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Brooke Roberts of Sharesies | Sponsored by Lexus NZ

Investing made easy—no matter how much money you have.

Tell us about the business—what’s your elevator pitch?

At Sharesies we believe everyone deserves an equal opportunity to grow their wealth. So we’ve created and fun and easy investment app that gives someone with $5 the same investment options as someone with $500,000. The minimum invest is $0.01 with over 165 investment options.

 

What was the inspiration for the business?

Sonya Williams, another founder, came up with the idea behind Sharesies. When we started Sharesies there was a heap of media about millennials and smashed avocado, and not being able to buy homes. Seven of us got together to find a way that would help people develop their wealth. After six months of listening and researching Kiwis’ attitudes towards money and finance, we started prototyping and Sharesies was born.

 

How has technology helped?

It’s how we’ve been able to do what we’ve done. We knew that technology could make investing accessible to everyone. Investing was no longer only for the rich, or for people who knew heaps about finance and business. Technology became the enabler.

We’ve reduced the minimum investment to just one cent and have unlocked heaps of investment options to way more people. We’ve also been able to create a seamless, fun and easy experience for investors, all online.

 

What’s been key to the business success so far?

Our team. Starting with a group of founders, we had the core skills and experience we needed to bring Sharesies to life. Now, we have a team of over 30, who all make Sharesies better and better for our investors every day.

We have a focus on purpose and impact. Sharesies is the first financial services company in NZ to be a certified B Corp. That means we’re globally certified as a business that is a force for good, making a positive difference to our investors, employees, community and environment.

 

What’s been the most exciting part of the journey so far?

Everything is exciting! Being able to really redefine what a high performing growth company means has been great. Even though we’ve experienced rapid growth, we have a strong focus on our people and their wellbeing. We were recently awarded the Diversity NZ Award for Work-Life Balance and have been recognised globally as one of the top B Corps for being Best for the World for our employees. Traditionally, there’s been a perception that to grow fast you have to push your team to their limits. There’s heaps of research that that’s the worst thing you can do. We’re living proof that investing in and deeply caring for our people leads to remarkable results.

 

How Important has the Icehouse Ventures Showcase been to your business?

Presenting at the showcase two years ago was a unique experience. There aren’t many places in the world where there are 1,000 investors in one room, listening to a handful of founders share the passion of what they’re creating.

 

How has the Icehouse Ventures Showcase helped you as a founder?

Being able to get in front of a lot of people at once and share the Sharesies story has helped start conversations a lot quicker than if I had to cold-call to get those connections.

Also being in the community of other founders has been great. Being able to share tips and tricks with each other as our businesses grow is invaluable.

 

What drives you personally?

Making a positive impact. I want to see us close the intergenerational wealth gap. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to grow wealth.

 

What is your vision of the future?

Everyone having access to investing and growing their wealth and feeling really confident and motivated. Living their best lives.

 

For more information please visit sharesies.nz