Freetrade, the UK commission-free stock trading platform, has scheduled May 14 for holding its latest funding round with plans to raise £1 million, but will be opening the target up to the EU’s crowdfunding limit of £6.9 million.
The funding will be used by Freetrade for further growth and product development, including doubling down on expanding to new markets. The firm, which claims more than 150,000 customers, is returning to the pages of Crowdcube platform to open its equity up to retail investors and raise fresh capital.
London-based start-up said the new investment follows a record-breaking crowdfund in which it secured £1 million in just 77 seconds, also on Crowdcube. This then got a significant top up after Freetrade raised a total of £5 million across two further crowdfunding rounds which were notably in the firm’s very first crowdfunding attempt back in 2016.
“We’ve seen record signups and trading volumes on our platform over the past couple of months. So we feel very confident going into our next crowdfunding round – something that we had planned on doing for a long time,” said Viktor Nebehaj, Freetrade chief marketing officer and co-founder.
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Rather than partnering with an established broker, Freetrade holds a a “full scope firm” license from the FCA.
No-fee competition heats up in the UK
Most recently, the firm said it rebuilt its platform infrastructure for investing to allow traders place their instant orders without having to pay a commission fee. Before that, clients were allowed to invest in stocks and ETFs but only if they accept to execute their trades at the end of business day, otherwise the broker charges £1 per trade.
Freetrade’s app offers commission-free stock investment, and is targeted mainly at millennials. The company accelerates both new investments and product range, including the introduction of fractional shares, as the competition heats up following the green light given to Robinhood to operate in the UK. The stock-trading startup, which recently secured a mega $280 million in Series F funding that placed it at a $8.3 billion valuation, has been granted broker authorization in Q4 2019.
“The funds we raise will help us continue to establish ourselves as the go-to commission-free brokerage. We’ll be developing our technology, adding new features and expanding abroad, all with the goal of providing affordable access to the financial markets via an easy-to-use app,” added Nebehaj.