Wealthsimple launches FinTech super app, combining startup’s financial products

What’s “better than a bank?” Mike Katchen thinks it's a super app.

Toronto-based FinTech startup Wealthsimple has launched a new, rebranded app that combines the company’s various financial offerings under one roof.

The move, which has been anticipated for some time, ensures Wealthsimple users will be able to access the startups’ core services, from stock and crypto trading to spending, through a single interface.

“This was the idea all along,” claims Wealthsimple in a blog post.

In a blog post announcing the launch, Wealthsimple claimed that launching a unified app has always been a part of the startup’s vision. “If launching a big new app that unifies everything (that has to do with your money) seems like a surprise, we have a little secret to tell you,” wrote the company. “This was the idea all along.”

When asked last year whether Wealthsimple’s growth strategy involves seeking a charter bank license in Canada, Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Mike Katchen was non-committal. At the time, he told BetaKit, “We don’t think Canadians need another bank, we think they need something better than a bank.”

With the unified app launch, Wealthsimple has adopted the ‘super app’ model of Chinese giants like Alipay and WeChat, following in the footsteps of other FinTech firms like Revolut and PayPal, which have warmed up to this branding.

Founded in 2014, Wealthsimple got its start as an investment platform, but has since expanded into other areas, including spending and saving, crypto, taxes, and peer-to-peer payments. The startup has seen growth during the pandemic as the popularity of its stock trading app, Wealthsimple Trade, soared amid a rise in retail investing activity.

As of March 31, 2022, Wealthsimple had 1.7 million Canadian customers, excluding tax clients. The company also held $19.4 billion in assets under administration, for year-over-year growth of 59 percent.

RELATED: Is Wealthsimple trying to build Canada’s first FinTech super app?

Last year, Wealthsimple raised $250 million CAD in primary capital at a post-money valuation of $5 billion, making it one of Canada’s most highly-valued tech startups. In recent months, Wealthsimple’s valuation has been written down about 20 percent by both Power Corp and Power subsidiary IGM Financial amid the broader tech stock rout.

In 2021, Wealthsimple sold its United States book of business to Betterment and its United Kingdom book of business to Moneyfarm, citing a desire to focus its efforts on Canada. Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Mike Katchen told BetaKit at the time that Wealthsimple needs to concentrate on a single market first to ensure it has its product offering right. In contrast to this market scale-back, Wealthsimple has been aggressively expanding its product offerings, and is also exploring credit and insurance offerings.

Existing clients can access the new Wealthsimple app using the most recent version of Wealthsimple Trade, or simply download Wealthsimple from the Apple or Google app store.

Wealthsimple plans to roll out more features for the app in the coming months.

UPDATE (03/06/2022): This story has been updated to correctly state that Wealthsimple sold its UK book of business Moneyfarm, not Betterment. BetaKit regrets the error.

Feature image courtesy Wealthsimple.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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