The initial set of high profile robo advisers had to blaze their own trail, solve tough challenges and invest a lot of capital to get where they are today. While some forecasts show the number of different robos peaking, it is possible that the work done to date has simply created the building blocks for many more robos to come. What kind of evolution are we experiencing?

Early robos faced limitations from the larger, better-known retail custodians who kept their systems locked down due to security concerns. Their only choice for a fully automated solution was to partner with relatively unknown custodians because they were the only companies that had created APIs the robos could connect to. This allowed them to open accounts online, custody assets and execute trades through available web services.

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