Sharesies raises $50m in funding round, considering IPO

Low-cost online investment platform Sharesies has raised $50m for expansion and may consider an initial public offer (IPO) at some point in the future.

The trading platform, now used by 9 per cent of New Zealanders, said the latest funding round was led by global venture capital firm Amplo.

Investors included Rahul Mehta, managing partner at DST Global.

Investment also came from Australia and New Zealand, including existing major shareholder Wellington-based Benton Group, Icehouse Ventures and Even Capital.

The investment doubles Sharesies’ $25m raise in December 2020, and will primarily fund further expansion in New Zealand, Australia and further afield.

Sharesies “soft-launched” in Australia in April, before kicking off its marketing campaign there in late August.

The company said the funding would lay the foundation for new product releases and development.

Sharesies is now valued at $500m and has nearly doubled in growth in the past 12 months, supporting a customer base of more than 450,000 investors who have over $1.8b invested.

The company said access to the NZX, ASX, NYSE, Nasdaq, and CBOE, meant that it could now offer a diverse investment range, with more than 8000 funds and companies at no minimum investment.

Co-founder Brooke Roberts said Sharesies continued to gain strong support to fund its growth plans.

Roberts said Sharesies had continued to release new product features.

New types of investments were being added, including unlisted funds and American depositary receipts (ADRs).

American online platform Robinhood successfully listed on the technology-heavy Nasdaq in July and Roberts said Sharesies had always seen an IPO as being likely at some point.

“We are continuing to look at when would be the best time for an IPO and if it is the best option for Sharesies,” she said told the Herald.

“But that is something that we do see in the future,” she said.

Roberts said the strong uptake seen during last year’s Covid lockdowns was replicated in the current year.

“We have had fantastic growth this year too,” she said.

The average Sharesies investor has a portfolio of around $4000 with investments typically spread over three exchange traded funds and four companies.

“Ninety per cent of our customers are long-term investors looking to build wealth over the long-term,” she said.

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