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Investing app Public raises $15 million from Will Smith, JJ Watt, Sophia Amoruso!

Public.com, an early-stage, commission-free social investing company whose founders say they want to democratize stock investing, has brought some notable Hollywood, media and sports figures on board as part owners.

The New York-based startup, founded in 2017, announced a $15 million Series B round of funding. The round was co-led by venture-capital firms Accel and Greycroft, with participation from Dreamers VC, founded by Will Smith and Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda; NFL star J.J. Watt; Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital; Sophia Amoruso, founder, and CEO of Girlboss

Related: B-Social raises an additional £7.8M ahead of its rebrand

Public lets users buy slices of any US stocks and invest in ETFs for as little as $5, commission-free. The service makes it more affordable for first-time stock investors to participate in public equity markets through a “fractional” investment model in which a single share of, say, Netflix (which last Friday closed at $369.03 per share) is split among multiple individuals.

“We believe a significant reason why many people do not invest is due to a lack of financial literacy, expensive financial products, and soaring share prices that can require people to invest $500 or more to purchase a single share of popular, high-performing stocks,” wrote Leif Abraham, Co-CEO Public.com

Public.com isn’t designed for professional investors. In fact, the company doesn’t allow day-trading on the service: Trades placed in a cash account require two business days for the funds to “fully settle” before they can be used again to buy and sell the stock.

Jan Cerny
Jan is an innovation enthusiast and Fintech news reporter. He specializes in news distribution, social media, and content analysis.

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