May 22, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 2 months ago

Allianz leads C$100 million funding round for fintech Wealthsimple

LONDON (Reuters) - German insurer and asset manager Allianz has led a C$100 million ($74.55 million) capital raise for Canadian financial technology company Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple, the online investing service and commission-free trading app which manages around $4.5 billion for more than 150,000 clients in Canada, Britain and the United States, said it would use the cash to boost growth across all three markets.

Allianz invested in Wealthsimple through its digital arm, Allianz X, alongside long-standing Wealthsimple backer Power Financial, although the precise level of investment was not disclosed.

“As a digitally-enabled financial services provider with a strong customer focus, Wealthsimple can complement Allianz’s business in a number of areas,” Nazim Cetin, CEO of Allianz X, said.

“This investment underlines our commitment to truly digital companies and is an excellent addition to our portfolio.”

Allianz X has previously invested in companies including U.S. insurance technology firm Lemonade, micro-insurer BIMA, and ride-hailing companies GO-JEK & SafeBoda.

As part of the deal, a member of Allianz X would join the Wealthsimple board, it said.

“Bringing Allianz to Canada with this investment is a landmark transaction in Canadian Fintech,” Wealthsimple Chairman Paul Desmarais III said.

“We believe the coming together of large incumbent companies that understand how to build global asset managers, with innovative, digital-first companies, is the future of financial services.”

Wealthsimple was advised on the deal by Ardea Partners.

Since 2015, Canadian insurer and investment manager Power Financial, which has C$800 billion in assets under management, has invested C$165 million in Wealthsimple.

Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Louise Heavens

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