Amazon enters India’s wealth management market with smallcase funding

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Amazon has forayed into India’s wealth management market with its maiden investment in startup smallcase Technologies. The investment was made through its $250-million early-stage tech fund Amazon SMBhav Venture Fund (ASVF), launched in April this year.

The e-commerce giant backed the Bangalore-based startup in a $40 million Series C financing round led by Faering Capital.

Amazon had previously invested in fintech startups, including insurance player Acko General Insurance and credit provider Capital Float. It is reportedly in talks to close a funding round in neo-bank startup Open.

“The last two 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,” Vasanth Kamath, founder and CEO of smallcase said in a statement.

The funding round also saw participation from Indian billionaire Azim Premji’s Premji Invest, Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures, Beenext, DSP Group, Arkam Ventures, WEH Ventures and HDFC Bank. The startup has so far raised over $65 million.

“We are excited to partner with smallcase in their journey to offer innovative consumer investment. By increasing product selection and convenience, this will provide an additional channel for consumers to participate in the equity markets,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

In the country’s retail investment segment, smallcase competes with the likes of Zerodha, Groww, Upstox, and Paytm Money. These companies have witnessed significant growth on their respective platforms since the pandemic began due to low bank deposit rates and an abundance of liquidity.

With the funding, Sameer Shroff, co-founder and managing director of Faering Capital is joining the board of smallcase.  “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 a statement.

smallcase Technologies was founded in 2015 by Kamath and his fellow IIT-Kharagpur alumni Anugrah Shrivastava and Rohan Gupta. The fintech startup’s user base has doubled to cross 3 million and the volumes transacted have grown 2.5x to Rs 12,500 crore since its Series B raise of $14 million in September 2020, as per the media statement.

The funding will allow smallcase technologies to expand its investment products in asset classes like mutual funds, global equities and bonds.

The fintech startup, which specialises as an investment ecosystem of over 250 businesses in the capital markets space, including brokerages, advisors, investment managers and digital wealth platforms, will also use the funding to grow its technology platforms and further expand its distribution network, as per an official statement.

“We are focused on expanding our offerings to cement smallcase’s position as the premier portfolio investing layer across asset classes for the retail investor and are excited to welcome our new investor partners with extensive experience in scaling technology and financial services businesses,” Kamath said.

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