Shares Raises $90 Million, Receives French Regulatory Approvals to Expand Stock Trading App Across Europe

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Fintech startup Shares has successfully raised $90 million in funding for its stock trading app. While the service is currently limited to residents of the U.K., the company has recently obtained authorizations from French regulators, signaling its intention to expand into other European countries. Thanks to EU passporting rules, Shares could potentially bring its innovative platform to a wider audience.

Shares differentiate itself from other neobrokers by offering stock trading with no minimum trade size and providing fractional shares. This means that users can start investing with as little as £2, making stock investment more accessible. The startup faces competition from other neobrokers like Freetrade in the U.K., and Bitpanda and Trade Republic in Europe.

However, what truly sets Shares apart is its social aspect. The platform allows users to follow their friends and comment on their trades, fostering a sense of community. Additionally, users can create private chats and subscribe to communities formed by experienced investors. This social twist has resonated with users, as Shares has already managed to attract 150,000 users within the U.K.

Exciting news for Shares came in the form of authorizations granted by French financial regulators. The ACPR (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution), France’s financial regulator, has accredited Shares to operate an investment service within the country. As a result, the company plans to launch in France next month; however, access will initially require an invitation.

Furthermore, Shares received PSAN status from France’s financial markets regulator (Autorité des marchés financiers) as a digital assets service provider. This official recognition enables the startup to facilitate crypto trades as well.

Co-founder and CEO Benjamin Chemla expressed his delight at receiving these authorizations: “We are very pleased to receive these authorizations: PSAN registration for cryptocurrencies, and PSI license for trading in stocks and ETFs… Shares is now regulated by the French regulator, and this marks a decisive step in our journey, allowing us to announce our EU launch in July by invitation to our first members.”

The latest developments pave the way for Shares’ imminent expansion into the European Union market. With its innovative features and regulatory approvals, the startup aims to capitalize on the growing demand for accessible stock trading and social investing. The company’s successful fundraising round demonstrates investor confidence in its business model and growth potential.

Shares’ plans to expand beyond the U.K. are supported by EU passporting rules, which allow authorized financial entities to offer their services throughout the EU without needing additional licenses in each member state. This means that once Shares establishes a presence in France, it can leverage its existing authorizations to enter other European countries more easily.

As Shares prepares for its launch in France next month, investors and users alike eagerly anticipate the opportunities this expansion will bring. With its innovative platform and social engagement features, Shares aims to democratize stock trading further while fostering a vibrant community of investors across Europe.