US stock trading platform for Indians Vested Finance raises $3.6 million
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San Francisco based online investment platform provider Vested Finance on Friday said it has raised $3.6 million in a seed funding round from Moving Capital, Ovo Fund and TenOneTen Ventures in the United States, and Inflection Point Ventures and Venture Catalysts in India.

All but Moving Capital and TenOneTen Ventures are returning investors in the company, as per VCCEdge data. The previous investments are undisclosed sums raised over 2019.

The company, which enables India-based investors to invest in the US stock market without any commission, will use the new funds to accelerate product development and hire talent across the US and India, as per a statement.

Vested was founded by Viram Shah, Darwin Arifin and Eric Huynh in 2018. Huynh has a background in product creation, Shah has worked as investment banker with JP Morgan, and Darwin has worked with Intel.

The company said it saw rapid growth in 2020. Money deposited into Vested accounts grew 26 times over the last twelve months, along with a five times increase in US brokerage accounts opened through the platform, it added.

The company said it processed over $100 million in trades in 2020, and more than half of the investors using its platform are investing in the US market for the first time ever.

“Individuals in India have been contributing to the top and bottom line of international companies for decades, but have never had the chance to create wealth by investing in them… Our focus following this seed round is on accelerating product development to create a seamless and cost-effective end-to-end US investing experience,” co-founder and CEO Shah said in a statement.

To facilitate Indian investors to invest in US markets, Vested said it has partnered with over 25 brokers, fintech, and wealth management firms in India, including Axis Securities, Kuvera, Angel Broking and 5Paisa. It has also partnered with global digital trading technology platform DriveWealth to power its offerings.

“The United States is a global center of innovation, and people around the world can benefit from investing in the U.S. markets. Vested is bringing this cross-border investment opportunity to India and beyond, allowing local investors to diversify globally by spreading out their risk, and we’re excited about the possibilities Vested will bring to individuals in India, Southeast Asia and around the globe,” Gil Elbaz, partner, TenOneTen Ventures. 

The startup, also a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), is a recent graduate of the 2020 Techstars, and Western Union accelerator in Denver, where the 2020 program thesis focused on access to better financial tools and services that will create a more equitable and inclusive financial system, the statement added.

It was also a nominee among 18 startups selected to compete for the Fintech Startup of the Year award at India Fintech Awards (IFTA) 2019.

Apart from San Francisco, the company has offices in Mumbai, and Bengaluru, as per its website.

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