Following the approval of the Capital Markets Services Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), digital wealth manager, Syfe, announced its official launch in Singapore.
The firm also successfully raised S$5.2 million, one of the largest seed rounds see in Southeast Asia, according to the press release.
Syfe told Vulcan Post that the funds will be used to further develop Syfe’s technology, creating “an even better, more intuitive investment platform”.
The firm will also focus on recruiting talents across finance, quantitative finance, and data science.
The round is led by UK-based VC fund Unbound and included personal investments from State Street Global Advisors’ MD, David Rogers; UBS Japan’s MD & Head of Equities, Paul Redbourn; and KKR’s Partner, Philip Freise.
Syfe was awarded the Capital Markets Services Licence, which is typically reserved for financial institutions with over S$1 billion assets and a track record of at least five years, after strict reviews and requirements.
Founded in 2018, Syfe believes sophisticated wealth management resources shouldn’t only be accessible to high-net-worth individuals or institutions and has been building a platform that appeals to passive investors.
The automated platform promises to be easy to use and affordable, with no minimum investment and a low annual fee of 0.65% of the total amount invested.
Syfe operates on a risk-based system powered by a data-driven algorithm that gives investors customised, diversified portfolios according to their risk profiles.
This takes away the difficult and lengthy process of creating a balanced and effective portfolio, regardless of the customers’ previous investment experience, Syfe told Vulcan Post.
Their investment methodology moves away from one that solely prioritises returns, leading to lower portfolio fluctuations or lower temporary losses.
Speaking to Vulcan Post, Syfe said an account can be created “within a few minutes”.
Syfe will then verify the required data, allowing the customer to start investing quickly.
For Singaporeans and permanent residents, all they need is a scan of their NRIC for verification purposes, while foreigners will require a Singapore proof-of-address.
Founder and CEO of Syfe, Dhruv Arora said, “For too long the investment market has been too confusing and elitist.”
“We believe wealth management should be accessible to as many people as possible, which is why our products embrace both technical sophistication and an easy-to-understand interface.”
Syfe is now open to to the public following a successful closed beta.
The company ran the platform with its own funds in late-2018 and saw strong performance from the algorithm.
That boosted their confidence to accept funds from a group of select individuals during their beta phase once they were granted the Capital Markets Services License.
Dhruv shared with Vulcan Post, “The closed beta not only gave us insight into portfolio performance, but also valuable feedback from a customer point of view, helping us improve our customer experience for our official launch.”
When asked if Syfe is present in other countries, Dhruv said, “The Capital Markets Services License gives Syfe the ability to receive and manage money from customers in most countries around the globe.”
“While we do have some clients in other parts of the world from our beta phase, our current focus will be on Singapore for the immediate future, with plans for a physical expansion into other markets further down the line.”
On whether Syfe makes it easy for people looking to start investing but have low capital, Dhruv said that their goal is to “break down barriers of entry to customised wealth management solutions”.
This makes Syfe the ideal solution who wants to make smart financial decisions, regardless of their level of capital.
On why he chose to start Syfe in Singapore, he lauded the ecosystem for fintech companies in Singapore as “one of the best in the world”.
“With forward-looking and respected regulators like the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore is the ideal base for a company like Syfe,” he added.
“With its ideal geographic positioning, Singapore also presents an opportunity to expand into other markets in the region.”
Syfe also plans to explore new product lines in the longer term.
Featured Image Credit: Syfe