Scalable Capital becomes a unicorn with $180M raise

The latest round brings the Germany-based retail investment platform’s valuation to $1.4 billion, up from $460 million in July last year, per TechCrunch. Scalable Capital offers consumers neobroker and robo-advisory services across 6,000 shares and 2,000 funds, plus crypto trading. It also has a B2B arm that partners with banks to develop their own robo-advisory options.

Scalable Capital will use the funding to expand across Europe following recent restructuring. In January, it closed its UK business-to-consumer (B2C) arm due to high customer acquisition costs, as is the case with many robo-advisors in the crowded market, and transferred UK accounts to the German platform. With the significant capital injection, Scalable will fuel its expansion again to recreate the successes of its current markets: It has 250,000 users across Germany, Austria, and the UK and $5 billion in assets under management (AUM), up from 80,000 users and $2 billion in AUM last year. It can also rely on its more cost-effective B2B services, which bring in about the same amount in revenues as its B2C arm, to reach new users. For example, it’s still available in the UK via its Barclays partnership.

Scalable has high barriers compared to its European counterparts, and yet its model actually led to its unicorn status.

  • The retail investing platform is expensive. For robo-advisory services, Scalable imposes a €10,000 ($11,402) minimum account threshold with a 0.9% annual fee. By contrast, its national counterpart Raisin requires €500 ($570) and charges 0.43%, while UK-based Moneybox and Belgium-based ETFmatic have no minimum account opening and charge 0.45% and 0.48%, respectively.
  • But Scalable grew its AUM faster than its competitors. HSBC estimates that robo-advisors charging a fee of 0.45% or higher need to reach between $3.5 billion and $5.3 billion in AUM to break even. At $1.92 billion, Moneybox currently has less than half of Scalable’s AUM despite having more than double the users, at 600,000. Scalable’s high threshold, combined with tailored human advice to clients, has actually led to more funds being deposited on its platform, helping it more than double its valuation in less than a year.