WiseBanyan is Building a Bank, ‘Backwards’

canstockphoto4244904 (1)WiseBanyan began as a free digital investment advisor in 2014, but in 2016 it hit its stride, launching its first paid product, more than doubling its userbase, and nearing a $100 million benchmark in assets under management.

Next up for the startup is bigger ticket financial products.

“For us, the key is to establish relationships with our clients, before they approach an outside financial advisor,” co-founder Herbert Moore told Bank Innovation. The company ended 2016 with more than 20,000 users, up from 9,000 a year ago. Currently – and for the past several months – the company has been on a steady 11% growth trajectory, which, Moore said, will continue well into 2017. “So when you already have all those clients and the relationship established, it makes so much more sense to offer new products.”

Mortgage, as well as insurance, will be the first on the list. “We are now in talks with several interested parties, and plan to offer new products this year,” he said.

The company offered its first paid service – tax-loss harvesting – in early 2016, and about 30% of WiseBanyan customers have opted in to date. The startup currently has “a little under” $100 million in assets under management, up from $22 million from January 2015.

“But our users already have $4.7 billion in goals through our financial planning feature, and almost three quarters have opted in for auto deposit,” Moore added. “There are so many competitors moving in with these products, so it’s all about who has the best relationship, at the end of the day.”

Customers first, products after: it’s like building a bank, “backwards,” Moore added.

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