With existing and upcoming fintech players foraying into the financial advisory and wealth management space, Bengaluru and San-Francisco-based wealth management startup Bright Money, which provides its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, has come out of stealth mode and secured $31 Mn in funding from Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge Capital and Hummingbird Ventures.
The round also saw participation from angel investors including InMobi’s Naveen Tewari and Abhay, CRED’s Kunal Shah, Jupiter’s Jitendra Gupta, Zalora’s Gunjan Soni, Uber’s Pradeep Parameswaran and tech investor Ram Shriram.
Founded in 2019 by ex-InMobi executives Avi Patchava, Varun Modi and Amit Bendale, and ex-Mckinsey Petko Plachkov, Bright Money was in stealth mode for 2 years where it served over 30,000 clients across 1000+ data points per user. The startup has built a patented AI platform — MoneyScience — that customises financial planning for users, mainly helping reduce debt and understanding transactions better.
“When we started building Bright in 2019, we set out to launch a unique system powered by data science to help our customers organise their finances and tackle their debt,” Patchava stated. “The Series A funding will allow us to take our platform to the next level, by providing users with a transformative journey with their money to achieve their financial futures.”
The startup’s team of over 100 money scientists, expert data scientists and AI engineers is spread across Bengaluru, San Francisco and London. The funds will be utilised to expand its teams and product suite across markets.
Bright Money was also a part of the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia India’s scaleup programme.
Sequoia India’s MD Harshjit Seth stated the future of financial services is personalized advice and products available in real-time and at scale. “Bright has built an intelligent product to provide every user with contextualized financial suggestions on debt and savings to improve their financial wellbeing. We have been very impressed with the product’s initial success in driving financial outcomes for its 30,000 users,” he added while mentioning that the startup has high retention rates and NPS.
India’s fintech market is currently one of the fastest-growing compared to the rest of the world. Despite the first two waves of the Covid-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc across most sectors, the innovations brought about in the fintech space have helped India maintain a cutting edge. Globally, the country has the highest fintech adoption rate at 87% against a global average of 64%.
As of June 2021, the fintech sector has raised $2.3 Bn in funding and has been the most favoured sector by venture capitalists and investors.
With the increasing number of fintech players entering the market, a visible shift towards robo advisories or financial advisory services based on industry 4.0 can be seen. Experts expect that the wealth management space currently occupied by players like Cube Wealth, Groww, CRED, Capearth, ETMoney, WeRize, Kuvera, Amazon-backed Small Case, will see a shift towards hybrid deeptech advisories where users can access AI/ML-powered advisories with options for interactions with human advisors.