Jan 26, 2022 - Economy & Business

UBS to buy robo-advisor Wealthfront for $1.4 billion

Wealthfront CEO Andy Rachleff

Wealthfront co-founder Andy Rachleff. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UBS, a Swiss bank and one of the world's larger wealth managers, on Wednesday said it will buy U.S. robo-advisor Wealthfront for $1.4 billion in cash.

Why it matters: Big banks continue to buy fintech companies in order to expand their client offerings, although robo-advising has almost become table stakes at this point.

ROI: Wealthfront was a robo-advising pioneer when it was founded 15 years ago, and last raised funding in 2017 at a $500 million valuation (there may have been one subsequent round, but details weren't disclosed). The sale price represents a strong return for investors, but does read a bit disappointing given today's sky-high tech M&A prices.

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