Sidekick Secures £8.5M to Make Private Wealth Less Private

Sidekick, a modern wealth management platform that offers the financial benefits typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy, has raised £4.5 million in a seed round and £4 million through a debt facility, totalling £8.5 million. This funding will help the startup grow its team, expand its product offerings, and secure a European license.

The seed round was co-led by Pact VC and TheVentureCity, with support from MS&AD, Blackwood, and 1818, along with existing investors Octopus Ventures, Seedcamp, and Semantic Ventures. Columbia Lake Partners, known for backing Mews, Factorial, Griffin, and Contentsquare, provided the debt financing.

A report from the Resolution Foundation highlighted that wealthier households can invest more in high-return assets, worsening the wealth gap. This disparity is partly due to differing liquidity needs and limited access to high-return assets for lower-income households. Traditionally, these investment opportunities and the expertise to navigate them have been exclusive to the ultra-wealthy.

Sidekick aims to bridge this gap by offering financial services to professionals who have moved beyond basic stock picking and robo-advisors and are looking for more substantial ways to grow their wealth. It targets founders, tech workers, lawyers, and other professionals who know they could be doing more with their money but are unsure how to proceed and wary of traditional financial advisors who might not understand their unique situations.

Matthew Ford, Co-Founder and CEO of Sidekick, explains, "We’re looking to address the growing inequity of wealth creation and let the money of hard-working entrepreneurs and professionals work harder. With over a million people in our target demographic in the UK seeking support for their financial goals, the demand for innovative wealth management solutions tailored to their unique needs is undeniable. Sidekick exists to ensure that it’s not just the ultra-wealthy that have access to the tools and products needed to secure long-term financial prosperity."

Sidekick obtained a comprehensive set of regulatory permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and launched its actively managed flagship equities product in January. Offering a low minimum portfolio requirement of just £1,000, investors receive a premium product set and service, including expertly managed investments, regular portfolio updates, insights into market trends, and broader investment themes, typically reserved for a £500,000 to £1 million and upwards portfolio.

As with all investing, capital is at risk.

Expanding its product lineup, Sidekick is the only wealth management service of its type in the UK to offer a Portfolio Line of Credit, a lombard lending product designed to help investors stay invested over the long term while still having access to liquidity when needed.

Ford added: “This product has typically been reserved for those with multi-million-pound portfolios and only offered by private banks. Launching this product to a wider client base demonstrates that we can deliver our promise to provide the same financial services once traditionally reserved for the select few.”

Investors can borrow up to 40% of the value of their portfolio, subject to assessment, without needing to bear the brunt of a forced sale. The credit facility is backed by the investor’s portfolio, which helps Sidekick provide larger loan amounts, lower fees, and greater flexibility. The product is designed to enable more long term investment horizons; it can’t be used for investing.

Monik Pham, Founding Partner at Pact VC, commented, "Sidekick addresses wealth disparity and the limited options in the market, which often restrict investors to extreme ends of the spectrum: solely passive investing or active speculating. By catering to an underserved segment with innovative financial products and inclusive wealth-creation opportunities, Sidekick is changing private wealth for the new generation.”

Álvaro Sanz Sieteiglesias, Partner at TheVentureCity, added, “Matt, Pete, and the whole Sidekick team impressed us with their long-term vision to enable more people to take charge of their wealth creation. If you remove the technological and distribution barriers everyone can better build generational wealth in the long term.”

Sidekick also recently launched its new instant-access savings account, offering a competitive variable interest rate of 4.34% annual equivalent rate (AER) on cash savings. Plus, the account gives customers an additional one percent bonus on their first £20,000 for investing a minimum of £1,000 in Sidekick’s flagship investment portfolio over 12 months, bringing the total interest rate to 5.34 percent, currently the highest in the market.

Tiffine Wang, Partner at MS&AD Ventures, added, "Our focus is on investing in category leaders globally. We have been very impressed with Sidekick Money, led by Matt Ford. With their strong focus on regulatory compliance and cutting-edge technology, which provides a strong foundation for long-term success, they are poised to revolutionize private wealth management in Europe."

Abbas Kazmi of BlackWood Ventures commented, "We are delighted to be joining Sidekick on their mission to democratise access to wealth-building opportunities that previously were only open to the most affluent in society. The sheer scale of their vision and ambition, alongside their important core values of accessibility, transparency, and affordability, truly excites us. We look forward to being their supportive sidekicks on this journey towards empowering people to build better financial futures and believe that they have the right team in place to deliver on this promise."

Serial fintech professionals and tech entrepreneurs Matthew Ford and Pete Townsend co-founded Sidekick. Townsend served as CTO at Pariti, a money management platform Ford founded and led that was acquired by Tandem Bank in 2018.

They are joined by a robust team of 15 professionals, including Chief Investment Officer Cyril Bosch, who brings 15 years of experience with leading asset managers, including Polar Capital and J.P.Morgan.