Responsive client base hits $10 billion CAD AUM, powered by its behavioural AI

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Vancouver-based, a SaaS company targeted toward wealth managers and advisors, recently announced that the wealth advisors that make up its customer base have collectively reached $10 billion CAD in assets under management (AUM).

“We’re really committed to building an end-to-end, insight-to-action platform for wealth managers and for human wealth advisors.”
-Davyde Wachell

Responsive’s platform targets banks and private wealth managers to help predict people’s behaviour and personality. With its platform, Responsive said, wealth managers can predict if clients are disciplined or struggle with diligent saving, or if they’re going through life transitions like marriage or having children. The company, which works out of Vancouver, New York, Toronto, and Calgary, aims to apply data science and user experience design to help private managers perform better.

“We are committing to a deep focus on the wealth vertical, and we are… augmenting advisor performance,” said Davyde Wachell, founder and CEO of Responsive. “Responsive is designed from the ground up to boost wealth advisor productivity and decision-making with Next Best Actions.”

Responsive positions its service as a competitor to robo-advisors, like Wealthsimple, which use passive portfolio management to buy and hold a fixed balance of exchange-traded funds. Responsive’s data-driven AI approach uses research to guide the decision making of investment teams. The company isn’t trying to build a robo-advisor or replace human workers with AI, Wachell said, rather provide assistance to augment the services wealth managers already offer.

RELATED: Wealthsimple raises $100 million led by Allianz X to build a full stack financial service

The company was founded in 2015 by Wachell, who was previously a software developer at Genus Capital Management. Wachell said Responsive first sought to be a robo-advisor, but soon realized many robo-advisor startups were spending a lot of cash to acquire small companies, and rapidly shifted away from that goal. In 2015, the co-founders worked on its basic software and in 2016, it had built out something it could sell, launching its active management investment service in August of that year, and making its first B2B software sale to Toronto-based Cumberland Private Wealth, in 2017. Since then, Responsive has added seven more clients in Canada, which it said individually manage between hundreds of millions and a few billion dollars in assets.

Wealthsimple, with $4.3 billion assets under management (as of May 14), has a B2C model that seeks to drive customers to its platform. Responsive, with its customer base that collectively has $10 billion AUM, has a B2B model, working with eight high net worth clients.

“The buyer would be an operating officer, an executive, or a CTO, but we measure our success in the amount of end-to-end B2B-2C client money that our clients are dealing with,” Wachell said. “We’ve been very careful about how we spend money, particularly on sales and marketing. Because it’s a complex product, we’ve taken time with product-market fit.”

Since its founding, the company raised a $1.1 million Seed round led by Plug and Play Ventures, an early investor in PayPal, Dropbox, and Lending Club.

The company’s enterprise client base includes Finland-based OP Lab, which recently entered into a four-month pilot with Responsive to use its Next Best Action solution, hybrid AI software designed to detect changes in client finances, and notify advisors of next best actions.

Wachell noted that, moving forward, Responsive is looking to raise a pre-Series A or Series A, with a goal of $4 to $5 million. He said Responsive is hoping to be adding more bank partners and is looking closely at the European market this year.

“We’re really committed to building an end-to-end, insight-to-action platform for wealth managers and for human wealth advisors,” Wachell said. “We’re committed to that vertical and we think that’s a design story as much as it is an AI story.”

Image courtesy Responsive.AI

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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