Follow the money: how one technology startup is ushering in a new era for wealth management.

PortfolioJun 13, 2023

In the developed world there are relatively few areas of our lives that technology doesn’t touch. And for good reason, heavily regulated industries have been slower than others to adapt — which is certainly true of the financial world. When our team began exploring opportunities in fintech several years ago, one area we were interested in was wealth management. Something aimed at people who wouldn’t typically have access to a wealth manager. It seemed like an underserved area of the market that was increasing significantly in importance for a whole host of reasons.

Throughout our research, the four trends that emerged, and which continue to drive the market today include:

  • An increased demand for alternative assets and diversified offerings creating complexity for financial institutions in terms of access to and reporting of these financial products

  • An industry shift from a fee per transaction to an AUM fee creating a transformational shift to operational automation and a 360 understanding of the end customer

  • Increased fragmentation of distribution channels across traditional wealth firms, growing mid-market RIAs, FinTechs, HR platforms, and banks

  • An increased demand for delightful user experiences and product personalization by consumers as a generational wealth transfer of $70T occurs over the next decade

Having identified a strong area of opportunity, we were intrigued to meet Amar Ahluwalia, Jakob Pizzera and Nathan Di Lucca in 2021, when they first spoke to our team about OneVest. It was immediately clear that if ever there was a team to tackle some of the biggest challenges in the financial sector today, this was it. Amar has spent his career in the financial services industry giving him a unique cross-functional perspective and the network to deliver on his vision. And Jakob and Nathan added top notch technical expertise (previously responsible for strategy and engineering at category-defining companies including Shopify, Element AI, Ritual, and Kudos). Convinced by our belief in the team, we invested in the company at the seed stage, in a $5M round led by Luge Capital. That was an unusual move for us because we typically invest at Series A-C, but our conviction around the team was strong.

At that point, OneVest was the first of its kind to offer a composable and embedded wealth management platform. It enabled retail investors to gain access to institutional money management with no minimum investment commitment — not index-based funds, but active investment strategies managed by portfolio managers. And as new banking infrastructure has emerged, such as financial data aggregators or banking-as-a-service platforms, consumers now expect orchestrated and real-time access to their financial information through digital, integrated experiences — including their wealth management services.

Where are we today?

The team at OneVest has stayed true to its vision and has executed with speed and agility — no mean feat in the financial world. Amar, Jakob, and Nathan have proven over the past year to be best-in-class fintech operators, driven and passionate about changing the wealth management landscape.

We are excited to share today that we are leading OneVest’s $17M Series A funding round with existing investors Luge Capital, Panache Ventures, AAF Management, FJ Labs, and new investors Fin Capital, Pivot Investment Partners and Deloitte Ventures.

Today, OneVest’s platform offers a modular and adaptable infrastructure solution for any financial institution. With the expansion of the Wealth-as-a-Service platform, financial institutions can seamlessly integrate and configure various components of a wealth management offering for their customers, based on their specific needs and requirements. It also allows enterprises to automate and streamline administrative and middle office functions, which currently rely heavily on manual processes.

The platform offers everything a customer needs to launch a wealth offering: intuitive end-user interfaces (white label apps/portals), back-end data aggregation/distribution pipelines (“Wealth API”), book of record, and portfolio management infrastructure (“OneHub”).

As OneVest’s product has expanded, its platform has become an emergent infrastructure layer for the wealth management sector. It is becoming the retail investment data book of record for its customers. The platform can help customers personalize offerings for consumers, increase AUM, and unlock cross-product orchestration that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Currently operating in Canada, OneVest is already looking to the US for expansion. We feel privileged to be a part of this next chapter of journey on what will undoubtedly be another Canadian success story.