A new cloud-based share investment “information platform” launched in New Zealand last week, hoping to engage a wide local audience before taking on the world.
According to founder and managing director, Daniel Kieser, Shareclarity, an online crowd-enhanced investment chat-room, is a “first-of-a-kind” forum bringing together up-to-date economic data, official company information, equity valuation metrics, and member participation by ‘voting’ on share prices.
“It brings together aggregated views [on companies] rather than just relying on individual analysis,” he said. “We don’t push our personal views… it’s tapping into the wisdom of the crowds.”
As well as Kieser, formerly an infrastructure and utilities analyst at ABN Amro in Auckland and most recently corporate development head at Vector, Shareclarity includes former AMP Capital portfolio manager, Douglas Lau, and Diane Green, Vector company secretary, in its governance team.
Lau, now an investment manager at boutique Forte Funds Management, has a minor shareholding in the firm and serves as an independent adviser to Shareclarity. Green is listed on the company’s website as independent director.
Kieser said the platform, which for now includes only 66 NZX-listed companies, is part financial literacy centre, part investment guide and is targeted at a wide range of individuals from share market novices to experienced fund managers.
“Shareclarity is designed for anyone and everyone who is interested in shares. From first time investors to students, from financial advisers to fund managers,” he said in a statement. “We’ve tried to demystify the sharemarket by building a transparent window into how companies operate and what their shares could be worth.”
The platform gives users free information on 20 NZX shares while charging a monthly fee of $7.99 for access to its full list of companies.
Kieser said Shareclarity allows users to personalise the service for additional fees.
Eventually, the system could also provide model share portfolios for investors, he said.
Similar to Auckland-based private asset trading system Syndex, launched in August, Shareclarity has international ambitions.
“This is not just a New Zealand platform,” Kieser said. “We want to take this to the world.
As of last week, Shareclarity had about 250 users but he said, all going well, the firm could branch offshore before the end of this year.
“There’s a big demand for fintech companies globally,” Kieser said.
The launch of Syndex and Shareclarity in the space of a month suggests the NZ fintech market is on the up – while other businesses such as online KiwiSaver comparison service, Savvy Kiwi, are already making inroads in the homegrown market.
Entrepreneurs are flooding in the financial technology business in Australia, too, with Sydney-based start-up ‘hub’, Stone and Chalk, opening this August.
In September Australian firm, Big Future, also launched a new “cloud based wealth advice service”.
But as well as start-ups, large institutions are rapidly entering the fintech space with the latest entrant BNZ parent, National Australia Bank (NAB).
In a statement last week, NAB said it would roll out a new “digital advice platform” to its 40,000 internet banking customers – the first of the big Australian banks to go robo.
NAB said its ‘Prosper’ system had been “designed to empower the 80% of Australians who do not have an active relationship with a financial adviser”.
Late in August, the world’s biggest funds management firm, BlackRock, purchased a ‘robo advice’ business.