Branson takes a stake in Lightyear: Europe’s Answer To Robinhood?


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. Lightyear, a trading platform based in the U.K. has received $25 million in additional funding to expand its reach throughout Europe.

. Lightspeed Silicon Valley led the round, along with Virgin’s Richard Branson.

. They are launching their app to 19 other European countries, including France and Italy.

A European competitor to Robinhood was funded with $25 million by Richard Branson in an investment round.

This deal, led by Silicon Valley’s Lightspeed Venture Partners is a rare vote in confidence for an upstart brokerage during a time of financial downturns.

Amer and Sokk worked previously for Wise, an U.K.-listed money transfer firm. All commissions will be refunded in terms of ETFs, 3,000+ global stocks and USD accounts are offered.“For too long, financial markets have been overly complex with high barriers to entry and confusing jargon,”

Martin’s office has a lightyear team consisting of Mihkel and him. They are trying to make the world of investing more transparent while empowering people through education to help them choose the right products.

Richard Branson, an air and space travel entrepreneur, purchased an undisclosed stake through Virgin Group in Lightyear.

Image Source – Lightyear

Europe: Expansion

Lightyear is a fast-growing company, despite it only being launched in the U.K. last September.

The app will be launched in 19 other European countries on Thursday, including France and Germany. It will also expand its reach into the Euro it plans to launch next in countries that are not euro members, such as Sweden or Norway.

Despite the decline in demand for such apps on American markets, investors still want to invest in investment apps that are geared towards Europe.

Nearly a fifth (55%) of all trades in America are conducted by retail investors. “We believe Europe is moving in the same direction.”

The cash injection is coming at a difficult moment for equity markets. They have been falling in response to fears of a recession. Robinhood is down approximately 78% from its IPO cost.

Martin Sokk of Lightyear, Chief Executive Officer, said that he’s not worried about the declines occurring in public markets.
In an interview, he stated that the markets’ movements up and down or sideways do not affect us too greatly because we’re creating something that takes a lot of time.

Rivalry in fierce battles

Although the U.S. and other European countries are slightly behind in retail trading, the region is showing strong growth as it adopts new technologies that will increase the number of customers for these financial apps.

Lightyear currently competes against established brokers Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and eToro, as well with fintechs like Revolut, Freetrade and eToro. Robinhood has also indicated that it plans to enter the European market with a more crypto-oriented focus than shares.

It attempted to enter the region many years ago but abandoned the plan to concentrate on its home market. It is now negotiating to acquire a U.K.-based Crypto Exchange.

Robinhood selected Wander Rutgers, who was previously in charge of the UK expansion, to be its chief operating officers back in May.

Investors have stopped investing in high-growth tech firms like Robinhood in recent months because they were concerned that their loss-making business model might not survive an economic environment characterized by increasing inflation and tighter money.

Lightyear currently earns most of its income through currency conversion fees, which are a flat 0.35% per transaction for buying or selling shares in foreign companies.

Sokk indicated that Sokk plans to diversify the company’s revenue stream through the launch of a subscription service later in this year.


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