EDBI-Backed Wealth Management Startup Raises $35 Million To Expand In Hong Kong

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Singapore-based wealth management startup Endowus – backed by the city-state’s global investor EDBI – announced Wednesday it raised $35 million in a funding round joined by new investors Citi Ventures, MUFG Innovation Partners, and “four Asian billionaire families.”

Participating in the round were returning investors UBS Next, Prosus Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Singtel Innov8. The fresh capital brings the six-year-old startup’s total funding to $95 million. Endowus declined to disclose its latest valuation.

“Today’s investors are seeking tailored, data-driven, and digital-first solutions to meet their lifestyles and long-term wealth needs,” said Everett Leonidas, Asia-Pacific head of Citi Ventures, in a statement about Endowus’ latest funding. “With its strong tech and product innovation, the Endowus team has built a top-tier digital total wealth platform, and have laid the groundwork for continued success in the future.”

An honoree of last year’s Forbes Asia 100 to Watch list, Endowus provides investment advisory services through its website and app. Users can manage their cash savings or contributions to public pensions, such as Singapore’s Central Provident Fund, on the Endowus platform. With group assets under advice exceeding $5 billion, the startup claims it achieved revenue growth of 80% in 2022, following its acquisition of multi-family office Carret Private last October.

Looking ahead, Endowus aims to expand in Hong Kong, where it began operations in April. The startup’s digital wealth advisory services in the city include an independent, fee-only wealth platform, which gives investors access to 15 multi-fund model portfolios. Endowus also offers a self-serve fund platform called Fund Smart, with over 200 funds from 40 fund managers, and private wealth management services for professional investors.

“We are now the dominant player in Singapore, and with that strong base of talent and technology, we are able to enter a new overseas market,” says Samuel Rhee, co-founder, chairman, and chief investment officer of Endowus, in a video interview with Forbes Asia. “We actually built a separate tech stack for Hong Kong, with a very different go-to-market strategy from Singapore…as a result, there’s been heavy investment, and the initial responses are very positive.”

To be sure, players in wealth tech, or technology targeting the wealth management industry, may face obstacles challenging incumbents. The addressable market for wealth tech disrupters remains “limited,” according to a May report on global fintech from Boston Consulting Group and QED Investors, as ultra-high-net-worth individuals may depend more on human guidance and illiquid products, among other factors.

Wealthtech startups have attracted Asian investors following the pandemic. Last November, Singapore-based ADDX, which operates a securities exchange powered by blockchain technology, raised $20 million to expand its institutional wealth management platform. Five months before that, Vietnam-based fintech Finhay raised $25 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Openspace Ventures and Vietnam Investments Group. In 2021, Indonesian online stock brokerage Ajaib became a unicorn – a startup with a valuation of over $1 billion – on the back of a $153 million Series B funding round.

Image by: Endowus

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