BlackRock-backed robo-adviser to close UK consumer platform

Scalable Capital, a European robo-adviser valued at $460m, is set to shutter its UK service in order to focus on growing the business in Germany.

Clients based in the UK were told Wednesday that their accounts would be closed by February 28 if they had not already transferred their assets off the platform by that time. 

Simon Miller, chief executive of the UK business, told The Block that the decision was part of a move to consolidate the pan-European firm’s services under the German entity. 

“We’re crossing €3bn now across the platform, and a lot of that’s on the German platform,” he said. “Operating multiple direct-to-consumer platforms is basically becoming quite inefficient.”

Miller declined to say how many UK customers had been affected by the decision.

Scalable is one of the largest of a group of so-called robo-advisers in Europe which offer wealth management tools online and at relatively low cost.

Many of these companies have pivoted their business models in recent years to focus on “business-to-business” client relationships, whereby they licence their technology to established financial institutions rather than catering directly to customers. Scalable partnered with UK lender Barclays to launch a digital advice service last July.

Despite the decision to close the consumer business, Miller said Scalable remains committed to the UK, “first and foremost through our B2B partnership on digital investing with Barclays”.

Scalable raised another €50m in July 2020, bringing its total fundraising to €116m. In addition to BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, its backers include HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures.