Commonstock is going after the retail investing space armed with $9.7 million in seed funding.
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The San Francisco-based startup was formed in 2017 by David McDonough to design a group chat platform to share investment knowledge and decisions. Users can link any brokerage to share holdings by percentage, get real-time alerts when friends buy or sell, copy each other’s trades and invest together, and even compete to see who performs best.
“We are at the start of a massive explosion of investing,” McDonough told Crunchbase News. “Investing has gone fully mainstream, but now I want to make sure the knowledge part of investing explodes along with it.”
Floodgate’s Mike Maples and QED‘s Frank Rotman led the round with participation from Upside, Resolute and angel investors. The total amount Commonstock has raised is $9.7 million, McDonough said, which includes a previous pre-seed traunch.
How it works
Commonstock’s product is currently available for free on the web and via an iPhone app (an Android-enabled app is forthcoming).
Based on the user’s experience, the platform matches the user with experts and relevant investors to learn from, McDonough said.
The platform also provides access to several live feeds, including:
- Memos from a curated list of people the user has identified as those they trust, who talk about what they buy and why;
- News on the market and from experts; and
- A full-feature chat where users can talk to friends and family.
“For now, it is all free, but eventually a subscription model will come into play,” McDonough said. “A lot of the creators are already sharing their knowledge for free, but we are making it easier for them to share that knowledge in one place.”
In addition to developing the Android app section of its platform, Commonstock is also building out its team, scaling its platform, and adding functionality and support for creators and users. The company has a team of 15 employees with an expectation of doubling that number by the end of the year.
More than 10,000 investors already use Commonstock, and the company says more than $300 million was traded through the platform in beta. However, McDonough said it wasn’t about growing the number of users, but helping them improve their investment portfolios.
“We have hit record highs in users every day with the volatility and the way the market has been,” McDonough said. “”We were trying to stay under the radar in beta, but it has been remarkable to watch it grow on its own.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman