New digital financial services firm Alpian, incubated by Swiss banking group REYL & Cie, has announced a successful Series B funding, reaching CHF16.9m ($18m).

The initial funding round in 2020 – series A – raised CHF12.2m and was conducted to build the digital bank. Series B fundraising is intended to be principally used to launch the bank in the Swiss market.

Following two successful rounds of funding, the firm is aiming to launch in the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval from FINMA.

Alpian chief executive Schuyler Weiss explained the firms “structured and careful” approach to building and launching the bank: “This approach ensures that Alpian will be in a strong position to provide the best service to customers later this year subject to the issuance of a full banking licence by FINMA.”

Alpian is pursuing a market segment of mass affluent clients, offering both banking and investing through a single integrated product. In Switzerland alone, the segment of potential mass affluent investors represents a CHF660bn opportunity.

Targeting individuals with values of CHF100,000 to 1m to invest, mass affluent clients are reportedly underserved by retail banks, yet lack access to private banking services.

The firm will utilise a hybrid model, employing both human advisors and machine intelligence to create bespoke portfolios. Additionally, each account will come with a debit card and multi-currency account in four currencies to facilitate everyday banking needs.

Alpian is also creating educational content on financial matters through the recently launched i-vest platform.

Having garnered ample support from investors, Alpian will be launched as a fully licensed bank, with further funding rounds to be expected. According to Weiss, the size of such rounds will be calibrated based on the adoption and traction of the bank within the market.

REYL partner, Pasha Bakhtiar, commented on the significance of such support: “This exceptional milestone is a strong testament to the talent and execution capabilities of the Alpian management team and the innovative mindset championed by Reyl & Cie.

“We are particularly proud that this incubated idea has flourished into a blooming company and has attracted broad investor interest as well as support from our strategic partner ISP-Fideuram.”

In line with the firm’s expansion, Alpian’s headcount has grown from 6 to 28 since January 2020. Weiss concluded: “It’s been exciting to see the talent we’ve been able to attract and their commitment to delivering a truly innovative wealth management product that goes beyond money to deliver real wealth.”