Digital wealth manager Syfe launches in Singapore with $5.2m in seed funding

SINGAPORE - Digital wealth manager Syfe has launched in Singapore after raising $5.2 million in seed funding and receiving the capital markets services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Syfe uses its proprietary data-driven algorithm to construct personalised portfolios, making investing accessible to everyone, the startup said in a media statement on Wednesday (July 17).

Its seed funding round was led by UK-based venture capital fund Unbound, and is among the largest seed rounds in South-east Asia.

The fundraising also included personal investments from industry leaders such as David Rogers, managing director of State Street Global Advisors; Paul Redbourn, managing director and head of equities at UBS Japan; and Philip Freise, partner at KKR.

The CMS licence is required for companies that wish to conduct regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Act, such as dealing in capital markets products.

Syfe said that its automated platform is easy to use and affordable, with no minimum investment and a low annual fee of 0.65 per cent of the total amount invested.

This makes wealth management resources accessible to anyone who wants to grow their savings, challenging the status quo where such resources are usually only available to high-net-worth individuals or institutions, the startup noted.

Syfe said it adopts a risk-managed passive investing approach, moving away from a methodology that solely prioritises returns.

It combines proven investment models with an algorithm that is "rigorously" back-tested to build customised portfolios that are in sync with the investors' personal risk profiles, Syfe said.

This leads to limited portfolio fluctuations or lower temporary losses, while giving "benchmark-beating" returns, it added. The portfolios will be globally diversified and based on exchange-traded funds.

Its investment methodology was built by a team of academics, traders and financial engineers.

Shravin Mittal, founder and chief executive officer of Unbound, said the region is ripe for disruption in the retail finance space.

"Savings and investments are greenfield areas now, and if the proliferation of other verticals - such as digital payments - is anything to go by, the opportunity will only be bigger," he said.