Sunday 21 July 2019

Fintech firm crosses Rubicoin with rebrand and plan for US office

MyWallSt set for new funding round, writes Michael Cogley

MyWallSt leadership team and co-founder Emmet Savage, back left, at the NYSE
MyWallSt leadership team and co-founder Emmet Savage, back left, at the NYSE

Irish fintech company Rubicoin has rebranded as MyWallSt and plans to raise in excess of €3m in a new round of funding.

Founded in 2013, Dublin-based MyWallSt has raised €8m so far with well-known investment advice group the Motley Fool among its largest backers.

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The business now has close to 800,000 monthly active users of its 'Invest' app, which aims to simplify stock trading for non-professionals.

MyWallSt co-founder Emmet Savage said that the company will add an additional six staff this year and open up an office in the US, most likely in New York.

"We believe we've created a product that the world needs. Basically, it short-lists the 10,000 or so listed vehicles on the US exchanges down to 1pc, so we have a 1pc showroom," he told the Sunday Independent.

"It's like in a restaurant. A chef could tell you 'I can cook you anything you want'. But people don't want infinite choice. They want to be handed a short-list and you pick what you like. That's what we do."

Savage said he was "very close to nailing down a price point for mass market". Users who sign up to the app can use it for 30 days for free with a monthly subscription charge following. Currently Irish users are charged €10 a month. When asked, Savage did not disclose how many people were paying for it currently.

The group completed a €3m funding round in November, and Savage said that he intends raising funds again soon.

"We will be raising again, it's not the burning platform of the moment but yeah, we'll raise again. It's going to be bigger (than the last round) for sure," he said. "If we're going to try and push our brand above the line in the US it's not a cheap thing to do. I don't want to jinx it by saying a number."

A full rebrand is also on the way for the company, he said. Chief investor Savage said that changing the name and the logo at once would have caused confusion among users.

"Rubicoin was a derivative of the Rubik's cube and a coin and to be honest it was too abstract," he said.

"While it served a purpose during a crucial period of growth, it brought with it a few troubles that I couldn't foresee. For example, it's difficult to spell. It's like having an Irish name in America, it's not going to be spelled correctly on your Starbucks cup."

Savage and his co-founder John Tyrell remain the largest shareholders in the company. MyWallSt also boasts Enterprise Ireland, and Avondhu, the investment vehicle set up by Laya millionaires Donal Clancy and Dermot O'Connor, among its backers. Clancy and O'Connor pocketed millions from the sale of Laya to AIG for around €80m in 2015.

The graduate company of UCD's Nova hub intends on floating on the stock exchange in the coming years and has completed the IPOReady programme with the Irish Stock Exchange.

"Our IPO ambition is not the destination," he said. "We're not building our business in order to IPO but we believe it is on the road to our destination. We're getting to closer to it, within five to six years to IPO on a significant exchange."

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