If you haven’t heard of Sharesies yet, you’re missing out.
Sharesies is changing the conversation around the word ‘investing’, making it go from a daunting and fixed definition of the word to something more relatedly and casual.
‘Investment made easy’ is their motto and their cute and fun design of colourful fruits and candy is giving the word a less intimidating feel. Sharesies allow you to create an investment portfolio and allow you invest no matter how much money you have.
You can make an investment of as little as $5, that’s literally cheaper than a Maccas meal. Hence, with such a straightforward approach to investing, they are changing the social definition of what or who an investor is. Now anyone can dip their toes into being an investor and give it a go.
Since their beta launch in 2017, they have over 13,700 investors, 250,000 transactions and $14.5 million invested, with the lowest investment was $5, and the biggest was $80,000.
So how does it all work?
Sharesies is basically a platform that will help you invest in various investments that match your risk appetite and values.
They let Kiwis take a slice of diversified funds without the need to make a big investment. All you need to do is pay $30 a year, and you get expert tips on building your portfolio, zero brokerage fees and free withdrawals.
You’ll get a spread of shares as well, from top 50 NZ companies to ethical investments.
Simple, easy and fun, it’s not hard to see why Sharesies is doing so well. With such success, it is only natural for us to be curious about how they managed all that.
We got in contact with founder Sonya Williams to get more insight into building a successful startup.
What were some of the challenges you faced building Sharesies?
There have been so many! There are all the challenges that come with learning how to start your own business, as well as small daily challenges in trying to make something that people love. It was a big moment to decide to leave our jobs and go fulltime on Sharesies, so we made sure we validated the idea and the business as much as possible before making the leap.
Any advice for budding startups?
If you think you have a ripper of an idea, then it’s probably going to get even better by going out there and validating it first. When you’re moving fast, you’re having to make decisions on the fly–having the insights that you gather in the validation stage can help you make that easier down the track.
And also gather a great team—find people who share your vision and will help you make this happen. Sharesies had a tight team of people who all resonated with the problem we were trying to solve. We came at it from different angles and had what we needed to get the business off the ground.
What are some things you think are important in a startup?
- A strong purpose and vision for what you’re trying to achieve
- Market validation
- A great team
- Trusted advisors
If you could go back and build Sharesies again, what are some things you would do differently?
It’s always hard to think about what you’d change—often these things lead you to where you are and teaches you what works and what doesn’t. One thing would be starting to hire earlier than we expected. It takes a lot longer than you think to find the right people. We’ve been stoked to have grown the Sharesies team with awesome people over the last few months.
What’s next for Sharesies?
We’ve just made the shift out of beta today (after launching 11 months ago). Now, we’re really focused on scaling Sharesies. We want all Kiwis to know that investing is accessible to them. This means growing our product further to meet the needs of our customers. And spreading the word!
Honest answers from a founder that has been through it. I say, bookmark this page.
Sharesies was part of Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2017, and right now the 2018 cohort is right in the middle of it. Keep up with us to see more spotlight on the startups that are involved and the demo day on May 17.