January robo news round-up

Posted on February 4, 2021

The start of 2021 included several major announcements that have the potential to shake up the robo-advice industry. Here are four articles in January that our team found insightful. 

  1. Walmart gets in the game

Walmart announced a fintech partnership with Ribbit Capital, the investment firm that backed Robinhood and Wealthfront. This new partnership has the ability to serve over 265 million weekly Walmart customers. Walmart already offers credit card, money card, and money-transfer services to name a few. Although product details have yet to surface, this future product has the potential to offer planning and investing to an enormous untapped market. 

Will Walmart Offer Wealth Management?

  1. SoFi goes public

Through a SPAC (an alternate route to an IPO), SoFi will go public. This marks the first digital-advice provider we cover to do so. SoFi began as a student debt management service but has expanded to personal loans, mortgage loans, high-yield savings, and a free robo advisor. It will be interesting to watch what moves SoFi makes in the future with this new influx of capital. 

SoFi goes public

  1. eMoney launches Incentive

eMoney, the software provider used by professionals for financial planning, has launched an app of its own. This app is designed to bring planning, education, and financial wellness to its retirement-plan-participating users while funneling new leads to the financial advisor’s book of business. Financial planning is increasingly becoming a mobile experience.  Last year we saw both Bank of America and Fidelity launch mobile planning apps.  Additionally, with the advent of features that impact the client on a personal level, whether budgeting tools or the ability to track changes in spending, we continue to see a move towards adding value beyond the investment portfolio. Improvements in behavior, knowledge, and planning are becoming ubiquitous even at low asset levels. 

eMoney launches Incentive

  1. Wealthtech attracts major investments

In 2020, investments in wealthtech rose over 50% compared to 2019. With over $3.7 billion invested and 157 deals (through November), the pandemic accelerated interest in these platforms. As trading volume continues to increase, it is expected that money will continue to flow into millennial-friendly digital platforms. 

2020 Wealthtech Funding

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