Upside, a managed account platform provider for investment advisors, has closed $1.1 million in funding. The investors included Cultivation Capital, SixThirty, Suranga Chandratillake of Balderton Capital and Bruno Bowden of Data Collective. In addition to the funding, Cliff Holekamp of Cultivation Capital has been added to Upside’s board of directors. According to the firm, the capital will be used to further invest in its tech platform.
SAN FRANCISCO – JULY 16, 2014 – Upside, a technology company providing an automated managed account platform to investment advisors, announced today that it has raised a total of $1.1 million from Cultivation Capital, SixThirty and angel investors, including Suranga Chandratillake (General Partner at Balderton Capital), Elaine Wherry (co-founder at Meebo, acquired by Google), Bruno Bowden (Equity Partner at Data Collective), Sean Kell (CEO of A Place For Mom, a Warburg Pincus company), and others.
The company will use the funds to further invest in its technology platform, which gives investment advisors a fully-automated, white-labeled solution to manage emerging affluent clients more cost-effectively. Upside will also accelerate sales and marketing efforts that have already resulted in rapid growth and adoption among young investment advisors with $100-300M in total assets.
“We already have a number of advisors and investors using the platform, so we’re excited about continuing to improve our technology based on the feedback we’re getting,” said Tom Kimberly, co-founder and CEO of Upside. “We’re really confident about the direction Upside is headed in. We’ve gotten a clear message from independent investment advisors that our technology can not only help them manage emerging affluent clients better — but it can also help them meet the expectations of a new generation of investors. Many advisors know that the digital generation wants something different — and they know that the robo-advisors like Wealthfront and Betterment are here to stay. Upside is their answer to that challenge.”
“Upside is entering the market during a crucial time for financial advisors,” added Juney Ham, co-founder and President of Upside. “Investment managers are becoming increasingly concerned with the rise of ‘robo-advisors’ and are searching for ways to compete with these new entrants. Our funding will allow us to capitalize on this opportunity by increasing our sales and marketing efforts, expanding our operations capabilities and developing transformative new features to help our advisors differentiate their offering. By arming advisors with the tools they need to more effectively serve their clients — who are increasingly expecting modern, digital solutions — they can focus on higher-value opportunities while also benefiting from technology.”
The company also announced a partnership with Shareholders Service Group (SSG), a Broker/Dealer based in San Diego, California that provides brokerage services to over 1,200 independent investment advisors across the country.
“The time is right to provide financial solutions that make sense for the emerging class of young, tech-savvy investors,” said Cliff Holekamp, General Partner at Cultivation Capital. “The addition of multiple new advisory firms on their white-label platform and a partnership agreement with Shareholder Service Group proves Upside’s business model and provides solid indication of their impact in the financial industry. The Upside team is ready to focus on leveraging these new connections to continually improve client relationships and manage investments more cost-effectively for investment advisors. Cultivation Capital is ready to support Upside with the capital needed to drive their exciting growth.”
With Cultivation Capital’s most recent investment, Holekamp will join Upside’s Board of Directors.
Upside was part of the inaugural class at SixThirty, a financial technology accelerator by Jim McKelvey, a co-founder at Square. Upside currently has offices in San Francisco, California and Saint Louis, Missouri.
Upside helps registered investment advisors beat the “robo-advisors” by leveraging technology and algorithms to advise, manage, and service clients who want next-generation investment services. The company’s fully-automated, white-labeled managed account platform provides advisors with paperless account opening, portfolio selection, automated trading and rebalancing, client and advisor portals, and practice analytics in an intuitive, design-led user interface. For more information, contact Upside at [email protected] or visit www.upsideadvisor.com.