Getquin, the community-based advice and investment platform for millenials who no longer believe in traditional banks, is celebrating its first year. Its COO, Raphael Steil from Luxembourg, talks about the Berlin-based startup’s approach to financial education.
How to invest when you know nothing about finance? Luxembourg’s Raphael Steil has launched a community-based advice and investment platform for millennials who no longer believe in traditional banks.
After several years in the City, this former investment banker returned to continental Europe and chose Berlin to co-found his company getquin in 2020, with Christian Rokitta. The startup currently employs 35 people, 20 of which are in Berlin.
At first, the two founders planned an algorithm to build investment portfolios for individuals.
But with the pandemic, they quickly realised that the performance of an algorithm or the expertise of a financial advisor is of no interest to their target customers.
“They’re looking for investment ideas, and they’re happy to talk about them with their friends and family. And rather than talk to a banker, they prefer to consult websites, to find out about stock prices, products, trends, etc..,” explains Steil.
“Our mission is to empower everyone to make informed investment decisions […]” Christian Rokitta
For enlightened investments
The two entrepreneurs decided to pivot and develop a more social tool, without becoming an online casino.
Launched in January 2021, the community platform offers: “a portfolio tracker, which provides an in-depth overview of all the assets that make up the portfolio, including breakdowns by country, sector and asset class; a blog with an Instagram account dedicated to financial education; a multilingual social network to post and read comments,” continues CEO Christian Rokitta.
“Members can get inspired by tens of thousands of investors around the world, follow their communities’ strategies and trades, or use our tools to build their first portfolio from scratch. Our mission is to empower everyone to make informed investment decisions, through a trusted app, allowing all investors to engage with friends, family and verified investors.”
Students in particular can open virtual accounts to learn about financial investing without spending any money.
Getquin is licensed as a fund manager and can therefore provide advice on these types of investments, but not on other financial products.
Why choose Berlin to launch the startup? “The city is conducive to non-professional investors, mainly millennials who don’t necessarily have high salaries, who anticipate a low retirement, and who want to invest to finance their future and/or for a project,” Steil says.
The startup already claims to have some 100,000 customers. They are, on the one hand, working people in their late twenties to mid-thirties, who have a little money to invest and want to learn how to optimise their portfolio.
They are also young people from 15 to 25 years old, who want to win in the stock market quickly. “This generation is very impatient: they want to work less and less, but they don’t want to spend 20 minutes reading an article to understand how to invest. Everything has to go fast. That’s what we try to reflect in our application,” the founders say. “Young people are so keen to make money, and we can’t hold them back. But we can advise them, so they’re aware of what’s going on. And there our financial education mission is important.
The audience is 80 percent male, “but we work a lot with influencers and with women investors to bring in female clients and have a greater mix,” Rokitta adds.
Already available in Germany, the platform will soon be available in France, the Netherlands and Brazil.
“Today it is very easy to access financial products and to trade, but the level of education is still very, very low.” Raphael Steil
Keeping the community approach
What are the risks of slippage? “When people come to our app and advise on to buy or sell a product while doing the opposite transaction,” Steil answers.
“To prevent this, our community has getquin moderators, or external but trusted moderators. If necessary, we delete any post or profile that does not respect our values. And if the profile is too speculative, or if someone posts for their own personal gain or interest, we block it.”
The platform is free and requires no entry ticket. “We want to make the community as accessible as possible; getquin is and will therefore remain free in its basic functionality. Our users remain at the heart of our product development process. This model allows us to keep the community approach in mind,” the founders explain. “It is currently too early to monetise our application. We are targeting 1 million members before switching to a paid model.”
In the absence of subscriptions, getquin is financed by external investors. What do these investors think? “They are patient, because they share our vision of a more inclusive, more democratic investment. Today it is very easy to access financial products and to trade, but the level of education is still very, very low,” says Steil.
Update courtesy of our content partner Silicon Luxembourg