Exclusive: Australian free share trading app Stake given green light to launch by UK regulator

By Oliver Smith on 2nd September 2019

Fintech

With 50,000 users Matthew Leibowitz is bringing his commission-free business to Britain.

Exclusive: Australian free share trading app Stake given green light to launch by UK regulator
Image source: Matthew Leibowitz, CEO and Founder of Stake.

AltFi understands the FCA has awarded Australian startup Stake a license to launch its share trading business in the UK, putting it on track to debut in a few months.

The news comes after Revolut launched share trading in August and US free share trading giant Robinhood was granted a similar licence by the FCA.

Unlike Revolut and UK incumbent Freetrade, which counts over 30,000 users, Stake has a web offering as well as a mobile app and is aimed at serving more “professional” investors.

“Our FCA approval marks our first license outside of Australia, but the continuation of our mission to bring the US market to the rest of the world,” Stake CEO and founder Matthew Leibowitz told AltFi.

“At the end of the day, when it comes to trading, Wall Street is mecca—the size and scale of the opportunity there just dwarfs other stock markets.”

In Stake’s Australian home market the company counts 50,000 users, with an average age of 32 and an average deposit of £7,000.

Stake works with US digital broker DriveWealth to offer access to US stocks and shares—ironically the same provider that Revolut is currently using—but therefore has no UK or European coverage currently.

“There is more money moving through Apple and Netflix securities each day than the entire LSE,” said Stake’s European Managing Director Richard Watrasiewicz. “For too long it’s been complicated, costly and expensive and in a few months from now, it won't be.”

“The US stock exchanges combined make up 39% of the entire global stock market value, with a market capitalisation of $31 trillion, and are bigger than the next 7 exchanges combined. This is where the world trades, giving the UK easy access to this amazing market is what we do.”

In Australia Stake doesn’t charge commission or a trading fee, but does charge its clients 0.7% to convert their funds into Dollars.

It’s not yet confirmed what Stake’s UK model will be, although its UK website appears to indicate the company will charge a similar conversion fee.