Lightyear scores $8.5m seed funding as it begins investment app roll-out

UK commission-free stock trading app Lightyear has pulled in $8.5m from a seed funding round led by Mosaic Ventures.

The round was bolstered by participation from Taavet+Sten and Metaplanet as well as angel investors Harsh Sinha, Eileen Burbidge and Taavi Tamkivi.

Established in 2020, Lightyear is seeking to reduce the obstructions to investing by offering no trading, account or FX fees up to £3000 per month. After getting past this barrier, investors will be charged a slight 0.35% FX fee.

Following this funding round, the company has now raised a total of $10m in pre-launch capital.

Alongside this raise in funding, Lightyear will launch its investment platform as it starts to onboard UK customers from its waiting list. According to Lightyear, the new platform will seek to eradicate the ambiguity and unjustifiable fees levied at retail investors.

The firm claims it wants to give customers the tools to add, hold and invest money in multiple currencies and remove the need for conversions.

Lightyear will start onboarding customers from its waiting list, a list the company states has been growing since the business came out of stealth mode earlier this summer with its $1.5m funding raise.

Lightyear has revealed it is targeting a pan-European launch of its platform in the first half 2022.

Lightyear co-founder and CEO Martin Sokk said, “10 months ago Lightyear was just an idea, so we’re really excited to have raised a total of $10 million, hired a world-class team and to be launching the first iteration of our app.

“There are more people in Europe investing now than ever before, but there’s still a very long way to go. 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.”

Mosaic co-founder and partner Simon Levene added, “Compared to mature markets such as the US, retail investment across Europe is still at the beginning of its growth journey. The customer experience hasn’t really been cracked, and the majority of current offerings serve just their local country.

“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.

“We’re delighted to support co-founders Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, two veteran execs from TransferWise, at the start of their journey to empower retail investors – experienced and new alike – across the continent”

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