Female Invest acquires sustainability-focused investment platform Gaia Investments

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When Female Invest launched in 2019, she did so with the goal of creating a community where women who wanted to invest in the stock market but weren’t sure where to start could gain the knowledge and confidence they need. Now, its users will be able to do the same within the Female Invest platform.

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The Copenhagen-based startup this week announced the acquisition of fellow Danish fintech Gaia Investments, with plans to integrate a trading platform focused on investing in companies with sustainability goals into its app. Female Invest told TechCrunch that the purchase price of Gaia was not disclosed, but three months before the transaction valued the startup at $3 million.

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For Camilla Falkenberg, co-founder and partner at Female Invest, adding the ability to invest directly through Female Invest is a great next step for the subscription edtech platform.

“From day one, we’ve always been focused on building features and products that our community requested,” Falkenberg said. “And we get requests every day for the possibility of doing business directly through us.”

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She said she thinks the platform gets that request so often because its users trust it. A recent survey of customers found that 96% of them would trust their money over their bank to women investing.

Female Invest has spent the last year building the company out to integrate trading even more smoothly. Falkenberg said that since he raised a $4.5 million seed round last November, he has built an app, expanded his tech team and raised an additional $3 million in funding.

But when they came across Gaia Investments in July, they realized that instead of building their own trading platform for Female Invest, it would make more sense and time-saving to partner with an existing trading platform.

“Gaia has such a strong brand here in the Nordics and such a strong focus on ethics and sustainable investing, something we are very interested in as well,” she said. “As the talks progressed, it became more and more clear that this was a great step forward for us.”

The team at Gaia felt the same way, Mads Sverre Willemsen, a co-founder and CTO, told TechCrunch.

“We knew women investing and saw the journey they’ve been on over the last three years,” he said. “When we talked and saw that we had an alignment, the decision wasn’t that hard.”

Both companies also shared similar founding stories – both sought to create an investment product that they felt was needed and did not exist.

For Women Investing, it was in 2019 when the founders realized that there was not a good resource that taught women how to start investing. For Gaia, it was when co-founder and CEO David Bentzon-Ehlers’ mother asked him in 2020 if there was a safe place to invest in sustainable companies, and he realized the platform was what he was looking for. Was doing, she doesn’t exist yet.

Although it’s not very common for startups to be acquired so early in life — Gaia completed a Techstars accelerator program just a few months ago — Sverre Willemsen said the transaction makes sense to Gaia as they expand their reach. more interested in doing. product than being a startup founder.

“I didn’t become a founder in the first place to be a founder,” he said. “I did it because it was an opportunity to bring a lot of innovation and difference to a lot of people very quickly.”

In the near future as soon as the platform starts to integrate into Women Investing, existing Gaia users will be removed – their money will be refunded in full. From there, Falkenberg said they don’t yet have a specific launch date for women investing users, but the ability to trade will launch first in the EU and then in the UK.

Consolidation of early-stage startups has been a growing trend this year, and as the fintech sector struggles into the uncertainty of 2022, it seems likely that some of these smaller companies will combine to avoid being left behind. I’m sure we’ll start seeing more of this title next year.

For women investing, however, long-term planning is paying off, regardless of market conditions.

“Our vision is to create an extremely user-friendly, and easy to navigate, platform with a focus on sustainability to invest in the values ​​that matter to them,” Falkenberg said. “We have a very loyal user base waiting for us to launch the next product which is a great starting point.”

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