Wizest, a Cleveland-founded fintech startup that’s developing a next-generation platform for investing and trading, has closed a $ 1.7 million seed round that included participation from local investors JumpStart Ventures and North Coast Ventures.
The round was led by Aperture Venture Capital of Philadelphia. JumpStart Ventures ‘Evergreen Fund participated in the round, as did North Coast Ventures’ Seed Fund IV. Wizest plans to use the funds for product development, recruiting new talent, customer acquisition and support functions, with a focus on compliance and governance.
In a news release, Axel Thibon, co-founder and CEO of Wizest, said, “Local and regional organizations like (North Coast Ventures) and JumpStart will be key to growing Wizest in the Northeast Ohio region. In addition, we see significant value from well-known industry names that validate the potential of our model. ” Those include Aperture, a VC with a focus on fintech, and Karl Roessner, former CEO of E * Trade, Thibon said.
Wizest describes itself as an investment platform that democratizes access to financial experts. When a user drafts an adviser on Wizest, the platform replicates the adviser’s virtual portfolio on the user’s behalf. This allows for diversified investment strategies and engaging learning experiences through its platform.
Todd Federman, managing director of North Coast Ventures, said in a statement, “Wizest’s vision to remove roadblocks to investing and make it a more human experience soundly resonates with financial institutions. The banking and investment management partners we’ve connected them with so far , in Northeast Ohio and beyond, have expressed interest in partnering, putting Wizest on a path to scale quickly. “
Hardik Desai, managing partner of investing at JumpStart Ventures, added that Wizest “is positioned to make a big impact on the stock investment sector by providing easy access to experts, significantly reducing the intimidation factor people have with buying stocks.”
Wizest was among six early-stage startups selected in February 2020 for the first gBETA business accelerator program in Cleveland.