Public.com, if you haven’t heard of it, is a relatively new app that hopes to democratize investing for the next generation. It’s now raised a $15 million Series B round, but this time some cultural icons you’re likely familiar with are jumping on board.
The latest round of funding is led by the same two investors that co-led the company’s Series A round: Accel and Greycroft. But this time, the money is propped up by the likes of Casey Neistat, Will Smith, and the former COO of Venmo.
In this round, we welcome a select group of cultural leaders who join to support the company on its mission to make the public markets more accessible to everyone. These people and funds represent breakthrough talents in entertainment, media, and sport who are also known for their contributions to advancing society beyond their respective industries.
The full list of icons: Will Smith, Keisuke Honda, J.J. Watt, Sophia Amoruso, Shari Redstone, Scott Belsky, Morgan DeBaun, Casey Neistat, and Michael Vaughan. Notably, Neistat is joining the advisory board.
Among other things, Public.com hopes to differentiate itself with a user-friendly mobile app, no-commission trades, 2.5% interest on cash you keep in the app, a social community that encourages investors to be public about their investing ideas, and the opportunity to buy fractional shares.
The app isn’t the only app targeted at millennials that’s embracing fractional shares — although it is the one that has made it the most central to its pitch. This feature allows investors to buy parts of company shares for companies that have high complete share prices. As of this writing, one share of Amazon trades for $1886, but users of Public.com can make purchases in whatever amount they wish.
Since the app launched, competitors like Robinhood has jumped on board with fractional shares, although that app currently has a lengthy wait list.