Lightyear, a commission-free investment platform founded by two early Wise employees, has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding.
Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport co-founder Sten Tamkivi led the round, as the first portfolio investment of their recently formalised partnership to invest in early-stage European businesses.
Founded by early Wise employees Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, Lightyear is promising to shake up the retail investment landscape in Europe. With its waiting list now open, the startup plans to start rolling out in the third quarter, marrying multi-currency accounts with unlimited access to global markets so customers can invest freely without hidden fees or charges.
An MVP product will be launching with unlimited access to over 1,500 global stocks and ETFs, with no trading fees, no account fees and no FX fees up to £3000 per month. After customers exceed that, there will be a 0.35% FX fee.
Says Sokk: "Lightyear is going to be Europe’s first truly commission-free investment platform, and using our experience with transforming how the world approaches currency conversion, our goal is to completely change the name of the game when it comes to investing."
Adds Hinrikus: "Most things in our lives are available at the tap of a button or with a good internet connection, yet access to global financial markets is still murky and expensive. The potential here to open up investing for everyone, much further than just their local markets, is very exciting."