When you think of investing, what do you picture? Probably stodgy old white dudes sitting around in high rise office buildings, furiously answering phones and monitoring the stock market like fiends, right? That’s pretty much the standard image that popular culture has given us of what it means to be an investor from as far back as Gordon Gekko — but one company is out to change that. They’re called Investable, and they’ve created an app that will help anyone get into investing, in a very 2015 way.
At this point, I’ve reviewed a lot of apps and websites, and I have to say: I’ve never seen one like Investable before. The app has five different sections, but I especially want to focus on the first three. The very first icon at the bottom of the screen is the News or “Pulse” icon. It’s also the first thing that pops up when you open the app, and it’s a scrolling feed of interesting, trending news stories related to investing. (Like, actually interesting. Not just “I’m-a-banker-and-therefore-find-this-boring-thing-interesting” interesting.) It’s a great place to learn more about the market or just kill time without feeling like you’re wasting it.
The second icon is where things start to get interesting. Investable asks if they can use your location. Then it finds companies around you that are public, giving you a really fascinating view into local companies that you could possible invest in.
The third icon, though, is the camera. But this isn’t any ordinary camera! Investable’s camera lets you take a picture of anything you want, uses some kind of techno-magic to identify what the object is, and it then tells you how you can invest in that product or one similar to it. I took a photo of my coffee cup in the cafe I’m working in today, and it not only identified the Vietnamese brand but also told me that it was a white paper cup and recommended I check out office supplies if I was interested in products like it.
The final two sections of the app are your own personal “watch list,” where you can track companies you’re interested in and your profile.
Investable launched globally just this week, after three months in private beta. As one of the only startups out of Gaborone, Botswana, they’ve seen awesome word-of-mouth growth, with over 900 users signing up in less than a week and 58% of those users opening the app daily. They’re especially popular with millennials, who make up 98% of their user base so far. They’ve had people checking out investing ideas in more than 1,500 different locations across 14 countries, with the most popular countries being the US, Canada, Israel, India, and South Africa. Finally, their users have already taken more than 2,000 pictures of items they’re interested in.
Not bad for a company that hasn’t even been around for a year yet, huh?
“We are re-imagining how people discover investing ideas, by leveraging their mobile device using their location and photos of things around them,” founder S. Thomas told KillerStartups. “Millennials are accelerating a profound transformation within the investing industry, with new ways and startups being born to discover investing ideas, analyze investing ideas, and transact stocks. We are in the very early innings of this transformation and we’re excited to be part of it!”
It looks to me like it’s time to kick that fusty old image of Gordon Gekko to the curb, guys. Investable is what the future of investing looks like.