UK trading app Lightyear raises $8.5m

UK trading app start-up Lightyear has raised an additional $8.5 million of funding and has begun onboarding customers to its app.

The firm - founded by ex-Wise executives Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer – offers customer multi-currency accounts with access to global markets.

Lightyear said it’s app will give customers the ability to trade 100 international stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) with no trading fees, no account fees, and no FX fees up to £3000 per month.

The round was led by Mosaic Ventures, and included Taavet+Sten, the investment firm of Wise (formerly Transferwise) founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport’s Sten Tamkivi, Jaan Tallinn from investment firm Metaplanet, and early Monzo investor Eileen Burbidge.

The news comes after Lightyear announced a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round from a cohort of FinTech industry players earlier this year, including Ott Kaukver, chief technology officer at checkout.com, Wander Rutgers, the former president of Robinhood UK, and Veriff founder Kaarel Kotkas.

This round brings the total funding received to date by Lightyear to $10 million.

Lightyear said it plans to fully launch across Europe in the first six months of 2022.

The news comes as a variety of consumer-focused trading platforms are raising capital worldwide; in August, digital investment platform Bitpanda raised $263 million at a $4.1 billion valuation.

“Compared to mature markets such as the US, retail investment across Europe is still at the beginning of its growth journey,” said Simon Levene, co-founder and partner at Mosaic. “The customer experience hasn’t really been cracked, and the majority of current offerings serve just their local country.”

“Lightyear’s mission is to offer access to global markets for pan-European investors, providing all the necessary data and education they need -- with a simple, transparent business model that removes all the hidden and confusing fee structures.”

He added: “We’re delighted to support co-founders Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, two veteran execs from TransferWise, at the start of their journey to empower retail investors - experienced and new alike - across the continent.”

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