Betterment just landed a $800 million valuation

Jon stein ceo betterment 3
Jon Stein, Betterment CEO. Betterment

Betterment, the largest independent roboadviser, announced Friday morning a new round of funding that would bring the firm’s valuation to $US800 million.

The $US70 million funding round was led by Kinnevik, a Swedish investment company. Other investors in this round included Menlo Ventures, a California-based venture capital firm, and Francisco Partners, a California-based private equity firm.

Betterment was previously valued at $US700 million during a capital raise in March 2016, according to a news release.

Since then, the firm has grown its assets under management by $US6 billion, expanded its offerings to included human financial advisers, and has taken its first step towards offering a sustainable investment portfolio.

“Our business has changed a lot, in one sense,” Stein said in a recent interview with Business Insider. “But in another sense, we are doing the same thing we have always been doing — that is, thinking about the customer and what the customer wants, and then building financial services in a way that actually responds to customer demands, which I think is not the way the old guard has done things.”

Betterment provides financial advice online and via a smartphone app. Rather than using human managers to build portfolios, roboadvisers like Betterment use algorithms to determine where to invest.

Betterment’s growth has been impressive, but it still faces steep competition. The wealth-management space has caught on that roboadvisers are hot, and many big firms have rolled out their own robo offerings. Charles Schwab and Vanguard are two such giants with trillions of dollars in assets under management.