Throughout this summer, Swanest closed its seed funding round. Philippe Gillion invested €750’000 in the promising fintech startup with locations in Brussels and London. Being a passionate self-directed investor himself, Mr. Gillion values the benefits Swanest can bring to the investment community. The funding is used to evolve the product, to accelerate marketing activities and to receive regulatory approval, which the company obtained early November this year.

Swanest was founded in late 2014 by four Belgian and Swiss entrepreneurs: Cyril Lequeux (Financial Algorithmics), Nicolas Bindels (Product & Business Development), Silvan Schumacher (Communications) and Youri Tolstoy (IT Systems & Security) for the purpose to build an online investment service to help self-directed investors in building and managing personalised investment portfolios.

Traditionally, do-it-yourself investing is complex and time-consuming. Not only do investors have to master complicated online brokerage platforms, but they need to answer a wealth of questions themselves: what are good investment products, how should assets be allocated, what does that mean in terms of risk, how could risk be managed, how to get exposure to countries, industries or companies and so on.

To tackle this complexity, Swanest applies a customer-centric approach to investing. “In essence, we look at the questions self-directed investors face along their investment journeys and then automate advice and use algorithms to provide meaningful guidance along the way. We call it an investment assistant” (Silvan Schumacher, Co-Founder & CEO). Importantly, the assistant focuses on mid- and long-term investment strategies, not on day-trading or there like.

Besides traditional players from the financial industry, Swanest is competing with a breed of new online investment platforms; so called robo-advisors. However, any bank, investment advisor and robo-advisor promote model portfolios only, which are one-size-fits-all investment products. Swanest focuses on investors that value truly personalised investment portfolios that may consist of any stock, ETF or mutual fund. Hence, you may think of Swanest as a service merging the best of the robo-advisory- and the online brokerage world.

Swanest is currently available in Beta mode. However, the service in undergoing major changes because of what the team is looking for more feedback to make sure to build a solution that its users truly want and need.

Swanest will be available across Europe around mid of 2017, and is looking for more rebels to join the team in Brussels and smart money for its vision to empower self-directed investors with an AI enabled investment assistant.