The start-up specialised in investment consulting for women is about to take a new step forward by launching new services on its platform. A development made possible by new fund raising.
"We were very lucky not to be in the launch phase these last months,” says Gaëlle Haag, co-founder and CEO of Startalers, "women's best financial friend" as the start-up presents itself on its website. "We are currently finalising the development of our investment platform. Our roadmap has simply been delayed by the COVID situation. But we have also had to keep the motivation and enthusiasm of the team intact. It has not always been easy during the confinement, but I think it is very positive that we have had to focus much more this human dimension of our activity."
Created in January 2018, Startalers targets women and has developed an application to help them better manage their savings, based on their life projects. To do this, the start-up offers them financial education and advice on investing in companies or projects that have a positive impact in the broadest sense, on both society and the environment.
The company, which now has 5 employees, is about to launch a new online product, which will take longer to finalise than expected. "Exchanges with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier have taken longer time during the COVID period than normal..."
The Startalers platform will soon offer an impact-scoring tool that takes into account the investor’s objectives when establishing a portfolio (Will the money be used for a real estate acquisition? A trip around the world? A pension supplement?). According to these parameters and the planned investment period, the algorithm developed by the start-up evaluates an optimal portfolio construction.
"The impact scoring makes it possible to select stocks and bonds to the impact generated by the company or project in which the investment is made," explains Ms Haag.
"The tool includes rating criteria in six different fields. Each investor can indicate what criteria are most important to her, and following her choice, the tool will discard certain companies or development programmes and favour others. The resulting portfolio is then personalised according to the needs and values of the user.”
In order to achieve this, Startalers has developed a tool for monitor the evolution of these criteria, based on quantitative data. "We are not satisfied only with the good intentions announced by companies, but look at factors such as the number of job creations in relation to their revenues, or the quantities of CO2 emitted. And we explain this in terms that can be understood by ordinary people."
"More and more women are taking the plunge"
The economic and health situation, which has governed daily life for almost a year now, has greatly changed the landscape and, above all, has broadened the potential clientele of the start-up: more and more women are choosing to take the plunge and become investors, and not only because they have more time to take an interest in the topic. "There is a real need to be able to contribute in every possible way to the energy transition and the fight against climate change," Ms Haag notes. "And this need has clearly increased in recent months. One of the ways to do this is to make your money work for these causes, while still protecting yourself. Being far-sighted and proactive in your financial management also helps you to be more resilient and make other choices.”
This enthusiasm is reflected in figures: during the first months of "hard" confinement during spring 2020, some 500 people logged on to the webinars organised by the company.
"We have grown to 2,000 participants in less than a year," Ms Haag notes.
To support the implementation of this new product evolution, a €750,000 financing round is being set up, which will provide the funds for the next 18 months to enter the market and roll out the application on a large scale. "Another, more substantial round of financing is planned for 2022 in order to carry out a rather aggressive international expansion strategy," Ms Haag announces.