Six years ago roboadvising was the domain of just a few startups, but today the space is getting increasingly crowded.
Betterment saw that coming since Day One (exactly six years ago), according to CEO Jon Stein. “But that’s a good thing for us, because every time one of these incumbents launches a product, we grow faster,” he said at the Future of Fintech Conference yesterday. “They are educating the market, so we get more customers learn and come to us.”
The company is pivoting to manage its customers’ entire financial lives, much as alternative lender SoFi has.
Betterment now has more customers “than any other robos combined, by a factor of two,” according to Stein, and is now planning to become the “central financial relationship” for those customers.
We don’t want to be a backend for another company, not have that branded in another way. We are partnering with institutions that have services that will compliment ours in the future, such as loans and insurance. There is not a timeline vision, but becoming your central relationship means that we have to do more than manage your investments. It means ultimately manage all of your money.
The company is not planning to IPO just yet, Stein said, until both the scale and the time are right. Betterment has raised $205 million at a $700 million valuation.
It’s fair to say that nothing has transformed the wealth management space quite like roboadvising. New companies are emerging globally, as incumbents look for partners or build the tech in house.
Several firms have already established themselves as industry leaders. Here’s a breakdown of their managed assets from a recent report by Fintech Technology Partners, an investment banking firm focusing on fintech.
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