Lightyear, a commission-free investment platform founded by two early Wise employees, has bagged $8.5M of funding alongside the launch of its app as the company starts to onboard UK customers from its waiting list.
By giving users the tools to hold and invest money in multiple currencies, Lightyear is in a position to flip typical pricing models on foreign exchange fees for international investing on its head.
Lightyear’s first iteration of the app is being launched with unlimited access to over 100 global stocks and ETFs, with no trading fees, no account fees and no FX fees up to £3000 per month. After customers exceed that, there will be a 0.35% FX fee.
Earlier this summer, Lightyear announced a $1.5M pre-seed round from a cohort of fintech industry stalwarts, led by Taavet Hinrikus of Wise and Sten Tamkivi of Teleport and Jaan Tallinn (Metaplanet) of Skype. The round also welcomed Ott Kaukver, the CTO at checkout.com, Wander Rutgers, the former president of Robinhood UK and Kaarel Kotkas, the founder of Veriff.
The new $8.5M in funding was led by Mosaic Ventures alongside existing investors Taavet+Sten – the recently formed investment partnership of Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi – and Metaplanet. New angel investors coming in this time include early Monzo backer Eileen Burbidge, Harsh Sinha, the CTO at Wise and Taavi Tamkivi, the CEO at Salv.
Martin Sokk, Co-founder and CEO at Lightyear, says: “Ten months ago Lightyear was just an idea, so we’re really excited to have raised a total of $10 million, hired a world-class team and to be launching the first iteration of our app. There are more people in Europe investing now than ever before, but there’s still a very long way to go. Our goal is to give all of Europe access to the world’s markets without hidden fees and to make investing cognitively easy.”