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
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.