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Investment Tech Startup Kristal.AI Acquires Globalise To Widen Offerings

Investment Tech Startup Kristal.AI Acquires Globalise To Widen Offerings

The acquisition of Globalise will add fractional stocks and ETF to Kristal.AI’s product offerings

Kristal.AI has raised a total of $15.4 Mn since its inception in 2016 from Chiratae Ventures, Desai family office and others

Kristal.AI has $400 Mn of assets under management and its user base grew to over 30,000 in 2021

AI-powered digital asset management startup Kristal.AI has acquired global investment platform Globalise that offers access to US stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and ETF baskets for Indian investors. 

“It was a cash and stock swap deal and Kristal.AI has acquired full stake in Globalise,” Asheesh Chanda, founder and CEO of Kristal.AI, told Inc42, without disclosing the acquisition cost.  

Kristal.AI has raised a total of $15.4 Mn since its inception in 2016 from Chiratae Ventures, Desai Family Office and others. “We are currently in the process of raising a Series B funding round,” he said. 

Founded by Chanda and Vineeth Narasimhan, Kristal.AI works with an entire spectrum of customers. This includes sophisticated funds and family offices as well as mass affluent clients, who do not receive the service they should from private banks, according to the startup. 

“Our client base is individuals with more than INR 5 Cr in financial net worth. In India, we have offices in the top three metros and are now expanding to Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Our product is distributed through financial advisors, wealth managers, family offices and banks,” Chanda said. 

Kristal.AI focuses on institutional products like pre-IPO deals, hedge funds and venture capital funds for the affluent and high-net-worth individual (HNI) segment, while Globalise offers stock and ETF investment with no minimum requirements for the affluent and retail segments.

The artificial intelligence (AI) startup has $400 Mn of assets under management (AUM), and its user base grew 7X in calendar year 2021 to over 30,000. Kristal.AI provides access to premium products and advisory services to institutional and accredited investors across 20+ countries.

The strategic acquisition of Globalise will enable retail investors to invest in global products via fractional investments, Kristal.AI said in a statement. 

“Kristal.AI enjoys a leading position in the global investment space and is a preferred choice for the affluent segment. Globalise’s acquisition is complementary as it will help us offer stock and ETF investing with no minimum requirement for the affluent and retail segments. The acquisition will help us penetrate the retail segment and deliver on our mission to bring access to the best-in-class products and advisory within the reach of everyone,” said Chanda. 

Globalise, with its avenues for fractional ownership of stocks, ETFs, and stock baskets, will assist Kristal.AI in democratising private wealth management. Kristal.AI can better cater to this large segment of DIY investors and further help in asset allocation and wealth planning, the statement added. 

As per the companies, the customers and partners of Globalise will not experience any change in pricing or product. Further, the entire operating team of Globalise has been retained and will continue to operate from their respective locations.

Kristal.AI competes with startups such as Scripbox, Funds India, Piggy, Groww, ORO Wealth, Fisdom, among others. The startups in the wealth management space have recently been seeing a lot of interest and activities.  

In 2019, Scripbox acquired wealth management startup Upwardly for an undisclosed amount. 

In January 2022, Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, joined Bengaluru-based wealth management startup Groww as an investor and advisor. The development came two months after Groww doubled its valuation to $3 Bn after raising $251 Mn. 

Fisdom, another startup in the space, joined hands with Bank of Maharashtra in February 2022 to offer wealth management products and services to over 29 Mn customers of the bank. Under the partnership, Fisdom would distribute wealth products and services through the bank’s network of more than 2,000 branches and its digital platforms, including mobile banking app and internet banking.