Stockpile, the company that pioneered gift cards for stock, today announced a $15 million funding round.
"Most people have never had an opportunity to own stock in their favorite companies because it's too expensive and complicated to get started," said Avi Lele, founder and CEO of Stockpile. "You can't do anything with $25 at a traditional brokerage." Stockpile removes those barriers by using fractional shares and bringing the stock market to you. "For the first time ever, you'll be able to walk into the supermarket and buy a gift card for, say, $25 of Apple stock right off the rack. Buy it for yourself or as a gift for family and friends. We aim to make investing a delightful experience for all."
"Stockpile will dramatically change the way we purchase and gift stock in this country," said Ashton Kutcher, actor, entrepreneur and tech investor. "Stockpile has nailed it -- it's a drop-dead easy user experience and affordable to all."
"Stockpile is partnering with companies and nonprofits who care about financial literacy and empowerment and want to make stock and ETFs accessible to everyone," said Dan Schatt, Chief Commercial Officer at Stockpile. "Local credit unions to Fortune 500 companies are leveraging Stockpile's platform -- whether it's to offer a brand new set of gifting services, a differentiated loyalty program, or an innovative employee incentives and recognition plan. They also get a new way to communicate more personally with their retail shareholders."
How Stockpile is revolutionizing access to the stock market
Buy it by the dollar. Buy any dollar amount of stock for yourself, or give any amount up to $1000 as a gift.
Get fractional shares of real stock. If you redeem a $50 gift card and Disney is trading at $100 a share, you get half a share.
Purchase in 2 minutes. Use a credit or debit card to purchase Stockpile gift cards at Stockpile.com or download the iPhone app.
Buy them in stores. Stockpile gift cards are available nationwide in select supermarkets and retail chains.
Any age. Even kids and teens can own stock with an adult on the account with them.
Free switching. Gift card recipients can redeem their Stockpile gift card for the stock on the card, a different stock, or even a merchant gift card.
"This is the most excited I've been since I introduced gift cards to the market 15 years ago. Every retailer CEO I've spoken with thinks Stockpile is going to be the next multi-billion dollar gift card category," said Don Kingsborough, founder and former CEO of Blackhawk Network. "In a few years, people won't remember when you couldn't buy gift cards for stock at your local grocery store," said Melanie Healey, former President of North America for Procter & Gamble.
Sequoia Capital, through its Scout Seed Fund, was Stockpile's first investor. "We partner with companies early," said Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia. "Stockpile was little more than a few PowerPoint slides when Professor Bernd Girod at Stanford scouted the investment for our firm. I was struck with the passion of the entrepreneur, Avi, and the clarity of his vision, so we decided to make the first investment in the company. Stockpile is a big idea with the potential to democratize stock ownership."
"This isn't an incremental advance over what's out there. It's a massive paradigm shift. Stockpile is bringing the stock market to where you shop, bank, and do other things in your daily life," said Rajeev Batra, partner at Mayfield. "You need a seasoned team to pull this off, and these guys know how to execute. We're thrilled to be supporting Stockpile's vision for the long haul as the implications for financial access are profound."