Lightyear app now available in Ireland to ‘make investing easy’

14 Jul 2022

Lightyear founders Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer. Image: Tom Harrison/Lightyear

Europe’s answer to Robinhood, Lightyear offers commission-free trading in thousands of global stocks and multicurrency accounts.

Lightyear, the commission-free investment app, has launched in Ireland and 18 other European countries after raising $25m in Series A funding.

The fintech was founded in October 2020 by former Wise employees Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer.

Based in London and with offices in Estonia, Lightyear offers users commission-free trading in more than 3,000 global stocks and multicurrency accounts – a European Robinhood of sorts.

Lightyear received its European licence earlier this year, just a few months after its launch in the UK. Now, the investment app will be available for download in 19 European countries, including Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

The significant expansion of this European ‘neobroker’ comes after it raised a $25m equity round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Seed investors Mosaic Ventures, Taavet+Sten and Metaplanet, among other private investors, also backed the Series A round.

Richard Branson, the British billionaire behind Virgin Group, has also taken an undisclosed stake in Lightyear.

“For too long, financial markets have been overly complex with high barriers to entry and confusing jargon,” Branson said in a statement shared with CNBC.

“Martin, Mihkel and the Lightyear team are lifting the lid on the world of investing – making it more transparent whilst empowering people through education – to choose the products which are right for them.”

Since its UK launch last year, Lightyear says it has tripled its stock universe and added a suite of new products and features to bolster the data and investment education offerings on its app.

“Nine months ago, we launched our app in the UK to initial waitlisters. Fast forward to now, and we’ve secured a European licence that enables us to launch across the continent and raised one of the largest Series A rounds in 2022,” said Sokk.

“But our goal remains the same: to give all of Europe access to the world’s markets without hidden fees and to make investing easy for everyone.”

Lightspeed partner Nicole Quinn added that Lightyear’s potential in Europe is “enormous” as there is “no single neobroker offering products across the continent right now”.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic