Sharesies expands into Australia

Investment trading platform Sharesies has expanded across the ditch offering Kiwis the chance to buy into ASX-listed companies and funds and Australians the ability to use its platform.

Its 355,000 investors will now be able to buy and sell shares on the NZX, ASX and three US stock exchanges with just a 1c minimum investment.

Brooke Roberts, co-CEO of Sharesies, said the Australian move would give investors access to over 2000 ASX-listed companies and funds.

“What is really exciting about that too is that there is no minimum for any of these investments and that is a first.

“The ASX has typically had some thresholds you have had to meet in terms of either a whole share or to have at least $500 in there.”

Roberts said investors could either top up their Australian wallet and or convert New Zealand dollars in Australian to buy the shares in a similar process to buying US shares.

Investors will be charged an exchange rate conversion fee as well as transaction and management fees.

On top of that it has also opened up the platform to Australian retail investors.

Roberts said Australia was a big market but she wouldn’t be drawn on how many new investors it was targeting.

“We have no numbers to share at this stage. We are in very early stages of that at the moment, we will build it up as we grow and see we are meeting their needs.”

Roberts said there were rival investment platforms operating in Australia but it still saw a gap in the market for its offering.

“There is still a massive gap in terms of an investment platform that enables people to build their portfolio one pay day at a time and helps build confidence and motivate investors through providing access to education and insights.”

It has three staff members based in Sydney but is looking to grow its team.

In December Sharesies raised $25 million from new and existing investors including Trade Me, Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1 and Icehouse Ventures.

It saw record 227 per cent growth in 2020 as investors jumped on board on the investment platform as the markets plunged and then roared to new heights off the back of Covid-19 and global stimulus packages.

Roberts said an initial public offer of the company was something it had always thought about but was not in the immediate future.

“Our plan is we have definitely got really strong growth opportunities ahead of us and so we will always be looking at what is the best way to grow and what shareholders do we need in order to make that happen.

“From early on we have always seen a path to IPO but again we need to make sure we are raising money in the best way for Sharesies to support our vision of creating a really financially empowered generation.”

Trade Me remains the largest shareholder at 15.4 per cent while Discount Nominees – a company owned by John Benton is the second largest at 9.5 per cent.

Co-founders and co-CEOs Leighton, Brooke Roberts and Sonya Williams own 6.26 per cent each.

The capital raising also attracted new investment from US venture capital investment company Amplo which now owns 2.73 per cent and Givia Pty – a charitable trust whose directors include Xero’s director Craig Winkler which owns 2.32 per cent.

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