Meet Lightyear, a new London-based startup popping out of stealth in the present day. The corporate is constructing a stock trading app with a focus on creating a really commission-free app. Along with waving account charges and trading charges, Lightyear doesn’t cost overseas change charges both — as much as a sure level.
The 2 founders met after they have been working at Wise — then often called TransferWise. That’s why it is sensible that Lightyear desires to face out from the gang with decrease overseas change charges.
Martin Sokk, co-founder and CEO of Lightyear, labored at Wise between 2012 and 2017. He has held numerous roles, equivalent to head of product, head of individuals and head of operations. Mihkel Aamer, Lightyear’s different co-founder and CTO, was an engineering lead at Wise between 2013 and 2019.
“Having spent my profession in monetary companies, I’ve seen the great, the dangerous and the ugly. I consider retail investing in Europe is nonetheless very a lot ‘the ugly’ — we’re speaking about sneaky charges, much less entry and complex merchandise remaining as the established order,” Martin Sokk stated in a assertion. “We’re constructing one thing that may change that by opening up investing as much as everybody, whichever international market they need to spend money on and nonetheless a lot they need to make investments.”
As a consumer, you'll be able to count on a mobile app that permits you to purchase and promote shares and ETFs. There shall be 1,500 shares and ETFs from a number of markets at launch. Clients gained’t pay any account charges, trading charges and overseas change charges. However there shall be a restrict on overseas change charges. After £3,000 per 30 days, customers can pay 0.35% in FX charges.
The app isn’t fairly prepared simply but as Lightyear is opening up a waitlist in the present day. The product ought to roll out in some unspecified time in the future throughout the third quarter of this yr.
Lightyear has raised a $1.5 million pre-seed funding spherical co-led by the new unnamed fund shaped by Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport co-founder Sten Tamkivi Teleport. This is their first funding by means of this new enterprise. Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn is additionally co-leading the discovered by means of Metaplanet. There are additionally a number of enterprise angels taking part in in the present day’s funding spherical, together with Checkout.com CTO Ott Kaukver, former President of Robinhood UK Wander Rutgers, and Veriff founder Kaarel Kotkas.
It’s a good record of buyers however the firm will face powerful competitors from different startups — you’ll probably find yourself paying extra charges for those who use one in every of these rivals, however they’re already properly established. As an example, Berlin-based stock trading app Trade Republic has not too long ago raised $900 million. Within the U.Okay., Freetrade has additionally managed to attract 600,000 customers.
And but, extra importantly, Lightyear additionally competes with legacy brokers. In contrast to within the U.S., the overwhelming majority of retail buyers nonetheless rely on conventional banks and net platforms for stock trading. There shall be room for multiple firm on this house. So let’s see how Lightyear executes within the coming months.
Source : TechCrunch