Low-cost investment startup Lightyear, Europe's answer to Robinhood, has announced the launch of its app in the UK and said it raised an additional US$8.5mln in funding, taking the total raised to US$10mln.
The additional funds were raised from Mosaic Ventures, Taavet+Sten, Metaplanet’s Jaan Tallinn and early Monzo backer Eileen Burbidge.
Lightyear, founded by ex-Wise duo Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, combines multi-currency accounts with unlimited access to global markets so customers can invest freely without hidden fees.
The app initially will give first UK investors access to more than 1,000 global stocks, predominantly those listed in New York, with global stocks such as Alibaba available through American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
The company said from today it will be onboarding customers from its waiting list that has been growing since it came out of stealth mode earlier this summer.
It is targeting the first half of 2022 for a pan-European launch and said the latest funding will enable it to accelerate its plans to open up transparent and low-cost investing to everyone in Europe.
Simon Levene, Mosaic-founder and partner, said: “Compared to mature markets such as the US, retail investment across Europe is still at the beginning of its growth journey.
“Lightyear’s mission is to offer access to global markets for pan-European investors, providing all the necessary data and education they need -- with a simple, transparent business model that removes all the hidden and confusing fee structures."
Martin Sokk, co-founder and CEO at Lightyear, added: “10 months ago Lightyear was just an idea, so we’re really excited to have raised a total of US$10mln, hired a world-class team and to be launching the first iteration of our app.
“Our goal is to give all of Europe access to the world’s markets without hidden fees and to make investing cognitively easy. We’re excited to have such a strong group of investors that share this vision with us.”