The battle for Europe’s stock traders has stepped up a notch after Robinhood’s UK challenger, Freetrade, secured $15 million in a fundraise.
The firm’s total stands at $26.2 million to date.
The Series A round sees investors Draper Esprit topping up the £3.8 million ($4.9 million) Freetrade raised through crowdfunding earlier this year with an additional $7.5 million.
Draper’s investment comes at the same terms, namely a £52 million valuation, as other crowdfund investors, per Altfi.
The company confirmed to Business Insider that it would use the new funds to extend its engineering talent pool and also open a new office in Amsterdam, at an undetermined future date.
“We took the view that this isn’t a ‘winner takes all’ market, the opportunity to get millennials to save and invest more is huge,” a Draper Esprit spokesperson told Business Insider. “Most importantly, we felt their mission was totally aligned with our own—as a listed VC we are also on a mission to open up investment into tech to the general public.”
Fee-free stockbroking has exploded in the US, with Robinhood gaining support among US millennials. Freetrade is looking to do the same in Europe despite the imminent arrival of its colossal American competitor which is valued at $7.6 billion, according to Crunchbase.
The company’s latest innovation is to offer UK users access to “fractional” or parts of individual shares in European companies, something which is available for US companies, which Freetrade claims is a first.
Other competitors are lurking, however, with challenger bank Revolut also offering a stock-trading feature. The relationship between the two companies is already heated after Freetrade’s cofounder and former CTO, André Mohamed, left the firm to become head of wealth and trading products at Revolut at the start of 2019 in murky circumstances.
Freetrade operates on a “freemium” model. Customers are able to open an account free of charge and make trades but can pay more for quicker transaction speeds.
The startup’s core demographic is between ages 25 and 35. The next stage in the company’s evolution is to bring in older investors who have their main savings with UK incumbents such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell.
Check out Freetrade’s redacted pitch deck below: