✅ Amazon Backs Indian Wealth Management Service Smallcase In $40 Million Funding
In our last digest, we looked at how Amazon has entered the financial services and insurance markets in India. Now it is paving the way to grow its wealth management category. Smallcase has received $40 million worth of series c funding from Amazon. The round was led by Faering Capital and Premji Invest. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures, Beenext, DSP Group, Arkam Ventures, WEH Ventures and HDFC Bank also participated in the new round. Founded in July 2015 by three graduates of IIT Kharagpur, Smallcase is a company that aims to help introduce the Indian equity markets to a new generation of investors. The startup offers a team of equity professionals who provide more than 100 stock and ETF portfolios as well as access to brokerage firms. The startup supports 12 leading Indian brokers, including Tiger Global-backed Upstox and Zerodha’s Kite. The company says that a user can invest in as little as two clicks on their site after signing up. “We are expanding the investment product market by creating an ecosystem of 250+ businesses in the capital markets industry,” said Vasanth Kamath, co-founder and chief executive of Smallcase. The startup, which employs 200 people, said it plans to deploy the fund to broaden its technology platform and win more customers. Amazon has invested in a number of Indian startups. They’ve backed ride-hailing company Shuttl, invoice discounting platform M1xchange and direct-to-customer beauty brand MyGlamm. It certainly does not stop there as Amazon unveiled a $250 million venture fund to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs. The focus, as with this investment, is on digitizing small and medium-sized businesses in the South Asian market.
✅ Global Fintech Investments Reach New Heights
For our next digest, the global financial technology industry, driven by electronic finance and Internet technology, is seeing strong investment to fuel rapid growth. The amount of global investment in financial technology reached record levels, with the first half of the year achieving $98 billion. KPMG’s latest Pulse of Fintech report reveals that the recovery is picking up momentum, as investments have been mostly frozen during Covid-19. Last year, $121.5 billion was invested in the finance tech industry, with $87 billion of that invested in the second half of the year. Investment figures include venture capital and private equity investment as well as mergers and acquisitions. According to KPMG, there has been a surge in investment in fintech. In the first half of 2021, corporates and venture capitalists have made big bets on market leaders across all subsectors. In addition, companies that are pressured to increase the velocity of their digital transformation and enhance their digital capabilities have been particularly active in venture deals. In many cases, this requires partnerships with or acquisitions of fintech companies. The first half of 2021 saw $39 billion invested in fintech across Europe, with the UK receiving $26 billion. The Nordic region topped investment charts with $4.8 billion invested, while Germany and France followed behind at a close second with $2.5 billion and $2 billion respectively. In the first half of this year, 163 startups became unicorns – valued at over $1 billion. In contrast, Fintech investments in the US totalled $42 billion during the period, with the Americas as a whole receiving $51 billion in investments. KPMG said the second half of the year was set to remain “very robust in most regions of the world”.