New York-based brokerage startup Public.com has been attracting notable celebrity backers, the most recent ones being Hollywood star Will Smith and NFL star JJ Watt. The recent investors raised a total of US$15 million [AU$22.9 million] in its second round of funding.
Many assume that investing comes with high-entry barriers and steep learning curves, but it doesn’t have to be. Public.com aims to streamline the investment process and attract a broader audience base.
The startup is developing a social investing app that lets its users easily buy public stocks with any amount – without commission fees added.
Some news: We’ve raised a $15MM Series B round co-led by @accel and @greycroftvc. Also joining are:@dreamersvc (Will Smith & @kskgroup2017)@jjwatt@sophiaamoruso@casey@scottbelsky@morgandebaun@AdvancitCapitalhttps://t.co/uJAGt7PLhv
— Public.com (@PublicHello) March 2, 2020
Bringing celebrity investors into the fold
The brand’s CEO, Leif Abraham, shares that they want their app to be as inclusive as possible.
Many startups are starting to realize the importance of celebrity funding and promotion. Inviting influencers will not only help these brands gain a more significant following but also encourage the growth of a new generation of investors.
Back in 2019, the company had a successful Series A funding that was backed by big firms. This year, Dreamers VC (founded by soccer player Keisuke Honda and Will Smith), Girlboss CEO Sophia Amoruso, YouTube creator and entrepreneur Casey Neistat, and other celebrities joined the latest round of funding. Now, Public.com has pooled $23.5 million since its formation in 2017.
— Sophia Amoruso (@sophiaamoruso) February 24, 2020
Promoting social interaction
The app comes with features such as following friends and investing experts, as well as organizing ETFs and stocks to suit the user’s interests.
Those who use Public.com can also see what others are investing in, as a way of honing their investment strategy. Jannick Malling, Public.com’s co-CEO, shares that people often view stock market investments as a harrowing process. The inclusion of a social layer makes it more appealing to those who are just starting their investing journey.
Leif Abraham also adds that they didn’t create their app with professional investing in mind. In fact, day-trading isn’t an option when using their service. Trades require two days of processing before any related funds are fully settled.
An app built for long-term investments
While fear of the coronavirus outbreak has dealt some damage to some financial markets, stocks remain strong, producing a 10% average return per year in the last century. Abraham says that the majority of Public.com’s community prefer long-term investments.
For anyone looking for an informational and user-friendly entry to the world of investing, this app might be worth looking into.
Featured image courtesy of Medium / Public.com