Betterment, a roboadvisory platform that manages more than $30 billion in assets, has finally launched its crypto offering after completing a private beta phase. The fintech acquired Makara, a crypto asset management startup, back in February and has been working toward transforming Makara into its own in-house crypto product since the deal closed.
Crypto Investing by Betterment, as the new offering is called, debuts to Betterment’s retail and advisor customers today with four themed, customizable portfolios that will allow users to invest in curated selections of digital assets, the company’s VP of crypto, Jesse Proudman, told TechCrunch in an interview. Betterment has over 730,000 customers across all of its business lines and offerings, he added.
According to Proudman, the four portfolios that launched today include approximately 25 different cryptocurrencies each, categorized as follows:
- “Universe,” which purports to offer broad exposure across the crypto landscape and includes coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chainlink and Filecoin
- “Sustainable,” which focuses on green blockchains including Ethereum, which recently transitioned to a proof-of-stake (PoS) transaction verification mechanism, and other PoS chains such as Solana and Tezos
- “Metaverse,” comprised of assets involved with immersive online experiences such as gaming and digital commerce, such as tokens used in Decentraland and Sandbox
- “Decentralized Finance,” which contains tokens native to DeFi protocols including Aave, Uniswap and Compound
Proudman noted that the offering will include a feature that guides users to limit their crypto exposure to 5% of their investable assets as a guardrail.
“A pretty meaningful number of our clients are either interested or already invested [in crypto], but they’re feeling pressure with the do-it-yourself nature, particularly when you couple that with the speed of change that happens in this asset class. So they provided feedback that this sort of managed, curated offering was of interest to them,” Proudman said.
Makara, which is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, launched with 20,000 customers and $1 million in assets under management last June, according to Decrypt.
Betterment announced last month that it would be partnering with crypto exchange Gemini, helmed by the Winklevoss twins, to develop the crypto portfolios and serve as custodian for the assets. The company’s last publicly known fundraise was a $160 million round announced in September last year, which it raised at a $1.3 billion valuation.
The company has been relatively slow in adding crypto to its suite, compared to other investment platforms like Robinhood and Acorns, perhaps in part because it wants to focus on messaging around the importance of long-term investing, especially as the crypto markets continue to prove volatile. Betterment’s launch comes just a week after investing app Stash announced its own crypto offering informed by an anti-trading, long-term ethos that stands in contrast to the short-term trading mentality often associated with Robinhood’s rise.
Note: This article has been updated to clarify that only retail and advisor customers of Betterment can access the crypto portfolios. The offering is not currently available to the company’s 401(k) customers.
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