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Amazon enters India wealth management with bet on startup Smallcase

Small case improves digital access to capital markets by offering weighted portfolios of stocks and exchange-traded funds.

 

Amazons Investments

Amazon.com Inc. has made its maiden investment in India’s sector, participating in a $40 million round by fintech startup Small case Technologies Pvt.

The Bangalore-headquartered startup said the round was led by Faering Capital Pvt and also joined by another new investor PremjiInvest, the private investment office of technology billionaire Azim Premji. Existing backers including Sequoia Capital India and Blume Ventures also participated, bringing the total capital raised by the firm to over $60 million.

 

Smallcase was founded in 2015 by three friends Vasanth Kamath, Anugrah Shrivastava and Rohan Gupta, all alumni of the premier Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. 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.

Small case improves digital access to capital markets by offering weighted portfolios of stocks and exchange-traded funds from in-house licensed professionals as well as access to independent investment managers, brokerages, and wealth platforms. It has tie-ups with a dozen brokerages in the country and distributes its products via broker partners, wealth advisers, and offline agents.

Capital markets

“A new set of younger, high risk-taking investors are participating in the capital markets and they want complete transparency,” Kamath, the chief executive officer, said in a video interview. “We build simpler, low-cost investment products, each reflecting a theme, a strategy or objective.”

In the past year, Small case has more than doubled the volume of orders, Kamath said. It has 200 employees, with nearly two-thirds in technology and product engineering.

Technology platform

The capital will be used to expand its investment products in asset classes like mutual funds, global equities, and bonds. The startup wants to grow its technology platform and further build its distribution network.

The investment in Small cases opens a new frontier for Amazon in  The e-commerce giant has previously invested in other fintech startups in India, including the insurance player Acko General Insurance Ltd., as well credit provider Capital Float.

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