The Chainsmokers and Tony Hawk are among celebrity backers for a social-investing app that just raised $65 million to 'change the culture of the stock market'

The Chainsmokers and Tony Hawk are among celebrity backers for a social-investing app that just raised $65 million to 'change the culture of the stock market'
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  • Electronic music duo The Chainsmokers and legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk have taken stakes in Public.com, an investing app that makes trading in the stock market more accessible.
  • Public raised $65 million in its most recent fundraising round, saying that it aims to "change the culture of the stock market."
  • The social-networking app encourages users to learn about stock trading from a community of investors, but it does not allow day trading.
  • Other prominent individual investors in the app include actor Will Smith and Dick Parsons, a former head of Time Warner.

The Chainsmokers and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk have acquired stakes in Public.com, an investing app that encourages users to learn about stock trading while socializing.

The DJ duo is better known for producing electronic dance music, but they've broadened their push into investing after launching their venture capital firm, Mantis VC.

Public.com announced on Tuesday a $65 million series C fundraising, nine months after its $15 million series B. The company says its aim is "to change the culture of the stock market."
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"The stock market seems scary because its culture is," Leif Abraham, co-CEO of Public.com, said in a blog. "The communities that have sprung up around it are mostly for traders and therefore tend to be male-dominated, not welcoming of new investors, and short-term focused. This has the effect that they can feel closer to gambling culture than to investing culture."

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The app was launched in September 2019 with a mission to make investing in the stock market more accessible and less intimidating. Users can buy and sell fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, follow popular investors and businesses, and share ideas within a broad community of investors. 40% of the app's investor community is made up of women, according to Public.com.
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Public's social-networking feature allows users to see how their favorite celebrities are investing. But the platform does not accommodate day-trading or margin investing, or using loans from brokers, which can lead to heavy losses.

The Chainsmokers have also been engaged in other business ventures. They own a production studio, have stakes in spirit brand JaJa Tequila, and are co-founders of blockchain-based ticketing platform Yellowheart. Other individual investors in the app include skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk, actor Will Smith, former head of Time Warner, Dick Parsons, and NYU business professor Scott Galloway.
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