London-based Sidekick, a digital active investment manager , has raised a £3.33m pre-seed equity round led by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest and most active venture capital investors.

Seedcamp, Europe’s leading early-stage fund, and Semantic, a venture fund investing in new rails for data and the digital economy, also participated in the round.

Sidekick aims to close the generational wealth gap by offering products and services typically reserved for only high-net-worth individuals, including access to alternative investments and the ability to borrow against these investment portfolios.

Customers will have access to the Sidekick investment team who will provide regular updates on portfolio performance and share high-quality editorial content to help customers build their investment knowledge along the way.

Serial entrepreneur Matthew Ford (CEO) and Peter Townsend (CTO) founded Sidekick in January 2022.

Ford previously founded the mobile banking platform Pariti, where Townsend was CTO, which was sold to Tandem Bank in 2018. They’re joined at Sidekick by an experienced wider founding team from traditional asset management, consumer credit and FinTech backgrounds.

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The £3.33m funding round is being used to develop Sidekick’s app further, expand the in-house asset management team and secure the required regulatory permissions and registrations.

Sidekick will offer an innovative product mix, including both stocks and crypto, and construct a responsible funding line for customers to borrow against their portfolios when needed.

Ford said: “Most retail investors have two options to build wealth: settle for passive portfolios or try to time the market and pick stocks and crypto themselves without access to the training, tools and information needed to do this effectively.

“This funding will allow us to build a modern app-based investment service that gives customers the same professional expertise that only high-net-worth individuals are used to.

“We’ve already got a stellar team in place, and we’re now excited to be working towards regulatory approval to launch over the coming months.”

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Tom Wilson, partner at Seedcamp, said: “Matt and Pete have a huge amount of FinTech startup experience from their time founding Pariti and working on the exec team at Tandem.

“All this to say, they’re the perfect team to be going after this opportunity. We believe there’s a massive business here to democratise access to financial products and help close the generational wealth gap.”