Two University of Southampton graduates are behind the development of an app to encourage sustainable investing.
Daniel Gold and Nikki Hawkes have set up Stratiphy, which has raised more than £440,000 in crowdfunding from 700 investors in 53 countries.
Nikki, who has an economics and actuarial science degree, said: “We want to help people invest sustainably and safely by themselves.”
Stratiphy gives users control over their investment, according to risk profile, industry preferences and sustainability criteria - without high fees of professional guidance.
Daniel, who has a degree in maths and PhD in algebraic geometry, has worked in bond yield forecasting for a banking giant.
He said: “I wanted to combine my three passions - maths, finance and sustainability - into one vision.
“Sustainability is no longer an option - for the sake of our planet, survival and way of life.”
Effective and ethical investing
Daniel set up Stratiphy after studying strategies used by high-net worth clients at investment banks and applying it to his own shares - doubling his money over two years.
But he found there was a lack of online tools to help ordinary people build and monitor their own portfolios. He set about designing a system to mimic the experts’ approach to growth. He said: “It was a personal challenge to make investing more accessible, with the option to make more ethical choices.
“I wanted to provide quality investments and advice, without drowning the user with unnecessary information. It reduces time, effort and risk involved in investing.”
Environmentally friendly choices
Daniel was in full-time employment when he started developing the idea and often worked into the early hours and at weekends.
He then brought in a technology advisor, David Adler, and make his first hire, Nikki, who became a co-founder.
Despite not meeting in person due to lockdown, they clicked over a shared mission to make investing accessible and sustainable.
Stratiphy introduces beginners to investing with an education in portfolio risk management. And it allows users to customise their preferences, so they can choose Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) options.
And Stratiphy, which has a team of industry leading advisors from banking and fintech backgrounds, has already won a contract with Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research and data.
Daniel, who also set up a business with his brother to help off-grid communities in the Middle East make use of solar energy, says sustainable investing is vital.
Their firm has to date saved 150,000 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, equal to planting over 3,705,000 trees or removing 28,100 cars from the road for an entire year.
Daniel said: “It has shown me that the financial decisions we make can have a physical impact on the world - and we need more of this.”
Stratiphy, which came through the South West’s SETsquared accelerator programme, is growing both its team and waiting list - as the app goes live in spring.
Nikki, who has worked on campaigns to reduce carbon footprints both at home and abroad, said: “We can’t wait for the full version of the product to be live. Personalised, sustainable investing is the future and we are here to make it easier.”