Betterment Adds Crypto Capability Through Makara Acquisition

Betterment, an independent digital investment advisor, has entered into an agreement to acquire cryptocurrency portfolio management company Makara. The move allows Betterment clients to invest in diversified cryptocurrency portfolios alongside their current investments. Makara personnel will move over once the deal is finalized later this quarter.

“Crypto is here to stay and Betterment wants to live our promise of long-term diversification and to provide our customers with the best variety of assets in the marketplace,” said CEO Sarah Levy. “Makara is unique in offering consumers managed crypto portfolios combined with the guidance and ease-of-use that have defined Betterment. Makara is to crypto today what we are to traditional investing, since pioneering robo-investing a decade ago.”

“We are thrilled to be joining Betterment,” said Jesse Proudman, Makara’s co-founder and CEO. “We developed Makara to bring an easy and accessible long-term investing approach to cryptocurrencies. Combining our crypto expertise with Betterment’s scale will accelerate the growth of the platform with both retail investors and financial advisors.”

In September 2021, Betterment announced a $160 million funding infusion consisting of $60 million in Series F equity capital and a $100 million credit facility. It left the company with a valuation of $1.3 billion. The equity portion was led by Treasury, with participation from existing investors Kinnevik, Bessemer Venture Partners, Francisco Partners, Menlo Ventures, Anthemis Group, Globespan Capital Partners, Citi Ventures, and The Private Shares Fund. New investors Aflac Ventures and ID8 Investments joined in. The $100 million credit facility was established with ORIX Corporation USA’s Growth Capital group and Runway Growth Capital.

That was followed by a rebrand which debuted in mid-November. The new logos are designed to evoke images of a sunrise along with a new color scheme. Previously, the company acquired Wealthsimple’s U.S. investment advisory business book.

The Fintech now has more than 700,000 clients and controls in excess of $32 billion in assets.

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