NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Follow, the first community-centric investment platform joining selected finance-focused influencers called ‘Leaders' and individual investors launches today with $9M in funding. As the first platform to automate copying of trades of US equities to US clients using a feature called SuperFollow at its RIA affiliate, Follow’s RIA will allow its clients to sync their own accounts with the [RIA/Leader] account of some of today's most widely followed and trusted financial voices after subscribing to their exclusive content. The company was founded and funded at venture studio Atomic, with additional investments from Uncork Capital and Vera Equity.
Follow’s inception comes on the heels of the retail investment wave, catalyzed by the sustained rise of the retail investor and social platforms like Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram operating as collaborative spaces for sharing investment ideas. Users open an investment account with Follow’s affiliated registered investment adviser who keeps their investments proportionally in sync with an account developed by Follow RIA to automatically Follow a Leader’s money moves. Unlike traditional social platforms, Follow has developed a proprietary review process in order to evaluate their Leaders’ history of responsible social media behavior and disciplined investment strategies. Leaders share their brokerage data prior to joining the platform, allowing Follow to assess their investment styles, commentary and to evaluate alignment of their social messages to their historic investment activity. Additionally, before Leaders’ profiles are turned on to recruit followers, their behavior is monitored for 30 days.
“The next generation is changing how we consume information, while simultaneously driving a movement that is rapidly increasing consumer interest in money,” said Manning Field, CEO of Follow. “Portfolios of the future will be portfolios of people, not asset classes, and Follow aims to be the platform that makes it easy for people to learn how to secure their future using a diversified approach of people.”
The app has already signed a diverse set of Leaders to its platform, including Austin Hankwitz, WOLF Financial, Breyanna Nava and Patrick Meng. As Follow’s creator network grows, the platform plans to foster an inclusive, informed community and build upon their creators’ fan bases.
Follow’s operating co-founders come from proven technology and financial services backgrounds, including former Google and Acorns executives. Manning Field, CEO, co-founded the company after leaving Acorns where he was in the C-suite for six years, serving as the COO of Acorns and the CEO of Acorns’ regulated entities. He also served on the consumer advisory board of the CFPB for 2 years while at Acorns. Prior to Acorns, Field was at J.P. Morgan Chase, where he was responsible for the development of Chase Sapphire and other market leading consumer products. CTO, Benjamin Rapaport, was previously a Senior Software Engineer at Google for eight years developing a variety of projects across their ads, research, and special projects divisions. Miles Cole, a serial entrepreneur, also is a Follow co-founder and leader in the company, and has successfully developed businesses in multiple categories. CLO, Danny Evens, co-founded the Company at Atomic, where he also serves as the Head of Capital Markets and previously practiced law at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, specializing in securities and restructuring matters.
“After seeing so many companies try and fail to empower regular investors to become stock pickers, we founded Follow to democratize access to the markets and give retail investors access to screened voices,” said Jack Abraham, founder, and CEO, of Atomic.
Follow’s model starts with influencers that have a responsible perspective on the market and regularly disseminate consistent, investment-themed content. Eventually, Follow plans to create a space where aspiring investors can learn from and opt to invest behind everyday people with solid, responsible money ideas – not just influencers – in hopes of democratizing financial ideas coming from the masses in an authentic, verifiable way.
Follow is a retail investment two-sided marketplace that allows today’s prominent financial influencers to share their investment commentary directly with their followers and fans. Through Follow’s monthly subscription platform, customers benefit from exclusive content and the execution of their favorite influencer’s investment portfolio trades within their own Follow RIA investment accounts on an immediate basis. Please visit Follow.co and Followinvest.com to learn more.
Investing in securities always involves the risk of loss. The information presented herein is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific individual. The FollowInvest App is operated by both Follow RIA, a registered investment adviser, and its publishing affiliate. Subscription services are provided by the publishing affiliate only, and are not provided by Follow RIA. Follow’s leaders and the publishing affiliate do not provide investment advice, and neither are registered investment advisers. Investment advice is being provided solely by Follow RIA. The risks of investment are further explained in Follow RIA’s Form ADV filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Follow’s financial content creators, or “Leaders,” are independent contractors of the non-advisory publishing affiliate of Follow. As a Leader, each time a Follow user subscribes to their content on the FollowInvest app, the Leader receives a portion of this subscription fee. Users are required to subscribe to the content of a Leader before they can elect to access the advisory services available from Follow RIA through the FollowInvest app. Due to such compensation, the Leader has an incentive to recommend Follow, resulting in a material conflict of interest.