Singaporean digital wealth management platform Syfe on Wednesday announced that it closed a USD 18.6 million Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures. Other participants included Presight Capital and existing investor UK-based Unbound.
“We are currently in advanced conversations with regulators in three different markets in the Asia-Pacific region and expect that we would have entered new geographies within the next 18 months,” founder and CEO Dhruv Arora told KrASIA.
“Since the beginning of the year, we have seen our customer numbers and assets increase tenfold,” he said, adding that most of the new clients are being referred from existing users. Syfe now has clients in 23 countries, despite only advertising in Singapore.
The firm will spend the new funds on further expansion, product development, hiring, and the technology infrastructure. Founded in 2017, and publicly launched in 2019, Syfe aims to make wealth management accessible to everyone, from beginners to experienced investors.
“We have observed that having too much idle cash is loss-making in its own right and not really as safe an investment as many might think it is,” Arora said. “The value of savings in the bank gets eroded over time due to rising inflation and bank interest rate cuts, as we have experienced during the current pandemic, leaving us with much less than we would expect.”
The wealth manager thinks that most people are reluctant to actively invest their money due to lack of knowledge and fear of huge loss. Syfe says its exchange-traded fund (ETF) plans might solve that.
Investments for the long haul
“For individuals who aim to build wealth for the long-term, such as for retirement, we believe that passively managed ETFs are an effective tool that delivers returns with little effort and low fees,” Arora said. “The only requirement is the patience to stay invested for the long haul.”
Accessible via website or smartphone app, Syfe requires no minimum investment and charges an annual fee starting at 0.4% of the total investment. The firm is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to conduct retail and institutional fund management activities.
Syfe received USD 3.81 million seed funding from Unbound back in 2019. The new investor, US-based Valar Ventures, was founded by Andrew McCormack, James Fitzgerald, and Reuben Kobulnik and already backed global fintech companies such as TransferWise, accounting platform Xero, and digital bank N26.