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.

Read this next

Institutional FX

Integral reports lowest FX volume in two years

Foreign exchange trading volumes dropped in November across Integral’s trading platforms as currency markets saw a relatively quiet period after consecutive months of strong trading activity.

Technology

CDEX: Avelacom announces connectivity to Cboe Europe Derivatives

“We anticipate that many of our customers from Asia will be particularly interested in getting exposure to pan-European products via just one venue, which CEDX offers.”

Retail FX

BUX acquires Spanish Ninety Nine’s retail brokerage unit

“Thanks to this acquisition, Ninety Nine users will have access to a wide range of services provided by BUX, such as investing in Spanish, European and US stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, fractional investing and the BUX Savings Plan.”

Digital Assets

SEBA and HashKey partner to expand crypto in Hong Kong and Switzerland

SEBA Bank AG has announced a new strategic partnership with HashKey Digital Asset Group as part of both firm’s expansion efforts in Hong Kong SAR. 

Executive Moves

Broadridge appoints Martin Koopman as Chief Product Officer

“Martin has a proven record of driving product innovation both at Broadridge and at previous companies. His vision and proven ability to execute will be invaluable as we become the foremost SaaS provider to the financial services industry.”

Digital Assets

DAM rolls out Moonwalkers v1 testnet ahead of support for yield-generating collateral

“We want to champion innovation by making it easier to securely direct stablecoin liquidity away from Ethereum towards newer networks without the constant vulnerabilities posed by bridges. d20 will help accelerate the adoption flywheel of emerging networks, and this is our first step towards making our omnichain promise a reality.”

Institutional FX

FIA EXPO: ICE’s Brian Norris talks ESG investment, carbon credits and market data

The FIA Futures & Options Expo, now in its 38th year, convened the listed derivatives dealers, thought industry leaders and other stakeholders for two days of networking.

Retail FX

Malaysia regulator exposes OctaFX clone, shady FB profiles

Malaysia’s financial regulator today warned online investors about the risks of following investment tips made on social-media platforms.

Digital Assets

Crypto trading volume spikes at Swiss bourse amid FTX collapse

The shockwaves from the historic collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire are still being felt across the industry, but some trading venues are actually doing better because of it.

<