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Betterment Valuation Rises to $1.3B on Funding Round

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Betterment LLC has raised an additional $160 million, pushing the robo-advisor’s market value to almost $1.3 billion.

The funding includes a $100 million credit facility and a $60 million Series F equity round led by venture-capital firm Treasury, Betterment said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

Existing investors, including Kinnevik, Anthemis Group and Bessemer Venture Partners, also participated in the round, as did newcomer Aflac Ventures, a division of insurer Aflac Inc.

Betterment, which has about 700,000 clients and oversees $32 billion, plans to use the funding to expand business-to-business units, Chief Executive Officer Sarah Kirshbaum Levy said in a phone interview.

In addition to its core app for individual savers, Betterment sells retirement plans to mid-size companies and tools for financial advisers.

“The fundraising is coming off of a year where we’re delivering incredible momentum,” Levy said.

Robo-advisors, which manage money through software instead of direct human interaction, are a lower-cost option for savers than traditional financial planners.

While a “gambling aura” took over the retail investing market during the Covid-19 pandemic, Levy said in a Bloomberg TV interview that she sees a place for trading and long-term portfolios in robo-advised accounts to co-exist.  “Advice is a layer on top,” she said.

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