Digital wealth manager startup Syfe announced that it has clinched S$40 million in its latest Series B funding round led by US-based Valar Ventures.
Valar — the venture capital fund co-founded by Peter Thiel — had also led Syfe’s Series A round. Existing investors Presight Capital and Unbound also participated in the latest round.
The investment comes just nine months after Syfe’s Series A in September last year. To date, Syfe has raised a total of S$70.7 million.
This latest funding will be used to expand into new markets in Asia, invest in top talent, and develop more high-quality investment products and services.
Sebastian Sieber, Partner at Syfe, observed that the pandemic had influencer consumer demand.
“Many consumers are now more comfortable managing their finances digitally, and the fact that general financial literacy among consumers has improved over the past few years, more individuals than ever before are investing and using capital markets to grow their wealth,” he said.
For our existing investors to follow up on their original investment in such a short timeframe demonstrates their confidence in our vision to make saving and investing more accessible.
Managing wealth has become a necessity in this low interest rate environment, and we are seeing a significant increase in demand from customers looking for quality solutions.– Dhruv Arora, Syfe’s CEO and founder
“The opportunity for the company to meet the saving and investment needs of a burgeoning mass-affluent consumer population in Asia remains significant, and we are confident that Syfe will continue to expand at pace,” added Andrew McCormack, Founding Partner, Valar Ventures.
Syfe to expand office, incentivise new and existing employees
Sebastian revealed that Syfe plans to grow its global headcount to 200 within the next 12 to 18 months.
The company has doubled its headcount in Singapore since the start of the year to 50, bringing total global staff strength (including 50 employees in other locations like Malaysia) to over 100.
The firm said it will make all its employees a shareholder through an employee stock option programme, allowing them to benefit from future growth in the company.
This means that any full-time employee regardless of seniority — from fresh graduates to heads of departments — will have a share of ownership in the company.
Moving forward, this will also apply to new hires, said Sebastian.
“The closure of this round is also a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team. Everyone in the company has played a part in securing this latest funding,” Dhruv added.
Growth potential in new digital wealth industry
Assets under management have quadrupled since the start of the year, according to Syfe. That’s thanks to the company’s launch of two products: Cash+ and its Core portfolios.
Most of the startup’s clients are aged between 28 and 45 years old, although it noted that there has been a recent growth in older investors over the age of 50, as more look for banking alternatives to grow their wealth.
Syfe offers a range of solutions to cater to different investment objectives and needs of customers, including low-risk investments like its Cash+ and REIT+, which offers higher dividend yield.
Sebastian said that there’s a massive potential in the digital wealth management space, as it forms a small portion of the overall market that includes traditional banks.
He did not comment if the emergence of digital banks next year will put competitive pressures on Syfe, but he noted that the digital banks will be a great addition to the financial ecosystem.
“With more players in the market, innovation in and the adoption of digital financial services will continue to accelerate,” Sebastian said.
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Featured Image Credit: Unsplash, Syfe