dozen brokerages in the country, and distributes its products via broker partners, wealth advisers and offline agents.

“A new set of younger, high risk-taking investors are participating in the capital markets and they want complete transparency,” Kamath, the chief executive officer, said in a video interview. “We build simpler, low-cost investment products, each reflecting a theme, a strategy or objective.”

In the past year, Smallcase has more than doubled the volume of orders, Kamath said. It has 200 employees, with nearly two-thirds in technology and product engineering.

The capital will be used to expand its investment products in asset classes like mutual funds, global equities and bonds. The startup wants to grow its technology platform and further build its distribution network.

[More: What financial advisers can learn from Amazon]

The investment in Smallcase opens a new frontier for Amazon in wealth management. The e-commerce giant has previously invested in other fintech startups in India, including the insurance player Acko General Insurance Ltd., as well credit provider Capital Float.

[More: Why Amazon is moving into finance, and what it means for advisers]

Many parents still clueless about college costs

The post Amazon enters Indian wealth management with bet on Smallcase appeared first on InvestmentNews.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.

Andrew Vincent
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.
%d bloggers like this: