Richard Branson backs trading app Lightyear as it raises $25 million

Quick Take

  • UK fintech firm Lightyear raises $25 million in a round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. 
  • Other investors in the round included Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Mosaic Ventures, Taavet+Sen and Metaplanet. 
  • The company is also announcing a push into 19 EU countries. 

London-based trading app Lightyear has raised a $25 million Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Mosaic Ventures, Taavet+Sen, and Metaplanet also took a stake in the round, according to a release today. 

Founded by ex-Wise employees, Lightyear is a trading app that offers multicurrency accounts to make it cheaper to buy international stocks than its competitors. Traditionally, if European retail investors want to invest in international markets, there are levied higher transaction and custody fees. 

“Having lived and worked on both sides of the pond, I’ve seen first-hand the pain points for Europeans trying to access the financial markets as easily as their counterparts in the US," said Nicole Quinn, a partner at Lightspeed. "Lightyear is trying to fix this with a platform that customers not only love and trust, but one that understands the nuances between different regulations, languages, exchanges and cultural investing norms." 

Lightyear launched in the UK market last year and with this Series A will expand across 19 European territories including Germany, France and Ireland. The company says after this initial European rollout, it has its sights on non-eurozone countries such as Sweden, Norway and Romania. 

The news comes as trading app giant Robinhood also makes its steps into Europe. In April, it acquired crypto wallet and card startup Ziglu in a deal subject to regulatory approval. The Block also previously reported that European trading apps such as Revolut and Freetrade are either set to launch a crypto investment feature or continue a push into digital assets. 


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About Author

Tom is fintech reporter at The Block. Before joining the team, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted where he reported on neobanks, payment firms and blockchain startups. Tom has a bachelors degree in International Relations and Japanese from SOAS, University of London.