Simply Wall St. raises $1.8 million from its own customers to build out investment advisory services

Financial services apps are all the rage these days and one of the latest to capitalize on the trend is Simply Wall St. which closed a $1.8 million round (2.4 million Australian dollars) in its latest round of funding.

Interestingly, the financing came not from traditional venture investors, but from the firm’s own clientele of high net worth individuals who have been pushing for a more robust set of services from the automated financial advisory app, according to chief executive Al Bentley.

Over the past year the company’s user base has grown from 25,000 to roughly 100,000 thanks to the growing popularity of automated advisory services.

“The whole investment industry is moving away from managed and advised services. Both high fees and a lack of trust play a significant role here,” said Al Bentley, CEO and founder of Simply Wall St., in a statement. “With services like Robinhood pushing the brokerage commissions down, it has theoretically never been easier for investors access the market.”

Even though the barriers to entry for stock trading have come down (with tools like Robinhood making investing in stocks almost dangerously easy), many retail investors are still not informed enough to make systematic decisions on their investments.

Following market sentiment without doing diligence is very much akin to gambling, and folks can be good at it — for a time. But retail investors significantly and continuously underperfom the stock market — and that’s an average (which would include  funding outliers.

Simply Wall St. provides tailored dashboards and toolkits to help investors model their portfolios and assess potential returns. It provides information and infographics alongside a personalized portfolio analysis and stock recommendations based on investment preferences, according to Bentley.

“We are giving investors access to high quality financial data used by institutions and professionals, at a fraction of a cost,” said Bentley in statement.