finance

Investor interest in equity and crypto-focused funds picking up despite the sell-off, Tifin CEO says


A Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Search interest for stock funds remains strong despite the recent market sell-off, even in areas of the market that have cooled off significantly, according to trends seen by Tifin.

Tifin is a financial information platform founded by Vinay Nair, a fintech investor and entrepreneur. One of Tifin’s offerings is Magnifi, a search engine product for financial advisors and individual investors to more easily find and compare stock funds.

Nair told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday that, despite the recent sell-off in stocks, search activity continues to grow on Magnifi.

“People are looking for more things. We’ve seen an uptick from both consumers and advisors who are searching and asking more questions,” Nair said.

The recent searches seem to be focused on three topics, Nair said: funds with exposure to crypto, climate and ESG-focused funds, and funds with strong returns.

The crypto market has been hit particularly hard in the recent drop for risk assets, and there are no pure-play bitcoin ETFs on the market in the U.S. However, Nair said that investors seem to be interested in how fund managers who were previously bullish on crypto have responded to the sell-off.

“It seems that from the searches, there is interest in funds and fund managers that hold significant crypto-related holdings, Coinbase being an example. And in particular, there are searches that are asking are fund managers increasing the holdings of Coinbase, or increasing the holdings of crypto,” Nair said.

The data could be seen as evidence of investor resilience in the face of a brutal sell-off that’s pushed the Nasdaq 28% off its record.

Tifin, which was founded in 2018, announced last week that it raised $109 million in a series D funding round despite the tough environment for funding given the Nasdaq bear market. The company counts Franklin Templeton, J.P. Morgan and Hamilton Lane as investors. The series D valued the company at more than $800 million.

Even though search interest has seen continued strength, follow-through purchases have grown more slowly, Nair said. However, investors and advisors can use Magnifi for window-shopping while then actually making trades on a different platform.



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