Left to right: StashAway co-founders Nino Ulsamer, Michele Ferrario, Freddy Lim

Singapore-based robo-adviser startup StashAway today announced that it has completed a S$7 million (US$5.3 million) Series A funding round from “a group of family offices” and individual investors.

The funding round included new and existing investors such as the Rozario family.

The company plans to use the funding to support product development and international expansion.

Though he declined to give further details about the company’s next destination, StashAway Co-Founder and CEO Michele Ferrario told e27 that the company will launch in its first new market this year.

“When entering a new market, we will work to localise our communication and the offering where needed, while maintaining the basic value proposition intact. We’ll have small local teams but will maintain most functions centralised in Singapore to continue to offer great sophistication at low fees to our customers,” he explained.

StashAway was founded in 2016 by Ferrario, who was the former ZALORA Group CEO; Freddy Lim (CIO), the former MD and Global Head of Derivatives Strategy at Nomura; and Nino Ulsamer (CTO), a serial entrepreneur.

It aims to provide “an intelligent, easy-to-use, low-cost” digital investment platform that enables individuals of all net worth to invest.

Also Read: Automation and machine learning: How robo-advisors are taking the lead as Singapore’s new wealth managers

In April 2017, StashAway became the first robo-adviser to receive retail license in Singapore.

Ferrario said that 35 per cent of the company’s customer base works in financial services. He also explained some notable trends the team noticed among its users in 2017.

“We see that the majority of customers have set up standing instructions to invest on a monthly basis. This investing approach, known as dollar-cost averaging, is something we encourage clients to do for long-term wealth building, and it’s great to see that so many customers have adopted this investing approach,” he said.

“We launched the product when markets were great, and so we were interested to see what customer behaviour would be like when the markets went down; we did not experience any significant withdrawal volume during the January/February correction! We’re working tirelessly to find even more ways to instill this level of trust amongst both current and potential clients, but it’s refreshing to see that customers already understand that the most important feature of successful investors is to be systematic and to stay the course in the long term,” he continued.

StashAway has raised a total of S$11.1 million (US$8.4 million) across three funding rounds.

For 2018, it plans to focus on increasing its artificial intelligence (AI) capacity and applications.

“We recently passed our first annual penetration testing and tech audit,” Ferrario said.

Image Credit: StashAway