Split between London and Tallinn, Europe’s first commission-free investment platform Lightyear has raised £1.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise and Sten Tamkivi, co-founder of Teleport as the duo’s first portfolio investment, along with Jaan Tallinn, co-founder of Skype. A cohort of Angel Investors including Ott Kaukver, Wander Rutgers, and Kaarel Kotkas also participated.
Lightyear was founded in the summer of 2020 by early Wise team members Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer, when the pair realised that investing in Europe is still broken. By combining a low barrier to entry with a global mindset, Lightyear is eschewing the high fees, hidden costs, and complicated nature of investing.
Based on a shared frustration, Sokk and Aamer began building a team of talented individuals that shared the same frustrations and wanted to do something about it. Lightyear is comprised of former Wise, Robinhood, and Revolut alumni.
The agile team’s MVP product will launch with unlimited access to over 1,500 stocks and EFTs, and as promised, will have zero trading fees, no account fees, and no FX fees up to £3,000 per month. Past £3k, a nominal charge of 0.35% will be applied.
The service is set to roll out in Q3, and as of now, the waiting list is open, with the first 2,000 customers receiving a gratis £10 to invest in any stock of their choice.
“Investing in Europe is a very long way away from where it needs to be. Professional and experienced investors have good options open to them with clear pricing and best-in-class tools, but ordinary investors don’t have that,” says Sokk. “Lightyear is going to be Europe’s first truly commission-free investment platform, and using our experience with transforming how the world approaches currency conversion, our goal is to completely change the name of the game when it comes to investing.”