Over the past few years Singapore has seen the birth of several fintech startups that are using automation and AI to replicate the role of human financial advisors, helping users to preserve and grow their wealth through passive investing.

With lower fees than banks and fund managers, these robo-advisors reckon they can make more money for their users than their offline competitors.

But the more pressing question for them and their backers is how they can make money for themselves operating with razor-thin margins.

Most of the investors were not disclosed, though the startup said that a group of family offices, including previous backers the Rozario family and one new investor, participated in the round.

StashAway co-founder and CEO Michele Ferrario – a former group CEO at ecommerce platform Zalora – told Tech in Asia that the fresh funding will be used to improve its service offering through further development of its AI tech.

Robo-advisors claim their competitive advantages over human-managed mutual funds (also known as unit trusts) and established automated investment options like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is their ease-of-use, transparency, and substantially lower fees.

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