Shares raises $40M Series B round after successful UK launch
Shares, Europe’s first social and community-based investing app, has closed a $40 million Series B funding round led by Valar Ventures after a successful launch in the UK in May. This doubles Shares’ total investment to date – bringing the total raised to $90M – and further boosts the company’s plans to expand across Europe whilst launching its crypto-asset proposition, amongst other innovative social-first community features, to its platform.
Since launching in the UK in May 2022, Shares has garnered over 150,000 users and became the second most downloaded app in the ‘Finance’ category on the App Store and the sixth most downloaded app in the UK. Shares combines the simplicity of an investment platform with all the features users would expect from a social media app, creating a new category entirely – “social trading”. Customers can learn and chat about investing with their friends, family, and like-minded communities while getting access to hundreds of US stocks.
“Social trading” is the next trend in investing
Shares is on a mission to level the investing playing field and make financial freedom accessible for everyone. By breaking down barriers for first-time investors, demystifying investment, and harnessing the power of community, Shares gives everyone the opportunity and confidence to invest and start their investing journey, no matter their financial background.
In just three months, over 150,000 people have joined Shares, 66% of those being Gen Z (below 25) and 26% millennials (26-41). Users have praised the app for its easy-to-use navigation and intuitive interface, making it an inclusive platform for everyone.
The Shares app in the UK currently offers social trading, activity feeds and push notifications, group watchlists and activity signals, chats and social push notifications, analyst ratings and price alerts, amongst others.
What’s next: European expansion
As well as continued ambitious growth in the UK, Shares will use the recent investment to innovate its product further, building community-centric products designed to make access to investments easier. It will also support the company’s expansion and growth into countries throughout the European Union and entry into other international markets. Subject to relevant regulatory approvals, Shares expects to go live in the rest of Europe by the end of the year. It has since hired regional general managers and teams in Barcelona, Berlin, Stockholm, Krakow and Amsterdam to support its growth within these markets.
Additionally, as part of the rhetoric of constant innovation and development, Shares will be entering the Web3.0 space. Shares is currently scoping its crypto proposition that will enable users to transact in the digital assets space, seamlessly, all via the Shares application. This won’t stop here, Shares is already scoping the crypto propositions evolution to add new features and access, seeking to deploy their social-first investing experience into the world of Web3.0.
Commenting on the fundraising, Benjamin Chemla, Founder & CEO said, “It’s fantastic to see the unwavering confidence our investors have not only in Shares as a platform, but in the team behind it as we go from strength to strength. As part of our mission to democratise the financial world, we remain committed to being innovative, agile and prepared to provide a first-class experience for our customers of today and tomorrow. This latest investment from Valar Ventures will only serve to reinforce our growing momentum, supporting the next stage of our expansion into Europe that in turn will act as a springboard into international audiences.”
Co-Founded by Benjamin Chemla, Chief Executive Officer; François Ruty, Chief Technology Officer; and Harjas Singh, Chief Product Officer, Shares came from ideation to launch in short succession. Since its launch, Shares has built a strong team of industry leaders from the likes of Revolut, Trade Republic, Monzo, Stuart, Morgan Stanley, Bumble, Gorillas, Gopuff, and FreeNow.
James Fitzgerald, Partner at Valar Ventures, said: “We are proud of the growth Shares has accomplished over the last few months. The UK launch was a great achievement and we can’t wait to see Shares growing throughout Europe. This was an opportunity for us to invest in an innovative social trading company that challenges the status quo of traditional retail investing — we look forward to working alongside Benjamin and the team in continuing this mission.”
Residents in the UK may download the Shares app via the Apple App Store (for iOS devices) and Google Play Store (for Android devices). Those interested but not in the UK may sign up to the waitlist to get first access to the app when it goes live.