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Michael Katchen, seen in April, is founder and chief executive of Wealthsimple, Canada’s biggest robo-adviser firm.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Investment giant Power Financial Corp. is pouring more money into Canada's burgeoning financial technology space with an additional $65-million investment in online portfolio manager Wealthsimple.

Power Financial's total investment in Wealthsimple now sits at $165-million, with this being the fourth round of financing the company has dished out since announcing a strategic partnership in 2015.

Wealthsimple has hit $1.9-billion in assets under administration and has over 65,000 clients. In January 2017, the company expanded its operations south of the border to include offerings for U.S. investors. It launched operations in the U.K last summer.

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Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen said the company will use the new capital to evolve its investing product, explore new financial product offerings, accelerate growth across its three markets and further develop its business-to-business platform.

"Last year was a really big year for Wealthsimple with expanding into two new markets outside Canada," he said. "We want to continue to focus on these new markets and a big part of this funding will be used to continue to build on this momentum and continue to grow- and grow quickly.

Mr. Katchen also says the funding will be used to "expand the set of services we offer clients beyond the simple investment products."

He would not confirm which services he would be adding to the online platform.

"We have done a great job with our core investment solution, but I think there is more we can be doing to sort out their financial lives," he added.

The platform will also continue to grow its B2B platform, which allows financial advisers to use the online platform directly with their own clients.

Widely known on the Street for its empire of financial advisers and investment products, Power has invested more than $300-million in the fintech arena – with money also funding startup companies, including mobile bank provider Koho Financial and online lender Borrowell.

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But its largest chunk of money remains dedicated to the robo-advisory space.

In April 2015, Power announced an initial investment of $10-million, which also included the option for Power to contribute an additional $20-million in funding (which it did add later that year).

Wealthsimple then received a second investment of $20-million in December of 2016, while announcing Paul Desmarais III, senior vice-president of Power Financial, as chairman of Wealthsimple.

Last May, Power boosted its investment to add another $50-million.

"We at Power Financial are proud to be Wealthsimple's greatest champion as it becomes a global leader in marrying unique digital technology with great content and service," said Mr. Desmarais in a statement. "Wealthsimple is delivering the benefits of financial advice to more and more people to help them create a better future."

More than 80 per cent of people who use robo adviser platforms in Canada use Wealthsimple, according to a report by Strategic Insight.

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