VinaCapital has acquired the business operations of Smartly, one of the first robo-advisory investment platforms to launch in Singapore.
Smartly was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Keir Veskivali, Artur Luhaaar and Kentwell Kwok, two Singapore-based Estonians and one Singaporean who all had worked in finance and were frustrated by hidden fees and confusing financial advisory solutions.
The company aimed to offer average people with basic financial literacy the opportunity to invest easily with full transparency and low fees.
By partnering with VinaCapital, we took a different approach to launching a robo-advisory platform than the rest of the pack"
It uses smart algorithms to make investing accessible to more people. Investors complete a simple questionnaire that assesses their risk tolerance, financial situation and goals. The robo-adviser then recommends a portfolio made up of a basket of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The algorithms then rebalance portfolios on a periodic basis, accounting for changes in the global economy.
Robo-advisory services currently manage more than $980bn in assets around the world, with forecasted compounded annual growth of around 27% between 2019 and 2023, according to Statista.
Vietnam-based investment company VinaCapital is one of the country's largest investment companies with $1.8bn in assets under management.
"By partnering with VinaCapital, we took a different approach to launching a robo-advisory platform than the rest of the pack. We were able to allocate valuable capital to places where it was most needed, stay focused on execution, and maintain strong financials and unit metrics," Veskivali said.
Once the deal is concluded, Veskivali will continue to support the company as a consultant and will work with VinaCapital on other tech ventures, while Luhaaar and Kwok have decided to pursue other projects.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.