Stockpile, the company that provides gift cards for stock, has raised $15 million in funding. The major investment in Stockpile comes courtesy of Sequoia Capital, Mayfield, and individual investor, Ashton Kutcher, who praised Stockpile’s “drop-dead-easy user experience and affordability to all.”
Rajeev Batra, partner at Mayfield, was equally enthusiastic, referring to Stockpile’s combination of gift card technology and fractional share ownership as a “massive paradigm shift.”
“Stockpile is bringing the stock market to where you shop, bank, and do other things in your daily life,” Batra said. “You need a seasoned team to pull this off, and these guys know how to execute.”
Stockpile CEO Avi Lele and CCO Dan Schatt demonstrated Stockpile Gift Cards at FinovateSpring 2014.
Added Don Kingsborough, founder and former CEO of fellow Finovate alum Blackhawk Network, “Every retailer CEO I’ve spoken with thinks Stockpile is going to be the next, multibillion-dollar gift card category.”
Setting up a Stockpile Gift Card is as easy as choosing the stock (such as Tesla), deciding on a dollar amount to spend (any whole number between $1 and $1,000), and then purchasing the gift card with a credit card. The gift recipient then logs in to their Stockpile account using a special access code in order to get their stock. Stockpile Gift Cards are available at a variety of retailers including Lowe’s, Supervalu, and Wegman’s, as well as via iOS app. Gift cards include a “gifting fee” of $2.99 per card plus 3% of the face value of the card.
“Most people have never had an opportunity to own stock in their favorite companies because it’s too expensive and complicated to get started,” Stockpile CEO and founder Avi Lele explained in a statement. “For the first time ever, you’ll be able to walk into the supermarket and buy a gift card for, say, $25 of Apple stock right off the rack.”
Founded December 2010 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Stockpile made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose.