Wealthsimple is officially expanding its service to the UK with an invitation-only beta.
The UK expansion comes just four months after Wealthsimple announced its US expansion. The company had been working on its US expansion over the past year.
“Ultimately, our ambition is to be a global financial services company. The UK has a lot of similarities to Canada — similar language and culture, the financial services industry is in a similar place — so it felt like the next logical step,” says Mike Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple.
Toby Triebel, who previously co-founded online lending platform Spotcap, will lead Wealthsimple’s UK business. Triebel helped grow to 100 employees operating in five countries, and has spent time at FinTech firms like Finisterre Capital and Goldman Sachs. While the UK is often heralded as a more innovative FinTech ecosystem in comparison to Canada — $5.4 billion has been invested in UK FinTech businesses, more than the total amount invested across the whole of Europe — Katchen says that the wealth management space is in a similar state.
“There are a lot of people who are being underserved by the financial services industry. They’re either not getting the tools and advice they need, or they’re paying too much for it,” Katchen said of the UK. “That creates a real opportunity for us. I think our simple, accessible, cost-effective approach to investing will resonate with consumers there the way it has here in Canada.”
In early May, Wealthsimple raised a massive $50 million round and announced that it has $1 billion in assets under administration, and currently has 30,000 clients.
“Two years ago, we had no assets and no funding, and asking people to trust us with their life savings was a lot harder than now, where we have a billion in assets,” Katchen said at the time.
Today, Katchen says that a major part of the company’s growth is in its client referrals. “Ultimately, making a product our clients love is what helps us grow.”
The beta version of the platform will be launching this summer, followed by a public launch in September. The waitlist for Wealthsimple’s UK product is open.