Investing app Lightyear raises 25 million euros as part of its European expansion

Investment app Light year announced a $25 million Series A funding round and is rolling out to 19 additional European markets, just nine months after launch.

The latest investment is led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Mosaic Ventures, Taavet+Sten and Metaplanet. It also sees the participation for the first time of the Virgin group of Richard Branson. This brings the total amount raised by the company to over US$35 million.

At the same time, Lightyear announces its expansion into 19 new markets, all in the EU. They include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, joining the UK, where the app is already live. This means that there are only 8 EU markets left where the app is not available, including Sweden and Denmark.

Building a neo-broker to “lift the veil on investing”

Martin Sokk, co-founder and CEO of Lightyear, said: “Nine months ago we launched our app in the UK for the first waiting lists. Fast forward to now, and we’ve secured a European license that allows us to launch across the continent and lift one of the biggest Series A rounds in 2022. But our goal remains the same: to give everyone Europe access to the world markets without hidden costs and to facilitate investment for all. We are delighted to welcome Lightspeed, alongside the Virgin Group, to our strong group of investors who share this vision with us and who have such deep experience in growing successful businesses from the start of their journey.

Nicole QuinnPartner at Speed ​​of light, says: “Having lived and worked on both sides of the pond, I have seen firsthand the difficulties faced by Europeans trying to access financial markets as easily as their American counterparts. Lightyear tries to solve this problem with a platform that customers not only love and trust, but understands the nuances between different regulations, languages, exchanges and cultural investment standards. There is not a single neo-broker offering products across the continent today, and the potential is huge. Martin and Mihkel have assembled an all-star team to achieve this goal, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to support them all on this journey.

And Sir Richard BransonFounder of Virgo Group, adds: “For too long, financial markets have been too complex with high barriers to entry and confusing jargon. Martin, Mihkel and the team at Lightyear are lifting the lid on the world of investing – making it more transparent while empowering people, through education, to choose the products that are right for them.

Allow people to invest, no matter how small

Lightyear was founded by CEO Martin Sokk and CTO Mihkel Aamer. They set out to overhaul the broken investment system in Europe, paying particular attention to three fundamental problems. First, the fees associated with investing were high and not always transparent. Each platform takes a different approach to fees, which means variations in how they are applied and confusion for the everyday investor. Lightyear bills itself as “truly commission-free,” with the only notable fee being its 0.35% currency conversion rate for forex on higher value amounts.

Second, Sokk and Aamer wanted to address limited market access. Unlike in the United States, European consumers did not have immediate and easy access to financial markets, with existing options being hyper-local, limited to one or two markets. Instead, Lightyear wants to build a solution that can be used across the European continent, as highlighted in today’s expansion announcement.

Finally, they wanted to address the lack of investment information and education, one of the biggest obstacles for casual retail investors. Lightyear describes most platforms as “execution venues” and says there was previously little information available for clients to truly understand the market, their portfolio or their financial instruments.

In the two years since its inception, the startup has assembled a team of around 30 employees, continued to develop the platform ahead of this latest rollout, and now enables consumers to hold and invest money. in pounds sterling, euros or US dollars.

Lightyear CEO Martin Sokk continues, “We consider investing money for your future to be fundamental. This shouldn’t be exclusive to an already privileged VIP club with masses of disposable income and insider knowledge. Or to people in certain countries. We want to offer everyone, no matter how much they invest, access to a full range of products to help them in their future – that’s our mission.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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