Tulipshare: Startup helping retail investors wage activist campaigns raises $10m

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TulipShares lets retail investors come together to drive proactively against large corporates while imitating the strategy of institutional investors

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The London startup helping small-time investors to big corporations like Apple and JPMorgan has raised $10 million after just four months of operation.

Founded in July, TulipShares has raised $10.8 million in ‘seed’ funding from investors including VCs Eurazio, SpeedInvest and Frust.

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TulipShare has created a platform that allows retail investors to come together to take advantage of their corporate voting power by running proactive campaigns by hedge funds or other large institutions.

“This is a completely new form of activism that we are advocating,” said Antoine Argues, founder of TulipShare.

Investors buying shares on the Tulipshare platform can pledge them for relevant campaigns. Campaigns that gain substantial momentum on the platform will be supported by TulipShare’s team that engages with companies on behalf of investors.

Tulipshare’s campaign against Coca-Cola

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Tulipshare’s campaign against Coca-Cola

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This mechanism removes the hurdle commonly faced by small-time investors who want to push for change in companies. In the US, investors must hold $25,000 worth of company stock for one year to bring forward a shareholder vote. In the UK, votes must be submitted by at least 100 shareholders or people representing 5% of the stock.

Tulipshare users can suggest their own campaigns, which are reviewed by the startup’s committee. So far TulipShare has launched campaigns calling on Amazon to improve conditions in its warehouses, Coca-Cola to make 100% of its bottles from recycled plastic, and JPMorgan to stop investing in fossil fuels Is.

The startup campaigned for Apple to allow “right to repair” its devices. The tech giant recently took note of this point and said that it would let people directly buy parts for iPhone repairs. Preachers had long called for this change.

“I don’t take credit for this change,” Argouges said. “I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not.”

Tulipshare has applied for its broker-dealer license in the US. Argouges said US companies were attractive targets because of their size and influence globally.

“After all, if we change them, we change the world,” he said. “Our product is global, it’s just made in London.”

Antoine is a veteran of the dating app industry, having worked at Match.com and Bumble. Prior to Tulipshare, he founded Lumen, an over 50 dating app.

His new business falls into two trends: the rise of retail investment and the rise of ESG – ethical, social and governance – under pressure on companies.

Millions of people experimented with stock trading during the pandemic and many got stuck. At the same time, companies have faced increasing pressure on ethical and green issues in recent years as investors seek portfolios that reflect their values. Alvarez & Marshall said this week that due to the rise of ESG, the world is experiencing a “golden age” of investor activism.

Tara Reeves, Managing Director of Eurazio, said: “ESG is at the core of our investment thesis and now through TulipShares, activists and retail investors alike can use their shareholder rights to drive meaningful change by investing in corporations and You can make your voice heard by doing this. Long pending.”

TulipShares plans to use its new funds to complete its broker-dealer licensing process in the UK and to hire 20 employees in roles such as engineering and compliance.

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