Since 2012, private robo-advisors have raised over $1.32B globally across 119 equity investments. Robo-advisors make up the largest sub-category of companies in wealth tech and account for roughly 30% of total funding.
Three of the earliest robo-advisors firms and largest in terms of total funding are Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront. Though they lead in the US, expanding internationally is a challenge because of the complex international regulatory environment, differing investment practices, and other barriers to entry. Seeing the market opportunity outside the US, new early-stage (seed/angel or Series A) robo-advisors have been launching in many different markets and span at least 17 countries outside of the US.
Using CB Insights’ database, we mapped the global distribution of robo-advisors and identified geographic trends. We define robo-advisors as companies that use automated investment platforms, leveraging technology to provide digital financial advice or portfolio management. These firms may serve retail investors directly or provide technology to financial advisors and wealth management firms.
Global deal share
US-based robo-advisors have received 57% of the global deal share since 2012. Germany took second with 9%, followed by the United Kingdom, and China.
The two largest robo-advisor deals outside the US went to Wacai, a robo-advisor and personal wealth management technology company based in China. The company raised an $80M Series B-II in Q3’15, preceded by a $50M Series B in Q4’14. Both investments included participation from CDH Investments, China Broadband Capital, China International Capital Corporation, IDG Capital Partners, and Qiming Venture Partners.
The third and fourth biggest deals went to UK-based Nutmeg, with a $37.5M Series C in Q4’16 preceded by a $32M Series B in Q2’14 that included Armada Investment Group, Balderton Capital, Pentech Ventures, and other investors.
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Robo-advisors around the world
For our map, we identified private, active robo-advisors in the wealth tech category that have recently raised equity funding.
- The most well-funded robo-advisor is US-based Personal Capital. The company has raised over $200M in funding from investors including BlackRock, Correlation Ventures, Corsair Capital Management, Crosslink Capital, IGM Financial, Institutional Venture Partners, Propel Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, USAA, and Venrock.
- The most well-funded company outside of the US is China-based Wacai (mentioned above). The company has raised $186.6M.
- The top deal to a robo-advisor was a $100M Series E investment to US-based Betterment that included Menlo Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Anthemis Group, Citi Ventures, and others.
- Approximately 75% of deals outside the US were early-stage deals (seed/angel and Series A).
- Germany has the most private, active robo-advisor companies outside the US with 5 companies. The largest Germany-based investment was Scalable Capital’s $7.8M Series A that included Holtzbrinck Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Tengelmann Ventures in Q2’16.
|Robo-advisors Around The World|
|Company||Country||Total Funding ($M)|
|Nest Wealth Asset Management||Canada||$1.1|
|Third Financial Software||United Kingdom||$3.8|
|Vault Investments||United States||$1.5|
|Motif Investing||United States||$126|
|Personal Capital||United States||$207|
|Eqis Holdings||United States||$21.2|
|NextCapital Group||United States||$22.1|
|Open Invest||United States||$3.3|
|M1 Finance||United States||$9|
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