Fintech & e-commerce Venture

Creating An Adviser Marketplace: SoftBank Leads $10M Series A Into Zoe Financial

SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund is leading a $10 million Series A round of funding into Zoe Financial, a digital marketplace for people to find and hire vetted independent financial advisers.

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Zoe, headquartered in New York, was founded in 2016 by Andres Garcia-Amaya and launched its marketplace in 2018. It includes a curated network of independent, fiduciary and commission-free financial advisers, and financial planners ranked in the the top 5 percent in the country based on Zoe’s proprietary quantitative assessment test and qualitative test which assesses their knowledge and process.

The company offers a matching algorithm to pair consumers with financial advisers who share their financial objectives. Zoe’s Client Dashboard, which launched this week, enables consumers to monitor their financial standings and schedule virtual appointments with experts.

Garcia-Amaya was working at JP Morgan when he noticed that financial advisers were leaving the big firms to start their own businesses. Even though these independent advisers had websites and other promotional materials, it was still difficult for consumers to know who to hire.

“Clients want to work with advisers who are aligned with their interests and personal situations,” Garcia-Amaya, CEO, told Crunchbase News. “We have curated the best advisers and connected them to consumers who are looking for someone to help them know if they have enough saved for their kids to go to college, for their estate planning, and for their retirement.”

Zoe Financial screenshot

Joining SoftBank in the Series A is a group of new investors, including Aaron Schildkrout, Jessica Lachs, Chris Nakutis and Republic Labs. Existing investors in the round include Chris Jones, Marie Chandoha, ThirdStream Partners and Stephanie DiMarco. Adding in Zoe’s $6.3 million in previous seed funding gives the company a total of $16.3 million, according to Garcia-Amaya.

“Zoe Financial is disrupting the financial advisory market through the implementation of technology, data and sector expertise,” SB Opportunity Fund Managing Partner Shu Nyatta said in a written statement. “The SB Opportunity Fund is excited to partner with Zoe as it fuels the growth of independent advisory firms providing best-in-class, personalized advisory capabilities to a larger audience — including individuals who have been historically underserved by the market.”

Of working with SoftBank, Garcia-Amaya said it is good to have them in his corner, and they bonded over a shared goal of where the product was going.

With this investment, he plans to accelerate Zoe’s product roadmap, which includes hiring engineers and product developers.

“The best metrics we have seen on the consumer side is that there are more than $1.5 billion of aggregate savings, basically qualified leads, that are looking to hire financial advisers through a platform like us, and that has led to us growing in double digits month over month,” Garcia-Amaya said. “On the adviser side, we now have over $410 billion of managed assets among 2,600 advisers.”

Inset screenshot courtesy of Zoe Financial.
Illustration: Dom Guzman

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