Melbourne-based robo-advice startup Clover has raised seed funding, led by a strategic investment from superannuation fund Equipsuper.
The investment will see Equipsuper’s 50,000 customers get access to Clover’s robo-advice platform when it launches in mid-2016.
Clover’s robo-advisor uses a goals-based approach to advise provision and portfolio construction. Those goals guide the algorithm so as to create portfolios that are periodically rebalanced in order to attain those goals.
While other robo-advice startups are targeting consumers directly, Clover co-founder Harry Chemay says the startup’s enterprise focus, is a competitive advantage.
“We’re under no disillusions that there will be others that go to market before and after us,” Chemay says.
“Each will need a particular niche. Partnering with a 50,000 member super fund, we’ve built a tech we will allow them to use. But we’ll also be looking to licence it as well. We already have a point of difference.”
Equipsuper chief executive officer Danielle Press says superannuation funds have no choice but to integrate fintech into their offerings.
“We certainly do not intent to be left sitting on the sidelines as member demand for online enablement makes offering these services essential to surviving and thriving in the financial services sector,” Press says
“Our involvement with Clover will enable us to extend the reach of our advice offering to members who would not seek it through more traditional advice channels.
“We are confident it will appeal to younger people in the wealth-building space enabling them to personalise their investment portfolios to achieve their long-term goals. This demographic seldom seeks face-to-face financial advice.”
It’s a demographic that Chemay and Clover believe is currently not being served well by financial services.
“Australians should seek guidance on their personal finances earlier in life and not just when nearing retirement, but there are many barriers to this happening at present. It’s easier to order a pizza online and track its progress to your door than it is to set your financial goals online and track their progress to attainment,” he says.
“We aim to change that.”
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