#FounderFeature w/ Thomas Beattie, Founder + CEO of Voleo
Company: Voleo, https://www.myvoleo.com/
Founder: Thomas Beattie
Tagline: Invest Smarter, Invest Together
What does Voleo do? Voleo allows you to make trading decisions as a team. By joining an investment club, you collectively contribute cash, build a group portfolio, and share the returns.
The Accidental Entrepreneur
By Thomas Beattie
When I was 22 years old, I started working in finance and wanted to share my enthusiasm for investing with my friends. They wanted to invest with me in theory, but couldn’t find the time to bring their IDs in and fill out all the paperwork. Now I’m in my 30’s and some of them are still not investing! They’ve missed a huge opportunity by not starting younger and taking advantage of compounding. The power of compounding means your biggest asset is time, so starting in your 20’s rather than 40’s will make you much wealthier in the long term.
Motivating people and finding ways for them to start investing earlier makes a huge difference, which is where Voleo comes in. I used to be an investment banker and after consulting to startups for several years, I saw a prototype of Voleo. It was exactly what I needed when I was younger, with a fun twist we call DROID (definitive return on investment decisions), so we took the concept and developed a social trading platform that makes it easy for anyone to start investing by pooling their money and building teams with friends and family.
When you put a team together, some people will have knowledge of the markets and some won’t, but everyone is working together to better their financial futures. We believe everyone deserves that opportunity. If a person doesn’t have a lot of money, they can’t afford (or get the attention of) a wealth manager. They can use a robo-advisor, but that is quite boring and the expectation is that you’ll slightly underperform of the market over time. We believe Voleo is a better way to invest. By pooling resources and building wealth together, everyone on your team learns and has a vested interest in success.
When we built this platform, we built it for customers and were later approached by financial institutions that saw it as a powerful tool for engagement and acquisition, and I completely agree with them. If you are a financial institution, for each customer who likes the white label of Voleo and wants to start a team, they’ll send out an average of 14 invitations and if you’re that bank, you have all these new qualified leads. Maybe those leads are banking down the street, but now they are in your universe and you can give them an amazing mobile and digital experience with a platform that’s actually fun and engaging. And, the banks can then market their relevant products and services to leads in a very contextual way.
We’ve been building Voleo for over four years now, becoming registered as a FINRA member and broker-dealer across the country. In the highly regulated financial services industry things take time, especially when you don’t have major venture capital backers. We’ve funded everything through our management team, friends, and family, until we went public last month, making this an incredibly exciting time. We now have the capital to start scaling, which means we can follow through with financial institution partnerships like the ones we are developing here at the Venture Center’s FIS Fintech Accelerator.
We have a pretty unique position in the marketplace as leveraging teams to build wealth. For the financial institutions FIS works with and for the people we view as potential partners, this is a great tool. Now we are just building and growing and accelerating. Persistence from our core team has been a major factor to getting to this point; our board of directors and technical team always kept trying no matter the circumstance. I am absolutely an accidental entrepreneur, fueled by the passion of believing everyone deserves a chance at a better financial future. If you agree, try it out – Voleo is in the app store!