Amazon has grand plans for India, as was made evident with Jeff Bezos’s visit to the country last year. The US-based e-commerce powerhouse had launched a $250 million venture fund focused on digitizing Indian SMEs. Now, it is time to deliver on the promise, and deliver it has. Today, Amazon, enters the wealth management sector in the world’s second-largest market after participation in a $40 million Series C funding round for capital market-focussed fintech start-up Smallcase. Faering Capital and Premji Invest led the funding round while other participants included existing investors Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures, Beenext, DSP Group, Arkam Ventures, WEH Ventures, and HDFC Bank.
The Bengaluru-based Smallcase Technologies Pvt. has raised over $65 million to date (including the latest funding round). Post the funding round, Sameer Shroff, co-founder and Managing Director at Faering Capital, will join the board of Smallcase.
This investment by Amazon came from the recently unveiled Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, the powerhouse confirmed. “As part of this Fund, we are excited to partner with Smallcase in their journey to offer innovative consumer investment products. By increasing product selection and convenience, this will provide an additional channel for consumers to participate in the equity markets,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
According to Smallcase, the proceeds from the funding round would be utilized towards investing in products and platforms which enable individual investors to participate in the capital markets. It aims to continue building simple, transparent, and delightful experiences and platforms while delivering more value to its users and partners. “Our true success will lie in developing the core building blocks for every investor’s portfolio and becoming a key part of their toolkit,” the company said in a statement.
The six-year-old Smallcase, founded by IIT Kharagpur alumni Vasanth Kamath, Anugrah Shrivastava, and Rohan Gupta, is known to offer portfolios of stocks and exchange-traded funds from in-house licensed professionals as well as access to independent investment managers, brokerages, and wealth platforms. With 200 employees, it has partnerships with a dozen brokerages in the country (including Upstox) and distributes its products via broker partners, wealth advisers, and offline agents.
Like many others, the firm has reaped the benefits of the booming start-up ecosystem, amassing over 3 million users who conduct transactions of about $2.5 billion annually. Its orders have grown more than two times to come to ₹12,500 crores in the past year itself.
“We have created a new, fast-growing category of investment products by developing an ecosystem of 250+ businesses in the capital markets space including India’s largest and fastest-growing brokerages, advisors, investment managers, and digital wealth platforms,” said Vasanth Kamath, co-founder, and CEO of Smallcase.
“A new set of younger, high risk-taking investors are participating in the capital markets and they want complete transparency,” he said. “We build simpler, low-cost investment products, each reflecting a theme, a strategy or objective.”