Shares closes $40M Series A round led by Valar Ventures and launches its social investing app in the UK
Shares, Europe’s first social and investing app with a waitlist of more than 60,000, announces both the launch of its much anticipated app, along with the close of a significant $40 million series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, Peter Thiel’s fund. The Shares app is now available for all users to download via Apple Store and Google Play.
Shares combines the simplicity of an investment product with all the features users would expect from a social media app, creating a unique trading community offering users no-minimum, no fee access to hundreds of stocks from just £1. Founded less than a year ago, the most recent $40 million Series A funding round, with investors including Valar Ventures, Singular and Global Founders Capital, takes the total investment in the startup to $50 million. In just nine months, the company has hired over 130 full-time employees and established its first three offices in London, Paris and Krakow.
Unlike any other investment app currently available, Shares gives family, friends and experienced investors a single place to meet, discuss and invest, fostering long-term financial wellbeing through sharing thoughts and experience in order to grow and enjoy their investments together. By combining the social experience investors have become accustomed to, using platforms such as Reddit, Whatsapp or Telegram, with an easy-to-use, moderated investment platform, Shares combines the best of both worlds.
With its unique approach, Shares’ mission is to break down the barriers for first time investors, democratise and demystify investment and give its users access to the thoughts and ideas of their trusted network to give everyone the opportunity and confidence to invest on a safe platform and grow their own portfolio.
‘Investing with your close circle’ changes everything
Shares’ proprietary research* reveals that Britain is already a nation of investors with over two thirds of millennials (69%) now investing, of whom the majority use apps to manage their money (58%). Almost one in three (29%) of 18-34 year old Brits expressly want to track the investments of friends and family as well as discuss their own experiences, whilst 17% of 18-34 year olds already turn to family and friends when making decisions about investing, using the limited separate messaging and community platforms previously available to them.
With Shares, both first-time and experienced investors can source moderated information from the community, connect with friends and family, and make more informed decisions. One in four (25%) 18-34 year olds already believe that openness about their portfolio would have tangible benefits to them in terms of returns. Shares believes that if there was a platform that would allow them to interact, all generations would be more likely to discuss their investing activity.
“The use of social networks has fundamentally changed how we interact with friends and family, what we talk about and how we make decisions. With being more connected than ever, why shouldn’t it improve the way we think about investments too? People are already using solutions like Whatsapp, Telegram and joining communities to talk about trading. We’ve realised there is a need for an investment product that allows groups of friends to invest, discuss and share their investment journey. At Shares, we decided to bring it all together,” says Harjas Singh, CPO & Co-Founder of Shares. “Catered to resonate with the next generation of investors, the social element is integral to the experience, not an afterthought. In less than nine months we’ve built an investing product with an incredible back-office capability with sophisticated AML & Fin-crime detection systems. We are already in a position to compete with the biggest players in the market and are on our way to build a category leader.”
Shares is a new category of investing app
Shares has all the functionality today’s investors have come to expect from retail investment platforms, as well as many social elements never before utilised by investing apps.
Key features include:
When buying or selling on Shares, users can share their views on the investment they are marking with their close circles by sharing captions and GIFs.
Shares enables its members to keep track of all their friends’ investments in real-time, support or challenge each others’ trades and react to them through likes and comments.
People are able to create group watchlists with their friends to track their next opportunities together.
Whether through group chats or private DMs, Shares provides the means to discuss investment strategies with your close friends and family.
View friends profiles to see what shares they invest in, and their aggregated profits and losses.
“I am very proud of the team we’ve built in just a few months, 130 talents coming from the best tech companies across Europe in order to launch Shares, a whole new category of investing product. The app is inspired by our own experiences as retail investors and we wanted to improve people’s journey by combining trading with a community element that would radically transform the way people approach finance,” says Benjamin Chemla, CEO & Co-Founder of Shares. “We’re on a mission to help people connect, share experiences and invest in long-term financial wellness and a better future for themselves, together. From the UK, to Europe and beyond, launching today is the first giant leap toward giving everyone what’s missing in the experience of investing today.”
“We couldn’t be more excited about the future of Shares. Its unique take on investing and social combined with the incredible team they are building has given the company all the ingredients it needs to become a category leader. 2022 is going to be an amazing year for Shares and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of it,” says James Fitzgerald, Partner at Valar Ventures.
Founded less than a year ago, Shares has raised a total of $50 million before even launching publicly their pioneering app, with today’s announced $40 million Series A funding round following one of Europe’s largest-ever seed rounds of $10 million pre-product in 2021, from investors that include early backers of N26 and Wise, a co-founder of competitor app, Freetrade, and other industry leaders. The Series A round includes key investors such as Peter-Thiel-backed Valar Ventures (lead investor), Singular, Global Founders Capital, and Red Sea Ventures.
Co-Founded by Benjamin Chemla, Chief Executive Officer, François Ruty, Chief Technology Officer and Harjas Singh, Chief Product Officer, Shares has come to fruition in such a short period of time, along with a strong senior team of industry leaders from the likes of Revolut, Stuart, Morgan Stanley, Bumble, and FreeNow.
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