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Improving Financial Literacy & Making Investing More Accessible
HyperGuap Deal #3 - Public, the investment platform
Welcome to the 3 new Growers who have joined us since my last post on 12/6! Join 74 ambitious and self-motivated champions by subscribing here:
I’ve been writing a series of posts about my personal experience working with HyperGuap and our VC syndicates investments.
So far, I’ve covered:
This next post will be about about our third investment into Public - an investment platform.
HyperGuap invested $3.9M into Public as part of a strategic financing for the company.
Public’s mission is to address the financial literacy gap by providing users with a community to learn about investing in stocks and crypto.
The company provides a unique offering compared to traditional platforms because it’s more than just buying and trading.
Through powerful design, Public puts an emphasis on community features and education. This allows users to connect and learn about investing in a collective way.
On the platform, you are able to see what other people are investing in by following your friends and different feeds.
You’re able to scroll through different timelines, people your following, and events to engage with the investment community.
Public truly cares about the financial education of its users. They have an entire page dedicated to different aspects of investing with links to articles and videos.
But the education doesn’t just stop on the links page. Useful definitions and insights are built into the app when you use it.
Public is Making Investing More Accessible & Supportive
In addition to the community and educational aspects, Public is dedicated to making stocks and crypto open to anyone with support along the way.
They offer fractional shares so any amount of money is investable.
Public also offers world-class support so there is always someone to talk to about your funds.
Stock Market Landscape
Expanding Investor Audience
In 2020, 55% of adults in the United States were invested in the stock market. Given the stock market is one of the greatest vehicles of wealth creation, this number needs to be much higher.
I believe Public can not only expand the market of investors with their approach, but win market share from existing platforms.
iPhone Based Investing is the Future
The 5 largest brokerages include: TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, and Charles Schwab. All these firms weren’t native to web or mobile as none were founded after 1990.
New investors want the convenience of investing from their phones from a platform that’s built for the phone.
New Financial Infrastructure
Public, Robinhood, and Cash App are building the next generation of financial service platforms for Millennials and Gen Z. Several of these apps will emerge as banking giants, and the backbone of tomorrow’s financial infrastructure.
Gali first heard about Public in early 2019, through the New York City fintech startup scene. A friend introduced him to the CEO Jannick Malling.
After Gali hit it off with Jannick, he agreed to do a sponsored video on HyperChange for his app, back then it was called Matador.
When Gali met Jannick, Public had about ~4,000 funded accounts. As of today, Public has ~600,000 accounts, which is an increase of 50% from just a couple months ago. Public has also attained a milestone of reaching one million members in its community (which includes users who don’t have funds in their account).
Public’s model is working, as the company scales rapidly towards 1M funded accounts.
Pubic has raised $310M to date from investors including Greycroft, Accel, Tiger Global, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Lakestar, and YouTube’s Phil DeFranco.
Public also partners with celebrities like Maria Sharapova, Bobby Wagner, The Chainsmokers, Tony Hawk, and Will Smith to help spread awareness about investing to underrepresented groups in the market.
Users on Public are incredibly diverse: 40% women, 45% people of color, and 90% first-time investors.
Why Public Will Win
Beyond the rapid growth of Public’s community, the team has had a relentless pace of innovation in terms of product development.
When we invested in Public, it wasn’t just a bet on the users or the business model today, but what Public could look like in 2025, with millions of users, offering dozens of lucrative financial services.
I believe in a world where the stock market is something everyone can benefit from.
By transforming the stock market into a social experience, we are causing a paradigm shift in how people approach investing. The stock market shifts from a scary term that you approach alone to a place for community and education. Together, we can change how the world engages with the global stock market and empower all investors to confidently invest in the future they believe in.
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If you want to read more about my experience with Public, I’ve covered the company previously on Grow with Aidan.
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