Pluto Markets, a trading app backed by famed accelerator Y Combinator, has raised $2.6 million in fresh funds.
The Danish fintech startup, founded in 2021, wants to upend the market for retail trading offerings in Europe. The company offers access to trading different assets, including stocks and fractional shares, focusing on European countries that don’t use the Euro as currency.
Joakim Bruchman, one of Pluto’s cofounders and a former Goldman Sachs trader, told Business Insider that the playbook for success in the neobrokerage space had changed after years of low interest rates.
“We’ve left an easy-to-raise-money environment and entered into a tougher environment, so growth at all costs has turned into growth when profitable,” Bruchmann said.
“Companies raised a lot of money to blitz scale across the EU but have now focused on their core markets. We want to focus on markets where there is a gap and maintain that focus.”
To that end, Pluto has identified its native Denmark and its neighboring countries as its initial local pitch. Unlike in countries that use the Euro, currency transactions in local currencies are less liquid, while rules on around know-your-customer (KYC) and taxation are different.
Unlike in markets like the UK, France, and Germany which have a bevy of players like Freetrade, eToro, Shares, Trade Republic, and Lightyear, Pluto wants to compete with incumbent brokerages like Saxo Bank.
Unlike most fintech brokerages, Pluto secured an EU-wide investment license before it had raised $1 million in funding, having bootstrapped and stayed lean. The company’s peers had all raised sizable amounts of capital before securing licenses, Bruchmann added.
“We are skeptical of spending too much money too soon,” Oscar Vingtoft, Pluto cofounder and CTO, told BI.
“Other companies believed they had achieved product market fit, but they were subsidized by VC money, which is a cardinal sin in my mind. We will sit on cash until we reach product market fit.”
The startup has brought in $2.6 million in capital from Berlin-based fund Magnetic, alongside angel investment from the founders of leading Danish, such as Synthesia and Pleo. Funding will go toward growing the company’s team to around 10 people as it looks to scale in the Nordics before moving on to other non-Euro markets.
You can check out Pluto Market’s 14-slide pitch deck below:
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