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Aussie robo gains traction in Southeast Asia

Raiz Invest’s investor base in Malaysia and Indonesia is growing.

Raiz in Malaysia has raised nearly $1m from domestic investors in just three months after it launched its robo-advisory service in late-July.

At the beginning of October, the platform’s AUM reached RM 3m ($721,587.9) and continued to surge to RM 4m as of the end of the month, according to an announcement made by the firm on Linkedin.

“Despite the economic impact of Covid-19, the expansion in Southeast Asia is meeting our expectations,” according to the firm’s latest quarterly report.

As of the end of September, there have been at least 71,000 sign-ups to the app, surpassing the firm’s internal forecast of 60,000 by the end of 2020, the report said.

Raiz in Malaysia is a joint venture company between Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s (PNB) subsidiary Jewel Digital Ventures and Raiz Invest. Given its partnership with government-owned PNB, Raiz Malaysia’s robo-platform makes use of mutual funds managed by Amanah Samah Nasional Berhad (ASNB), which is owned by PNB.

Raiz’s online platform in the country is a micro-investing mobile app which utilises users’ virtual spare change from rounding up everyday purchases to proactively invest into ASNB funds. Users also have the option to invest using lump-sum investments.

Elsewhere, the firm is also seeing interest for its app in Indonesia.

The number of Indonesian investors that have signed with Raiz increased 50% to 137,384 in September from 91,471 in June, according to the report. Raiz launched its mobile-based investment platform in the country in August last year, after its business opened in March 2019.

Separately, the report noted that Raiz’s leadership team was reorganised to capitalise the growth opportunity in Southeast Asia. In August, George Lucas, who remains to be the managing director of Raiz, was appointed as group CEO, with CEOs in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia reporting to him. Meanwhile, Brendan Malone remains group chief operating officer and was appointed as CEO for Australia.

In Australia, the firm had 227,645 active customers and managed around A$500.6m ($350.6m) in assets as of the end of September, according to a separate filing with the Australian Securities Exchange.

Part of Mark Allen.