Sharesies, a New Zealand-based, low-cost retail investment platform, announced that it has landed an extra $NZ50 million in capital to strengthen its operation in Australia after soft-launching in April.
The platform, which was founded five years ago, offers investors a low-cost sliding commission structure to trade companies listed both in New Zealand and Australia, as well as the United States, in a bid to encourage regular investments no matter the size.
The latest round of funding was led by US venture capital firm Amplo, with buy-ins from various others, like prominent tech investor Rahul Mehta, whose track record includes success with early support for the workplace messaging software, Slack, and food delivery app, DoorDash.
Funding was also poured in locally from firms across Australia and New Zealand, with Wellington-based Benton Group, Icehouse Ventures and Even Capital all contributing to the raise.
Sharesies co-founder and “3EO” Brooke Roberts said the extra capital will allow them to add some of the capabilities that users have been asking for, as well as a major push in the Australian market.
“It’s fantastic that we’re continuing to gain very strong support to fund our purpose-driven growth plans,” she said.
“We’ve got heaps planned to provide further financial empowerment here in Aotearoa (New Zealand), as well as in Australia and beyond.”
Sharesies is now valued at $NZ500 million, the company says, and has nearly “doubled” in growth over the last year.
Its customer base has swelled to more than 450,000 investors — from the 330,000 it had in March — who have a stake of more than $NZ1.8 billion invested across the NZX, ASX, NYSE, Nasdaq, and CBOE.
Sheel Tyle, founder and CEO of the US-based venture capital firm, Amplo, said his firm’s investment in the platform was a “no-brainer”.
“We want to invest in companies that are purpose-led. The ambition of the Sharesies team is to help people succeed in growing their wealth, which made the decision to strengthen our existing investment into Sharesies a no-brainer,” Tyle said.
“We are delighted to be a part of Sharesies’ next chapter in Australia, whilst continuing its successes in New Zealand.”
Even Capital co-founder Sarah Park said the platform’s female co-founders, Brooke Roberts and Sonya Williams, were a core part of why the firm invested.
“The inspiring female co-founders and balanced leadership at Sharesies really resonated with us, alongside their innovative and ambitious approach to equitable access to investment for people from all walks of life,” Park said.
“We’re excited to see Sharesies expand into a truly iconic company, on the world stage.”
Speaking to Business Insider Australia earlier this year, Roberts said the platform was founded to offer options to New Zealanders priced out of the market.
“At the time, homeownership was starting to feel really unattainable for a lot of people, and there was a prevailing feeling that there wasn’t another way for people to grow their wealth,” Roberts said.
“The six of us had a range of experience in finance and design, and we all rallied around this ethos that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to build wealth, whether they have $5 or $5 million.”
She said Sharesies is really a “wealth development platform,” which sets it apart from other retail platforms, like eToro and Superhero.
“We’re really focused on building confident and motivated investors, which is a big difference compared to what I see out there,” she said.