Stock Trading Startup Public Now Valued at $1.2B After $220M Raise

This is Public’s third round of funding in a matter of months, bringing its total capital raised to $310 million. The company says the money will be used to scale its platform to keep up with surging demand, as well as roll out new features.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Feb. 17, 2021
Stock Trading Startup Public Now Valued at $1.2B After $220M Raise
NYC-based Public raised a $220M Series D, hit unicorn valuation
Image: Public

Stock trading social media startup Public announced Wednesday it closed on a $220 million Series D led by existing investors Accel, Greycroft and Lakestar. Celebrity investors including the Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and YouTuber Philip DeFranco also participated in the round.

This fresh funding brings the four-year-old company’s total valuation to $1.2 billion, making it NYC’s newest unicorn.

Public aims to make investing in the stock market more accessible, focusing on education and community rather than competition. Users can own partial shares of stocks and ETFs, communicate with each other, and even follow popular investors for tips. Co-founder and co-CEO Leif Abraham says the platform has accumulated more than a million users in the 18 months since its public launch.

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“We started this company with an ambitious mission: to open the stock market to everyone by changing its underlying culture,” Abraham said in a statement. “The Public community is about investing in companies, not just trading stocks. We believe that investing is one of the most powerful forcing functions for building financial literacy.”

This news comes at a time when public interest in the stock market has been skyrocketing (most recently fueled by the ongoing GameStop-Reddit saga), which has turned the spotlight on companies similar to Public, like Bay Area-based Robinhood and Chicago-based M1.

Meanwhile, Public has been especially busy over the last year, raising a $15 million Series B and then a $65 million Series C in a matter of months. It also released a suite of new features in 2020, including a long-term portfolio to help users better understand long- and short-term investments, and built-in safety labels for potentially risky investments.

“We’re seeing a steady acceleration of interest in the stock market, with topics previously isolated to Wall Street entering the cultural zeitgeist in ways never seen before,” co-CEO and co-founder Jannick Malling said in a statement. “This movement has sparked curiosity among millions of people who, for the first time, are looking to learn more and participate themselves.”

To keep up the momentum, Public says this new money will be used to scale its platform, as well as roll out new features in cryptocurrency, pre- and post-market trading and other investment areas. The company is also hiring, with dozens of open tech positions available now.

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