Ecommerce giant Amazon has entered India’s wealth management sector, backing Bangalore-based Fintech platform Smallcase Technologies in USD 40 million series C financing round.
The funding round was led by Faering Capital Pvt with the particpation of Private investment office of billionaire Azim Premji, Premji Invest and Amazon Inc. Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Blume Ventures, Beenext, DSP Group, Arkam Ventures, WEH Ventures and HDFC Bank participated too. The fintech firm has so far raised over $60 million.
“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,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Founded by three IIT Kharagpur graduates in July 2015, the startup provides a platform to help introduce a new generation of investors to the Indian equity markets. It’s riding an unprecedented pandemic-fueled retail investor boom in India’s equity markets and its user base has doubled to more than 3 million users in the past year.
With the close of the transaction, Sameer Shroff – co-founder and Managing Director at Faering Capital – will join the board of Smallcase. The fund raised will be used to continue launching better investment products for the retail investor and to create additional value for Smallcase partners by growing the ecosystem and enhancing the platform and its capabilities, the statement said. The company has seen its user base doubling to over 3 million and transaction volumes growing 2.5x to Rs 12,500 crore from September 2020.
“The last 2 years have seen remarkable interest from Indian retail investors in the equity markets, and we are inspired to see smallcase become the primary gateway to stocks and ETFs for millions of new investors,” Smallcase founder and CEO Vasanth Kamath said.
The company is focused on expanding its offerings to cement its position as the premier portfolio investing layer across asset classes for the retail investor, he added. “Globally, we have seen a trend of increased retail participation in equity markets and in India, smallcase is pioneering digital access for retail investors through their innovative products and channel partnerships,” Shroff said.
In April this year, e-commerce giant Amazon had announced a USD 250 million (around Rs 1,873 crore) fund, focussed on digitising small and medium businesses, and drive innovation in the areas of agri-tech and health-tech.
As part of the fund, Amazon has previously invested in ”M1xchange” — a startup focusing on invoice discounting marketplace exchange for MSMEs established under the TReDS license (Trade Receivables Discounting System license).