The creator economy meets stock trading
Stock-trading fintechs like Robinhood and Public have raised hundreds of millions in recent months thanks to the dramatic run in GameStop shares.
Here’s a young company also trying to make its way into stock trading—but with a twist: Roughly a year old, Finary is trying to become a social stock-trading app with a Patreon-esque component. It allows users to sell and market their financial opinions, earning subscription revenue, one-time payments, or tips from fans. It counts TikTok personal finance influencer, Austin Hankwitz, among its investors. Take a spin around TikTok and you’ll find a surge in interest around personal finance content.
“Finary is the Gen-Z way of Mad Money” is how CEO and co-founder Roger Cawdette describes the startup to Term Sheet, referring to Jim Cramer’s markets segment on CNBC. All of Finary’s co-founders—Cawdette, Michael Liu, Jack Phifer, and Darian Bhathena—are in their early twenties. But, adds Cawdette, the difference from the Mad Money generation is that “Gen Z is more about being able to invest communally.”
The startup on Friday announced that it has raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from the Dash Fund alongside investors such as Lenny Rachitsky, James Beshara, Daniel Pourasghar, Pragma CEO Eden Chen, Madhi Raza, and Hannarae Nam.
Finary will have to tread carefully lest its creators run afoul of Securities and Exchange regulations around investment advice given in return for compensation. To that end, Cawdette acknowledges that the company has spent a good amount of time on the topic, and plans to educate its creators on what kind of content they legally can offer. (Giving personalized advice, not so good. Offering anecdotes on what they personally would do, better.)
The company is in closed beta and plans to launch a waitlist soon. It is also building out the ability for users to trade stocks directly on the platform and is working on a video function too. For now, Finary links into Robinhood, allowing Finary users to see the portfolios of creators in real time.
A STORY TOO OFTEN TOLD: Here’s an investigation from Bloomberg into Sequoia Capital-backed security camera unicorn Verkada. Hackers had managed to breach some 150,000 of its devices, revealing lax security controls on the technology as first reported in March. But the problem may have been emblematic of a larger cultural issue within the company. Read more.
- Tripledot Studios, a London-based mobile games company, raised $78 million. Eldridge, Access Industries and Lightspeed Venture Partners invested.
- TipRanks, an Israeli-based fintech startup, raised $77 million in Series B funding. Prytek and More Investment House led the round.
- TrueLayer, a London-based fintech platform, raised $70 million in Series D funding. Addition led the round and was joined by investors including Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone, and Temasek.
- Community, a Los Angeles-based text messaging platform, raised $40 million. Salesforce Ventures was the investor.
- Mercato, a San Diego-based online grocery platform, raised $26 million in Series A funding. Velvet Sea Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Team Europe, Greycroft, and Loeb.nyc. Read more.
- Canvas Medical, a San Francisco-based software platform, raised $17 million in funding. Inspired Capital and IA Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including IRONGREY, Upfront Ventures, and iSeed.
- SnackMagic, a New York-based gift box platform, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Craft Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Luxor Capital
- AmazeVR, a Los Angeles-based VR company, raised $9.5 million. Murex Partners led the round and was joined by investors including We Ventures, Bass Investment, and Dunamu & Partners.
- AND Digital, a London-based tech consultancy, raised £8 million ($11 million) in follow-on funding from BGF.
- dClimate, a New York-based decentralized network for climate data, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. CoinFund led the round and was joined by investors including Multicoin Capital and Republic Labs.
- Volexion, a Chicago-based developer of a graphene coating for lithium-ion batteries, has raised $1.1 million of a $2.2 million tranche of seed funding. Clean Energy Ventures and Energy Foundry led the round.
- Wonder Dynamics, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based visual effects venture using A.I., raised $2.5 million. Investors included Founders Fund, Cyan Banister, Realize Tech Fund, Capital Factory, MaC Venture Capital, and Robert Schwab. Read more.
- Comvest Partners invested in Leixir Dental Group, an India-based operator of dental labs. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- PSG, acquired a majority stake in Nalanda Global, a supplier of risk management software solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- RiverGlade Capital acquired H.H. Franchising, a Cincinnati-based home health company, from Linsalata Capital Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- Par Technology (NYSE: PAR) acquired Punchh, a San Mateo, Calif.-based loyalty and customer engagement platform, for $500 million. Investors in Punchh included Adams Street Partners and Sapphire Ventures.
- Sole Source Capital acquired Peak-Ryzex, Columbia, Md.-based supply chain services company, from Keystone Capital and Optical Phusion. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- IQ-EQ, backed by AlpInvest Partners and Astorg, acquired Concord Trust Company, a private wealth trust firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
- JAM Special Opportunity Ventures, an affiliate of Jacobs Asset Management and FINTOP Capital, closed JAM FINTOP Banktech with $150 million.
- KKR, a New York-based firm, named Sasank Chary as a managing director.
- TA Associates, a New York-based investing firm, hired Ritej Bachhawat as a vice president in its Mumbai office.