Lightyear: ‘TransferWise of Trading’ to launch in Q3 2021

Rick Steves

Lightyear will first address the European market which hasn’t found a “true” commission-free trading platform, yet.

Lightyear is taking its first steps within the trading industry: the commission-free investment platform founded by two early Wise employees has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding.

Led by Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport co-founder Sten Tamkivi, the funding round will help the startup shake up the retail investment landscape in Europe.

Lightyear was founded by early Wise employees Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer and has opened its waiting list for client onboarding. The trading platform is expected to launch in Q3 2021.

The firm claims to marry multi-currency accounts with unlimited access to global markets so customers can invest freely without hidden fees or charges.

The MVP product will be rolled out with unlimited access to over 1,500 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.

Martin Sokk, co-founder at Lightyear, commented: “Lightyear is going to be Europe’s first truly commission-free investment platform, and using our experience with transforming how the world approaches currency conversion, our goal is to completely change the name of the game when it comes to investing.”

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder at Wise, said: “Most things in our lives are available at the tap of a button or with a good internet connection, yet access to global financial markets is still murky and expensive. The potential here to open up investing for everyone, much further than just their local markets, is very exciting.”

The backing from the Wise and Teleport co-founders lend the new commission-free platform with a wide network, opportunities, and know-how that should drive Lightyear to success. Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is one of the world’s most notable startups in the remittance industry.

Besides the leading names behind Wise and Teleport, Lightyear also boasts a distinct head of product, ex-Revolut Nishil Parekh, and ex-Robonhood UK staff.

Applying many of the core principles of the Wise business model, the commission-free trading platform intends to make it cheaper to buy international stocks, including via low FX fees.

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