Will Smith joins $15m funding round for social investing app Public

Will Smith joins $15m funding round for social investing app Public

Commission-free social investing app Public has closed a $15 million Series B funding round led by Accel and Greycroft, with participation from Hollywood actor Will Smith and NFL star JJ Watt.

Smith's Dreamers VC and Watt were joined in the round by Girlboss founder Sophia Amoruso, Blavity founder Morgan DeBaun and former Venmo COO Michael Vaughan, among others.

Previously called Matador, the Public app is part of an increasingly crowded field of tech upstarts, led by Robinhood, disrupting the retail investing model.

Public lets users buy slices of any US stocks and invest in ETFs for as little as $5, commission free.

The firm is aiming to differentiate itself through it social side, letting users follow friends, experts, companies and themes to learn about investing and build up their financial literacy.

Public hopes that by bringing onboard "influencers" such as Smith and Watt, it can build up the social aspect of the app as it seeks to promote "open conversations" about how and why people invest.

Comments: (2)

John BaRoss
John BaRoss - FINCCLUDE Incorporated - Long Valley 03 March, 2020, 19:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Does Public only facilitate social investing in for-profits, or, does Public also facilitate social 'investing' (really granting/donating) to non-profits that are focused on social impact, sustainable development, etc.?  

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 03 March, 2020, 21:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi John, seems to be just publicly traded stocks and ETFs.

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