If you turned to Robinhood or other investment platforms during the height of the GameStop trading frenzy earlier this year, you definitely weren’t alone.
A poll out from Yahoo Finance and The Harris Poll found that one in four American adults bought a viral stock in January 2021.
That has had a downstream impact on how kids are thinking and learning about the stock market, according to the Atlanta-based FinTech team behind Greenlight Financial Technology.
“GameStop and social media ignited interest in investing for people of all ages, including kids and teens. The groundswell of interest was great to see; however, there are very few educational resources that are accessible to young people, and it can be difficult to discern misinformation across social media,” Tim Sheehan, co-founder and CEO of Greenlight, told Hypepotamus.
The ‘GameStop Frenzy’ coincided with the launch of Greenlight Max, an investing platform designed specifically for kids. With access to research and educational tools, kids can make real investments in brokerage accounts with parental approval.
Sheehan told Hypepotamus that the sign-up rate for Greenlight Max was double the anticipated rate, with over 50,000 investments created to date.
Popular stocks on the platform include AAPL, AMZN, MSFT, and TSLA.
Turning Heads at Andreessen Horowitz
Greenlight earned ‘unicorn’ status in September 2020, making it the latest Atlanta FinTech startup to reach over a $1 billion valuation.
That valuation doubled in six months.
The Greenlight team just raised a $260 million Series D, bringing the company’s total funding to $550 million with a $2.3 billion valuation. Year-over-year reported revenue also tripled while attracting 3 million parents and kids.
Previous investors Atlanta’s TTV Capital and Wilmington, North Carolina’s Canapi Ventures also joined the Series D round. Other investors include Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, BOND, Fin VC, Goodwater Capital, as well as new investors Wellington Management, Owl Ventures and LionTree Partners.
Andreessen Horowitz’s portfolio includes other FinTech giants like Plaid, Stripe, and Robinhood.
Sheehan told Hypepotamus that the a16z network will be key to Greenlight’s future growth.
“We’ve stayed in touch with the firm for the past few years and got to know each other before they invested in Greenlight. Andreessen Horowitz is an excellent firm that brings an unparalleled level of support to its portfolio companies,” he added.
“Greenlight is part of the a16z growth fund, which serves companies that are at an inflection point of growth in emerging categories. The firm offers a network of experts and expertise across the entire spectrum of company-building, which will be tremendously helpful to us as we continue to scale.”
In a statement about the investment, Andreessen Horowitz’s David George wrote: “Increasingly, social and gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite are giving these younger users the opportunity to make online purchases. However, a vast majority of parents still give their children spending money in cash because there hasn’t been a safe, purpose-built financial service for families. With 47 million households in the U.S. with kids, it’s been an underserved market, until now.”
Click here to sign up for the Hypepotamus newsletter, and you’ll get weekly emails covering the tech startup community in the Southeast, with all the latest jobs, news, events, and announcements.