Sharesies CEO says Wellington attracts innovation
Sharesies co-founder and rebel CEO Brooke Roberts shares how the investment platform found its feet in the capital and continues to grow
The online investment platform Chief Executive, Brooke Roberts, says being close to regulators and support networks makes the capital an ideal spot to foster rapid company growth.
When the seven co-founders set up Sharesies, a revolutionary financial tool to allow the same investment opportunities for those with $50, as those with $500,000, they knew they were creating more than a product, Brooke says.
Wellington really is a community of lessons learnt, which is great to be able to draw from.
Brooke Roberts, Sharesies CEO
“We always knew starting out that we were building a company, not just a product so that’s helped us to be able to grow our customer base and attract creative talent to the company".
Heading into 2020, Sharesies has 86k customers, and $157 million invested through the platform and they have no desire for it to slow, Brooke says.
Brooke says running a business in the capital has numerous benefits in what she describes as a “frictionless” workday.
“Living near the city, it’s things like home being 15 minutes away, and not having to work your way through crowds for public transport. Those sorts of things add friction to your day whereas Wellington just seems to have less friction to deal with.”
And then there’s the undercurrent of support of innovation in the region.
“It really is a community of lessons learnt, which is great to be able to draw from,” she says.
The likes of established companies such as TradeMe and Xero support the next wave of innovation coming out of Wellington. This included a $4 million cash injection from TradeMe in 2018 which allowed Sharesies to further scale their business model.
Social enterprise, like Sharesies, starts from a social problem so the idea of it continuing to grow and serve New Zealanders is more than welcome, Brooke says.
“We saw people were being left out of growing their wealth and recognised the negatives that meant for future wealth inequality.”