Oct 14, 2020

M1 Finance raises $45m for its next-gen super app

M1 Finance
AliPay
Super apps
Left Lane Capital
William Girling
2 min
M1 Finance has announced the successful closing of its Series C funding round, which raised US$45m for its personal finance platform
M1 Finance has announced the successful closing of its Series C funding round, which raised US$45m for its personal finance platform...

M1 Finance has announced the successful closing of its Series C funding round, which raised US$45m for its personal finance platform.

The investment, led by Left Lane Capital, brings M1 Finance’s total investment to approximately $100m and follows swiftly after its $33m Series B round in June 2020.

Super apps (explored more generally here) are becoming an increasingly disruptive force in modern fintech; the company’s own allows users investing, borrowing and banking products on a single, easy-to-use service.  

Brian Barnes, Founder and CEO of M1 Finance, is confident that the growing popularity of super apps is an essential component of modern finance management.

“The perfect finance account will manage all of a person’s finances and optimize them according to the individual’s unique wants and needs. M1’s platform is furthest along in making this vision a reality and this fundraise lets us move faster towards that ideal.”

At the forefront of personal finance

Last month, we held a Q&A session with Barnes in which he outlined the issues that M1 Finance is addressing:

“Before M1, people were forced to use a mix of brokers, money apps, and banks to manage all aspects of their finances. Not only is that time consuming, but it can also lead to worse financial outcomes overall.

“Our next new innovation [...] will be focused on making it even easier for people to put their money to work the right way. We will let our customers set up rules for how each invested dollar should be used, helping build up savings, pay down debt, and get fully invested. 

“The idea is to automate good financial habits. No other fintech, legacy bank, or broker has come close to this, so we are incredibly excited.”

As super apps continue to build an equivalent level of interest in the West as in Asia (for instance, WeChat and Alipay), M1 Finance is a notable, US-based enterprise that could spark further growth in the sector.

“Our confidence in M1, its team, and its product, have only grown in our work together,” commented Dan Ahrens, Partner at Left Lane Capital. 

“The product’s combination of automation and client empowerment is unique in the market today. The M1 team pioneered no-fee investing and fractional shares, and we’re confident they’ll continue to be at the forefront of personal finance.”

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Jun 21, 2021

Amber Group Valued at US$1bn in $100m Funding Round

Fintech
AmberGroup
Investment
Cryptocurrencies
2 min
Amber Group has raised $100m in a fresh funding round led by China Renaissance bank, valuing the start-up at $1bn

Amber Group, a cryptocurrency financial services firm, has raised US$100m in a Series B funding round at a pre-money valuation of $1bn.

The funding round was led by Chinese investment firm China Renaissance, and other participants in the Series B include Tiger Brokers, Tiger Global Management, Arena Holdings, Tru Arrow Partners, Sky9 Capital, DCM Ventures and Gobi Partners. Existing investors Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain.com also joined in.

Michael Wu, co-founder and CEO of Amber Group said in a statement that the funding would be used to “expand global operations to meet client demand and develop market solutions for the world’s leading crypto investors and companies.”

“We’ve had record months over the past quarter across both client flow and on-exchange market-making volumes,” Wu said in a press release. “Our cumulative trading volumes have doubled from $250 billion since the beginning of the year to over $500 billion.”

Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, with many people investing, although not everyone seems to know what they are investing in. Using survey data collected from 750 investors earlier this year, Cardify found that only 16.9% of investors who have bought crypto “fully understand” the value and potential of cryptocurrency, while 33.5% of buyers have either zero knowledge about the space or would call their level of understanding “emerging.”

 

Who is Amber Group?

Amber Group is a global crypto finance service provider with a presence in Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, and Vancouver. Founded in 2017, Amber Group services over 500 institutional clients and has cumulatively traded over $330 billion across 100+ electronic exchanges, with over $1 billion in assets under management. The company said that its assets under management, or AUM, reached $530 million in 2020, representing a 275% increase from the previous year. 

Instead of being a cryptocurrency exchange that allows users to trade individual digital coins, Amber Group CEO Michael Wu said the company is bringing a “private banking experience to the everyday customer.”

Their goal is to optimise investment flexibility, maximise investment returns and deliver long-lasting value for their clients. In 2019, Amber Group raised $28 million in Series A funding led by global crypto heavyweights Paradigm and Pantera Capital, with participation from Polychain Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Blockchain.com, Fenbushi Capital, and Coinbase Ventures.

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