Industry Updates

BlackRock invests in German fintech targeting digital investors

Asset manager participated in €30m fundraising round of Upvest

Theo Andrew

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BlackRock has invested in German fintech Upvest as it continues its push to capitalise on the rise of digital wealth management in Europe.

The world’s largest asset manager participated in the Berlin-based fintech’s €30m funding round in the hope of attracting more retail investors to the market through low-cost offerings such as ETFs.

Through its partnership with Upvest, which provides trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital platforms, BlackRock said it hopes to make investing “more accessible for millions of investors across Europe”.

Upvest, which launched an ETF trading platform alongside Revolut in May, said investors can benefit from “efficient, low-friction infrastructure to reduce transaction costs and allow access from small investment amounts”.

According to the fintech, its infrastructure enables fractional trading across ETFs, stocks and mutual funds, allowing investors to invest as little as €1 in any asset class, while its in-house portfolio engine and re-balancing capabilities aim to help the growth of ETF portfolio trading for investors.

Timo Toenges, head of iShares EMEA digital wealth business at BlackRock, said: “BlackRock’s partnership with Upvest will drive innovation in how Europeans access markets and make it cheaper and simpler to start investing.

“Across Europe, ETFs are at the core of these new propositions and often the default choice for investors, as a transparent, low cost and easily understood starting point for a new generation of investors.”

Martin Kassing, co-founder and CEO at Upvest, added: “With only a fraction of the European population investing in stocks and ETFs, we feel the urge to provide a better investment infrastructure to companies facilitating easy and affordable investment experiences.”

BlackRock has been growing its presence across the digital investing space in recent months as it looks to capitalise on the growth of retail investing across the continent.

Last week, the group partnered with Lloyds to launch an ‘ETF Quicklist’ service for UK retail investors and in September Monzo launched a direct-to-consumer service using BlackRock's MyMap fund range.

A recent survey conducted by BlackRock and YouGov found the number of ETF investors across Europe is expected to increase by 32% over the next 12 months.

Germany has been at the heart of this growth through the rise of online distribution platforms such as Scalable Capital and Trade Republic as well as the increasing popularity of ETF savings plans.

BlackRock predicts the number of ETF savings plans to grow from 4.9 million in 2021 to roughly 20 million in 2026.

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