Amazon has entered the financial services and insurance markets of India in recent years. Now it is paving the way to foray into the wealth management category.
The American e-commerce giant has backed Bangalore-based startup Smallcase in a $40 million Series C financing round.
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, which brings its total to-date raise to over $65 million.
Founded by three IIT Kharagpur graduates in July 2015, Smallcase offers a platform to help introduce a new generation of investors to the Indian equity markets.
The startup offers an in-house team of licensed professionals who offer more than 100 portfolios of stocks and exchange-traded funds, as well as provides its users access to independent investment managers, brokerages and wealth platforms.
The startup supports a dozen leading stock brokers in India, including Tiger Global-backed Upstox, and Zerodha’s Kite.
Smallcase has amassed over 3 million users, who are transacting about $2.5 billion each year. It says a user can start making their investments in just two clicks after signing up for the service.
“We have created a new, fast-growing category of investment products by developing an ecosystem of 250+ businesses in the capital markets space, including India’s largest and fastest growing brokerages, advisors, investment managers and digital wealth platforms,” said Vasanth Kamath, co-founder and chief executive of Smallcase.
“It has been both humbling and inspiring to see smallcases become the primary gateway to stocks & ETFs for millions of new investors. This financing increases our responsibility to continue building simple, transparent and delightful experiences and platforms, while delivering more value to our users and partners. Our true success will lie in developing the core building blocks for every investor’s portfolio and becoming a key part of their toolkit,” he added.
The startup, which employs 200 people, said it plans to deploy the fund to broaden its technology platform and win more customers.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has backed an Indian startup. The e-commerce firm, which has deployed over $6.5 billion in its India business, has invested in ride-hailing firm Shuttl, invoice discounting marketplace exchange for MSMEs M1xchange and direct-to-customer beauty brand MyGlamm.
Earlier this year, Amazon also unveiled a $250 million venture fund to invest in Indian startups and entrepreneurs focused on digitizing small and medium-sized businesses in the South Asian market.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company invested in Smallcase through its $250 million venture fund. “As part of this Fund, we are excited to partner with smallcase in their journey to offer innovative consumer investment products. By increasing product selection and convenience, this will provide an additional channel for consumers to participate in the equity markets,” the spokesperson added.