Investing platform Pearler raises $7.8m

It offers US and Australian shares and ETFs at $6.50 a trade which is mid-way between traditional retail brokers like CommSec and new ones like Stake that offer $0 brokerage. Also in its current offering is a micro-investing feature for small, regular investments and Autoinvest, an automatic rebalance facility for investment portfolios to keep them within the customer’s set of rules.

It’s looking to launch an investing app for children, to expand into New Zealand, and to build a general advice forum where users can ask investing-related questions such as how to layer two ETFs in their portfolio.

Nicolaides said Pearler wanted a community-driven investing experience (users can see other people’s investment profiles) focused on long-term wealth, instead of trading faster, cheaper and in a gamified way.

Pearler’s arrival coincides with that of half a dozen deep-pocketed overseas investment platforms like Moomoo, which is owned by NASDAQ-listed Futu Holdings, South African EasyEquities and Tiger Brokers, which all have millions of users in their core narkets.

The new entrants are joining local counterparts like Raiz, Stake, Stockspot, Superhero and the local arms of global businesses like CMC Markets and Interactive Brokers. The big fish in retail brokering are still Commsec, NAB Trade and ANZ Shares.

Nicolaides said the big banks hadn’t innovated their retail tradings products in many years and would lose market share to new arrivals in the coming years. He said for a sub-set of those customers making the switch, Pearler would appeal over marketing-intensive, trading-oriented investing platforms.