Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, the first employees of Wise (formerly TransferWise), founded Lightyear in 2020 after realizing they shared a strong common opinion: investing in Europe is broken. With Lightyear, the duo wanted to shake up the retail investment sector in Europe.
Raised $ 8.5 million
In the latest development, Lightyear announces additional funding of $ 8.5 million led by Mosaic Ventures alongside existing investors Taavet + Sten and Metaplanet.
Angel investors such as Monzo’s backer Eileen Burbidge, Harsh Sinha, CTO of Wise and Taavi Tamkivi, CEO of Salv, also attended.
The latest funding announcement comes three months after securing a $ 1.5 million pre-seed round from a cohort of a pillar of the fintech industry. This brings the total pre-launch raised to $ 10 million.
The round also welcomed Ott Kaukver, the technical director of checkout.com, Wander Rutgers, the former chairman of Robinhood UK, and Kaarel Kotkas, the founder of Veriff.
On the other hand, the company also hired Wise’s chief marketing officer, Chris Sumbler, who led many teams there during his 6 years with the company.
The financing will allow the company to accelerate its expansion plans and open transparent and inexpensive investments to everyone in Europe.
Eliminate unnecessary obstacles or costs
Lightyear combines multi-currency accounts with unlimited access to global markets so clients can invest with no hidden fees. With its platform, Lightyear seeks to eradicate the ambiguity and unjustifiable fees collected from retail investors.
Lightyear is on a mission to reverse this pricing model by giving customers the tools to add, hold, and invest money in multiple currencies, eliminating the need for conversions.
With unlimited access to over 1,000 global stocks, the first iteration of Lightyear’s app (its Minimum Viable Product or âMVPâ) will begin to add 5,000 waitlist clients, starting today. hui.
Lightyear has offices in London, UK, and Tallinn, Estonia.
Simon Levene, co-founder and partner of Mosaic, says: âCompared to mature markets such as the United States, retail investment in Europe is still at the start of its growth journey. The customer experience has not been cracked and the majority of current offerings only serve their local country. Lightyear’s mission is to provide access to global markets for pan-European investors, providing them with all the data and education they need, with a simple and transparent business model that removes all hidden and confusing fee structures. We are delighted to support co-founders Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, two seasoned leaders of TransferWise, as they begin their journey to empower retail investors – both experienced and new – across the continent.
Martin Sokk, Co-Founder and CEO of Lightyear, adds, â10 months ago Lightyear was just an idea, so we’re thrilled to have raised a total of $ 10 million, hired a classy team. global and launch the first iteration of our app. There are more people in Europe investing today than ever before, but there is still a long way to go. Our aim is to give all of Europe access to global markets without hidden costs and to make cognitive investing easy. We are delighted to have such a strong group of investors who share this vision with us.
Eileen Burbidge, who has personally invested as an angel investor in Lightyear, says: âWhen it comes to investing in a start-up company, it is crucial that the team is the best in its class, that I believe in the industry and that the product has an appeal. We have seen more and more people interested in retail investing over the past year and a half which, combined with this highly motivated, extremely talented and highly honest team, makes it something special. I am excited about Lightyear’s commitment to transparency and creating an accessible and inclusive platform, where everyone has the best access, the best tools and the best confidence to invest.