MoneyLion acquires financial planning fintech

MoneyLion is buying out the financial planning software startup just a few weeks after its SPAC deal and values the firm at $2.9 billion

MoneyLion is the latest wealthtech company to acquire financial planning software in a move that further cements the industry’s shift to bring private banking services into the pockets of everyday users. 

MoneyLion announced Wednesday its acquisition of Wealth Technologies Inc. (WTI) just a few weeks after its Feb. 12 announcement that the company is slated to go public via a blank-check merger with Fusion Acquisition Corp. The deal pushes MoneyLion to unicorn status with a company valuation of $2.9 billion.  

Terms of MoneyLion’s acquisition of WTI were not disclosed.

MoneyLion manages about $20.65 million in assets and offers mobile banking, automated investing and personal financial management tools. 

WTI, founded in 2016, is a fledgling startup that adds robo-advice services to a financial institution’s tech stack with its proprietary Financial Goals Positioning System (fGPS). For MoneyLion, the idea is to use the fGPS tool to bring the previously exclusive experience of private banking and personalized advice to the masses, said Dee Choubey, MoneyLion co-founder and CEO. 

MoneyLion will leverage the fGPS to make improvements to its digital advice services including spending, credit and investing by reviewing members’ personal assets, liabilities and cash flow, according to the announcement.

The fGPS tool also brings predictive analytics to the MoneyLion platform, which offers guidance on how to manage short-term expenses, tips for making credit and financing decisions, or suggestions to optimize insurance coverage.

As part of this announcement, Rohit D’Souza has been appointed executive chairman of MoneyLion’s board. “We know where the incumbent industry’s strengths and weaknesses are and where change is long overdue,” said D’Souza.

MoneyLion is following in the footsteps of fintech giants Envestnet and AssetMark, who both have made recent announcements to unify banking, savings, and investment functions through a single platform. 

For these wealthtechs to stand out against the competition, it’ll be critical to incorporate design elements from inside and outside the industry to improve the digital experience, which has become the differentiator between wealth-management propositions, wrote William Trout, Javelin Strategy’s head of wealth management in a report.

As more users prefer services similar to competing robo-advisers like Betterment and Wealthfront, which marry online banking and automated investing into a single mobile app, more incumbents may start replicating their digital capabilities, partnering via APIs, or, in some cases, buying them out, wrote Trout. 

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