Social investing app Public attracts celebrity backers for $15m raise

Ben Heathcote | March 4, 2020

App Deals

Public, the commission-free social investing app, has secured funding of $15 million. The Series B round was led by Accel and Greycroft, with participation from Hollywood actor Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and NFL star JJ Watt, among others.

Public is on a mission to promote financial literacy by creating a transparent community where people feel empowered to share why they invest. The app lets users buy slices of any US stocks and invest in ETFs for as little as $5, commission free.

In a blog post announcing the Series B round, co-CEO Leif Abraham wrote:

“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.

“Public.com was created to address these very factors and unlock greater access by adding a social layer to the stock market and pioneering real-time fractional investing.”

The startup said the funding will go towards growing a broad community of investors. Public wants to differentiate itself through its recently revamped social feed, which lets users follow friends, experts, companies and themes.

Abraham added:

“Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on delivering a modern, intuitive, and inherently social product experience — with new and improved features that make investing more accessible and offer even more ways to stay engaged with the companies you invest and believe in.”

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