By Daniel Lanyon on Thursday 14 July 2022
Richard Branson's Virgin Group, alongside Lightspeed Ventures, backed the digital stock trading app in Lighyear’s largest funding round to date.
The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, who were joined by Richard Branson's Virgin Group which also invested.
At the same time Lightyear is also launching into 19 new different countries in the European Union in its first geographical expansion outside the UK. Countries part of this first European rollout include Ireland, the Baltics and most of Western Europe such as Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and France.
Lightyear was founded by ex-Wise duo Martin Sokk and Mihkel Aamer in 2021 before launching in September of that year. After an initial $1.5m pre-seed round in the summer of 2021, round with cash principally from Wise founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport’s Sten Tamkivi, as well as Metaplanet’s Jaan Tallinn. Ott Kaukver, the CTO at Checkout.com, Wander Rutgers, the former President of Robinhood UK and Kaarel Kotkas, the founder of Veriff also participated.
When it launched it also announced a further $8.5m of equity funding from Habito backer Mosaic Ventures, further cash from Hinrikus, Tamkivi and Tallinn as well as early Monzo backer Eileen Burbidge, a partner at Passion Capital.
“Nine months ago, we launched our app in the UK to initial waitlisters. Fast forward to now, and we’ve secured a European licence that enables us to launch across the continent and raised one of the largest Series A rounds in 2022,” said Martin Sokk,CEO of Lightyear.
“But, our goal remains the same: to give all of Europe access to the world’s markets without hidden fees and to make investing easy for everyone.”