Shares, Europe’s social and community-based investing app, has announced that international tennis champions, Venus Williams and Serena Williams, have been appointed the first ambassadors of Shares as they become shareholders in the company. This news comes shortly after Shares has closed on its $40million Series B funding round led by Peter Thiel Fund, Valar Ventures.
Recent research has shown that half of women became more interested in investing during the pandemic, with 42 per cent stating that they had more money to invest since the covid-19 crisis began. Higher than the industry average, to date over a third of the users on the Shares platform are women.
Shares’ ultimate mission is to make investing more accessible, inclusive and collaborative – the founding team has created a platform that opens up the world of investing to a diverse audience that traditionally may not have had access, resources or the opportunity to invest. The reason millennials and Gen-Z investors prefer to use investment platforms such as Shares is the desire for easy-to-use platforms as well as the accessibility of a wide range of investment products.
This appointment follows recent news of Serena’s retirement from professional tennis after winning a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles; she also revealed that she has become an active investor in early-stage start-ups in recent years.
Serena Williams said: “The first time I heard about Shares I was blown away by the vision. It is rare to find companies that are equally as passionate about opening up opportunities and breaking barriers to entry that have prevented traditional spaces like investment from being totally inclusive.
“Gen Z have a curious way of looking at the world and through the amplification of social media, have been much more open about educating themselves and sharing that information. I believe everyone, and especially women, should have the tools and access to information to take control of their finances; Shares is a platform that encourages the conversations we should all be part of.”
Venus Williams added: “Shares is a creative and playful solution that solves a very real problem, which is why we wanted to get involved with Benjamin and the team. While we both have a broad range of interests when it comes to companies we support, there is a common thread throughout which falls on the intersection where passion meets purpose.”
Benjamin Chemla, co-founder and CEO of Shares, said: “I’m super pumped to welcome Venus and Serena into our Shares family. Our primary goal is to bring people together to make finance accessible while always offering the best product to our users.
“Venus and Serena have such a unique and inspiring story, as well as amazing values, so we had no hesitation to bring them in as shareholders and as brand ambassadors. We’re confident that Venus and Serena will add a dynamic energy to Shares that will drive and inspire us to imagine and build the best offering within the industry.”
Shares combines the simplicity of an investment platform with all the features users would expect from a social media app, creating a new category entirely – “social trading”. Resonating strongly with its Gen Z audience (66 per cent of members are below 25), Shares has garnered over 150,000 users and became the second most downloaded app in the ‘Finance’ category on the App Store and the sixth most downloaded app in the UK since the launch in May 2022.
Residents in the UK may download the Shares app via the Apple App Store (for iOS devices) and Google Play Store (for Android devices). Those interested but not in the UK may sign up to the waitlist to get first access to the app when it goes live in Q4.