NEW YORK, May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Vise, an AI-driven investment management platform built for the modern financial advisor, today announced that it has secured $14.5 million in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised since Vise's founding to over $16 million. The round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from previous investors Founders Fund, Bling Capital, Human Capital, Lachy Groom, Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube and Jon Xu, co-founder of FutureAdvisor.
"Our platform uses AI to build customized portfolios for every client, which saves advisors time and enables them to focus on their superpowers: managing clients and growing their businesses," said Samir Vasavada, co-founder and CEO of Vise. "Human relationships run the advisory industry, so rather than seeking to replace advisors, Vise harnesses AI to make them even better at their jobs."
Founded just over three years ago, Vise has assembled a team of Ph.D. researchers and industry veterans from Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, Google and Palantir. Vise is already available on the Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade Institutional platforms, representing over $800M in AUM amongst client commitments. Vise will use the funding to accelerate the growth of advisor partnerships and product development.
"The registered investment advisor (RIA) landscape is increasingly fragmented as advisors break away from large financial institutions to become independent, and we built Vise to support this new generation of advisor-entrepreneurs," said Runik Mehrotra, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Vise. "In the same way Shopify enabled artisans to compete against Amazon, or how Airbnb allowed homeowners to launch their own businesses, Vise is giving independent advisers the tools they need to succeed."
AI continues to make inroads across the financial services sector, but most of the $84T wealth management industry, which has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2% since 2001, still runs on legacy software. Vise is designed to fill that gap. Powered by cutting edge natural language processing, Vise builds customized portfolios for every client and helps advisors tell a compelling story to their clients with key talking points, including the "why" behind portfolio decisions.
"Vise enters the RIA space at a critical time for the wealth management industry," said Keith Rabois, partner at Founders Fund. "Whereas actively managed mutual funds and robo-advisors are both struggling to provide competitive risk-adjusted returns and sufficient downside protection, Vise was designed to help advisors thrive amid volatility and uncertainty."
"Rarely have I met founders as talented as Samir and Runik, and never with tailwinds as compelling as with Vise," said Shaun Maguire, partner at Sequoia. "This is one of the biggest markets on Earth currently being revolutionized by the perfect storm of consumers pushing for more personalization, advisors seeking advanced technology so they can be even better at their jobs, and the industry moving towards zero-commission trades. This creates an opportunity to rethink decades of institutional wisdom and puts them in a prime position to be the central nervous system of the wealth management industry."
Founded in 2016, by Samir Vasavada and Runik Mehrotra, Vise automates investment management for financial advisors using artificial intelligence. Vise has built a full-stack platform spanning the entire lifecycle of the advisor-client relationship, including designing personalized portfolios for clients, managing portfolios, and providing on-going intelligence. By doing so, Vise helps financial advisors focus on their most valuable resource -- their client relationships. Vise is headquartered in New York City and is backed by top Silicon Valley venture funds Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund and Bling Capital.
Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies from idea to IPO and beyond. We spur founders to push the boundaries of what's possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from 48 years of tribal knowledge from working with founders like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko, Julia Hartz and Jack Dorsey. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ's total value. From the beginning, the vast majority of money we invest has been on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means founders' accomplishments make a meaningful difference.
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