Challenges – After founding the Stuart logistics platform, why venture into a trading platform?
Benjamin Chemla- I sold Stuart to La Poste in 2017, then launched a concept of gyms in New York. But the adventure came to a halt in March 2020, when we were making $500,000 in monthly revenue. I maintained the activity for ten months. At the end of 2020, I returned to France after having lost everything. Paradoxically, this context was fertile ground for the creation of this new social network, Shares.
What is this concept?
Shares is a mobile application that allows you to invest and buy shares of listed companies and, since November, cryptocurrencies. It is also a social network: it is possible to add contacts, to have real-time access to their portfolios and to interact with them on areas of common interest.
Why did you start with England in April 2022?
The English market is the largest in Europe in terms of activity. It is also linked to regulatory arbitrage, as we first obtained the green light from the British financial authority. The launch in the country was incredible: 150,000 active users and 220,000 downloads. Today, we are coming to the end of our process to obtain the European passport which will allow Shares to set up shop throughout the area before the end of the year.
Isn’t the market for financial applications already saturated?
There are many trading apps for a financially educated audience. Recently, new players have arrived in Europe, but not yet in France. And none has succeeded in establishing itself as a global player. They also missed the social mark. The boulevard is huge for Shares.
Read also They trust: the perspective of Benjamin Chemla, serial entrepreneur and investor
Shares is a free application. How do you get paid?
We favor a volume approach, charging a fixed commission of 0.79% on stocks and 1.5% on cryptocurrencies. We have already raised $90 million and are aiming for profitability in 2025.
Who are Shares users?
About 60% of our users are under 25 and 30% under 22. They are mostly neophytes. Indeed, we have chosen to offer split shares for purchase. Our transactions are therefore smaller – 35 euros on average – but more recurrent than the market, with 2.5 per week. One of my prides: 40% of our users are women. We want to make it a strong axis of development.
Why did you choose the sisters Venus and Serena Williams as muses?
Not only do they convey the message that we are better together, but they will also help to feminize access to our platform. We want our app to be as inclusive as possible.
Your growth dream?
The growth must be endless for Shares. My dream is to succeed in creating a TikTok-like app.