VinaCapital acquires Singapore robo-advisory investment platform Smartly

The acquisition positions VinaCapital to take advantage of the potential in robo-advisory services in Southeast Asia.

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VinaCapital, one of Vietnam’s leading investment companies with USD 1.8 billion in assets under management, has acquired the business operations of Singapore robo-advisory investment platform Smartly for an undisclosed fee, the company said in a press release.

Founded in 2015, Smartly uses smart algorithms to make investing simple and accessible to more people. This gives customers with basic financial literacy the opportunity to invest with full transparency and low fees.

In 2016, Smartly began discussions with VCG Partners, the Singapore subsidiary of VinaCapital and a fully licensed fund manager regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, about joining together to launch the platform.

The Smartly platform went online in September 2017, soon after the partnership was formed.

Southeast Asian markets with large digitally native populations, high smartphone penetration, and increasing wealth are ripe for robo-advisory investment platforms, according to VinaCapital’s assessment.

“This acquisition of Smartly’s operations and additional capital injection will enable Smartly to scale-up, expand to new markets, and realize its full potential to become the leading digital wealth management platform in the region,” Smartly co-founder Keir Veskivali said in the press release.

Jason Ng, VCG Partners’ CEO, said that VinaCapital will look to expand services to other Southeast Asian markets as their regulatory environments evolve.

With the acquisition, Veskivali will continue working with VinaCapital on other tech ventures, while his two co-founders Artur Luhaaar and Kentwell Kwok are leaving to pursue other projects.