Public.com is looking to make investing easier — and a few big names are on board.
The startup just raised $15 million in Series B funding with the help of some top names including actor Will Smith, NFL player J.J. Watt, soccer star Keisuke Honda and Girlboss founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso. Media mogul Shari Redstone, and Behance and Adobe CPO founder Scott Belsky also contributed.
Public.com is a commission-free investing app that allows users to invest in companies using any amount of money. According to its website, its mission is to make the stock market more social and appeal to new investors who may be hesitant to jump in.
Data from MagnifyMoney found that more than 60 percent of Americans feel anxiety when they think about investing in the stock market. Their biggest fear is that they will lose money in a potential crash, according to the findings. About 72 percent of millennials fear a crash, and 56 percent of those in Generation X and 55 percent of baby boomers fear the same.
Puiblic.com wants to quell those fears by offerings no commission fees, securities protection up to $500,000 and the ability to easily follow the moves of other investors.
The platform offers a familiar social feed to track others, exchange ideas, organize stocks and exchange-traded funds by themes like woman-owned companies or self-driving cars and “ultimately improve financial literacy” for Americans who are wary about investing.
It also offers a 2.5 percent interest rate on cash balances up to $10,000,
Since its debut in 2017, the platform has raised $24 million, according to CrunchBase.
“The biggest problem in this industry is that many people are intimidated by it,” Jannick Malling, Public.com co-chief executive officer told Crunchbase. “They don’t really know how to get into it. We let people invest as little as $1 in a company like Amazon that’s trading for over $2,000 for one share. And Public.com lets them invest in the stock market from a sense of community.”