Wealthsimple has gotten its business strategy right: Bruce Croxon
Wealthsimple Inc. raised money from an investor group led by Technology Crossover Ventures that will give the Canadian investment firm unicorn status.
The Toronto-based startup closed a fresh round of $114 million (US$87 million) in funding led by Menlo Park, California-based TCV that values it at more than US$1 billion, the company said in a statement Wednesday, confirming a report by Bloomberg on Tuesday. Other investors in the round include Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Two Sigma Ventures and Allianz X, the tech investment fund of Munich-based insurer and asset manager Allianz SE.
The company, controlled by Montreal-based Power Corp. of Canada, last year raised capital from investors including Power and Allianz to enhance existing services and new product offerings, the company said in a statement at the time. Other backers include Toronto-based Bryker Capital Corp.
Wealthsimple, led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Katchen, pitches itself as a low-fee way to invest through its robo-advisory services and commission-free stock trading. It has more than 175,000 users globally who sit in three tiers of membership based on deposit size, according to its website.
The company had previously raised about US$190 million, valuing it at US$743 million, PitchBook data show.
Wealthsimple, which manages $8.4 billion and has more than 1.5 million users, has drawn comparisons to Robinhood Markets Inc., the Menlo Park, California-based brokerage that has exploded in popularity this year with millions of Americans stuck at home. Robinhood received a valuation of US$11.7 billion last month when it raised money from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.
“Robinhood has done a great job at building game mechanics around trading whereas Wealthsimple’s ethos is about wealth generation over time, or getting rich slowly,” said David Yuan, a general partner at TCV, who is joining the Wealthsimple board. “The pandemic has been a strong tailwind for the business.”
TCV has invested in more than US$2 billion in fintech startups such as Brazil’s Nubank and London-based Revolut and WorldRemit.
--With assistance from Kevin Orland and Sonali Basak.