Financial ‘super app’ M1 Finance gains unicorn status after SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led $150m round

M1 Finance, which offers a financial super app featuring automated investing, lending, and banking services, has secured $150m in Series E funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of $1.6bn.

It also marks M1’s fourth funding round in just over a 13-month time frame, bringing its total raised since its mid-2015 inception to over $300m. Previous investors include Coatue Management, Left Lane Capital, Jump Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures, among others.

M1 has “experienced massive growth in the past year,” M1 Finance CEO Brian Barnes said in a statement, and it plans to use the fresh capital to fund new products and features, hire more employees and improve customer service.

The Series E, which featured the participation of existing investors, as well, comes after a year in which the M1 Finance launched a trio of new solutions – Send Check, Custodial Accounts, and Smart Transfers – and reached more than $4.5bn in total assets under management.

The Chicago, Illinois-based FinTech combines the ability to build and maintain a personalised, automated investment portfolio – including access to fractional share investing – with a flexible line of credit and a digital banking service integrated into the user’s investment portfolio.

Consumer-facing investment apps like M1 have seen a surge in demand since last year as scores of stuck-at-home customers took to investing. Just this week, Syfe, a Singapore-based digital wealth management firm, raised $30m in its Series B funding round to accelerate global expansion. Online broker Robinhood which has filed for a US stock market listing, revealed a frenetic pace of growth in 2020.

Barnes added, “This milestone would not be possible without our customers entrusting us with their hard-earned money, our teammates devoting their time and energy to the cause, or our investors giving us the resources to pursue our vision. Not long ago, M1 was just an idea a few people and I were working on around my kitchen table. We are now a leading personal finance platform quickly approaching $5bn in assets under management. The team has grown to over 250 people, all focused on our mission.

“Financial well-being isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Our platform helps people have more control, more freedom, and more power over their money.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner Munish Varma said, “M1 Finance simplifies the complex, time-consuming money management process for individuals. We believe the company is well-positioned to consolidate users’ financial lives on a one-stop super-app with its Invest, Spend, and Borrow products.”

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