British stock trading start-up Lightyear is finally expanding to the web, almost two years after the company first emerged out of nowhere.
Founded in London in 2020, Lightyear is one of the fintechs promising an easy channel for the general public to invest their money in some of the world’s largest companies. But while mobile is the internet device of choice for most people these days, people still love the ability to view their investments on a larger screen device such as a laptop – and that’s what Lightyear now offers.
The company said a web-based interface has been its “most requested feature” since launching in 2021, today seeing it follow in the footsteps of others in the space, such as European rival Freetrade, which hit the web just a year ago. but that remains in beta and only available to premium subscribers for now. Another European neobroker called Bux is also working on a web app, though there’s no indication when that will launch. On the other side of the water in the US, Robinhood released its web version in 2017, four years after its launch.
In short, Lightyear should at least match its rivals, and access to a big screen could be a deciding factor for potential customers.
“Many investors prefer to manage their portfolios on the big screen — myself included,” Lightyear co-founder and CEO Martin Sokk said in a statement. “We knew that a web app would be part of Lightyear’s journey in the long run, but talking to customers, we quickly realized this wasn’t something we needed to put on the road.”
Lightyear has raised approximately $35 million in funding from a slew of top institutional and angel investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, and Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus. While the trading platform was initially limited to the UK market, Lightyear expanded to mainland Europe last summer.
The new web app supports most of the core platform’s features, allowing users to manage and trade their portfolios and track their portfolio’s performance. There are some differences though, for example the main portfolio screen has a graph drag view that allows users to view the performance of their stocks over a custom time frame.
While the company plans other web-only features in the long run, the initial release of the web app will miss some key features of the mobile app that will be added over time, such as the personalized “events” calendar for own shares, analyst price targets and fund highlights.