Stake. Billed as a "rapidly-growing Australian fintech start-up", the company and its app is "set to revolutionise trading and open up direct access to the US$31 trillion US stock market" with its new trading app now launched on iOS.
We're told the app is "the first to give Aussies access to more than 3000 shares to invest in some of the world’s biggest companies with $0 brokerage, right from the palm of their hands", all thanks to having smashed "barriers and cutting out the middleman".
Founded in late 2016 by experts in finance and technology — former Optiver senior partner, Matthew Leibowitz, entrepreneur Jon Abitz, and former Wesfarmers operations guru Dan Silver — the trio wanted to fix the issue bugging them: how to get access to the same opportunities available to those around the world.
Available to investors in Australia, and with partners including Macquarie Bank, Sanlam Private Wealth, OFX and DriveWealth, the app launch comes as Stake announces "significant company growth".
"More than $50 million (US$38 million) has been transacted on the site, with more than 39,000 trades and 12,000 users who are taking advantage of low-cost, simple direct access to the US market.
"This next big milestone — the mobile app — is set to shake up how and when Australians take hold of global markets, going live [on the morning of Wednesday July 4] with nearly 20,000 Australians on the waitlist".
As the company explains, its app "removes the barriers to global trading by cutting out the middleman, bypassing cumbersome tax forms and removing unnecessary brokerage fees. The next step to smashing barriers is bringing the global market to more Aussies with the new app".
Stake chief executive and co-founder Matt Leibowitz said: “The US is where the world trades. Red tape and brutal fees shouldn’t be the reason Aussies are locked out of trading some of the world’s fastest growing companies like Apple, Alibaba, and Amazon. We’re on a mission to democratise trading.
“It’s insane to me that in 2018, in an on-demand society driven by technology, many Aussies are sticking to investment strategies born in the dark ages.
"So many are limiting their investments to ASX-listed companies because of the painfully slow process of investing overseas. When I launched Stake, I set out to break down those barriers and now we’re taking it to a whole new level.
“When we launched last year we were cautiously confident, but the user response has been incredible. We’ve listened to our early adopters and the app makes it even easier to get into the market.
"Today’s launch will see the thrill of the US$31 trillion US market put right in the palm of thousands of Aussies’ hands. It’s great to connect people to a market they actively want to be a part of and I can’t wait to see more people getting their money to work harder for them.”
Then we are told the story of Stake user Amanda Gordon, 31, who "invests through Stake as a side hustle and says the new app will drive greater engagement in trading amongst her peers".
Gordon said: “Investing on Stake moved from niggling intrigue and curiosity to an awesome side hustle for me. I’ve been investing for around six months and Stake’s simple tools have really changed how I think about investing.
"I’d dipped my toe in conservative investing before, but I was fairly inexperienced when it came to trading. I know the world trades in the US, but I was put off by the barriers. Overseas trading always felt really inaccessible and complicated.
“Since getting serious about investing on Stake, I’ve become passionate about helping women participate in personal finance and it’s important we open up trading to a more diverse pool of investors. Access to the global stock market is easy and Stake's new app will give even more people access to investing.
“Stake’s app is going to be a game changer for my generation to finally participate in the stock market. We do everything on our phones and I know a lot of my friends are excited to use the app so they can get on board with the investing bug too.”
The Stake app is available for free download on the iOS App Store and will be launching on Google Play soon.
More information at Stake here.
Here's the video of Stake's launch event last night: