Fintech startup Shares has raised $90 million for its stock trading app. And yet, the service is only available to people who live in the U.K. But that’s about to change as the company has received a couple of authorizations from French regulators. With EU passporting rules, Shares could also expand to other European countries.
As a reminder, Shares lets you trade stocks with no minimum trade size. The company offers fractional shares, which means that you can start investing with as little as £2. It competes with other neobrokers that try to make stock investment more accessible, such as Freetrade in the U.K., Bitpanda and Trade Republic in Europe.
But what makes Shares different from other mobile trading apps is that there’s a social twist. Shares lets you follow your friends and comment on their trades. Users can also create private chats and subscribe to communities of more experienced investors. So far, Shares has managed to attract 150,000 users in the U.K.
Shares just received the accreditation to operate an investment service in France from the ACPR (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution), France’s financial regulator. And the company plans to take advantage of this license sooner rather than later as it plans to launch Shares in France starting next month. At first, you’ll need an invitation to create an account though.
France’s financial markets regulator (Autorité des marchés financiers) also recently granted the PSAN status to Shares — the startup is now officially a digital assets service provider in France, meaning that it will be able to handle crypto trades as well.
“We are very pleased to receive these authorizations: PSAN registration for cryptocurrencies, and PSI license for trading in stocks and ETFs. This is the reward of an extremely rigorous team effort, of which we are extremely proud. Shares is now regulated by the French regulator and this marks a decisive step in our journey, and allows us to announce our EU launch in July by invitation to our first members,” co-founder and CEO Benjamin Chemla said in a statement.
As you can see, today’s news is going to pave the way for future market expansions in the European Union.