Advisor Tech Talk (5/26/21)

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By: Gerelyn Terzo 

Advisortech-focused firms have been busy in the last week raising capital, being crowned as unicorns and fueling consolidation in the space. Below is a roundup of the latest developments. 

  • Amount: Chicago-based Digital banking startup Amount has achieved unicorn status after attracting $100 million to its coffers in a Series D funding round. Amount’s valuation jumped more than 50% since late last year, when Goldman Sachs led an $86 million Series C round in the company. Participants in the latest round included Barclays Principal Investments, Goldman Sachs,  Hanaco Ventures,  Invus Opportunities and WestCap. 
  • Cetera: Financial advice firm Cetera has partnered with Docupace and AdvicePay to introduce a new API that delivers greater efficiency to operations and the paperless fee-for-service model. The API streamlines contract and invoicing for financial professionals in one step, with the effects also extending to investors, the back office, compliance and recordkeeping divisions.  
  • Docupace: Cloud-based document management fintech Docupace, which specializes in the wealth management industry, is making a back-office platform push. The company announced the acquisition of jaccomo, a cloud-based office system for the financial services industry that delivers an automated solution for compliance, data integration, workflow and compensation. The companies are looking to solve a disconnect between front office and back-office operations for financial advisors. 
  • Lionpoint: Lionpoint Group, a global consulting firm for the alternative investment market, has been acquired by UK-listed Alpha FMC, a consultancy firm specializing in the asset management, wealth management and insurance segments. As a result of the deal, Lionpoint will expand its geographical footprint and bolster the services it offers to alternative investment managers, advisors and investors. 
  • Rabobank: The Netherlands-based Rabobank has decided to spin-off its TreasurUp venture via a Series A funding round alongside Australia-based payments company OFX. Rabobank will continue to be a shareholder in the venture, which is a platform for online FX hedging services. Coera, TreasurUp’s engineering partner, has agreed to coinvest. 
  • Secfi: Secfi, a San Francisco-based fintech, has amassed $150 million in a financing round with  existing backer Serengeti Asset Management. Secfi is focused on supporting startup employees and shareholders with their equity. Proceeds will be directed toward expanding Secfi’s platform to include stock option financing for late-stage startup management teams and employees who are looking to cash out. 
  • Smarsh: Portland, Ore.-based Smarsh is experiencing robust adoption of its Connected Capture solution for Microsoft Teams among financial firms. Capture support was expanded to 1.2 million Teams’ daily active users in H1 2021, with a pipeline of more than 5 million planned by the end of the year. Growth has been fueled by a shift in the workforce to remote offices. 
  • Vise AI: Vise, which is behind an AI-fueled investment management platform designed for financial advisors, has gathered USD 65 million in a Series C funding round spearheaded by Ribbit Capital. Existing backer Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, which brings the startup’s total amount raised since its launch in 2016 to more than $125 million. According to TechCrunch, the latest round catapults the startup to unicorn status as it attaches a post-money valuation of $1 billion on Vise.