Fintech Freetrade launches in Sweden

British fintech Freetrade announced its imminent launch into Sweden’s retail investor market.

They recently received regulatory approval from Finansinspektionen, an initial step towards a potential expansion into other EU countries.

Freetrade, a seven-year-old startup with more than 1 million customers, has raised funds through a mixture of investors such as Left Lane Capital, L Catterton, and Draper Esprit, as well as 13,000 equity crowdfunders, most notably a record-breaking crowdfunding investment of $8 million in less than six hours.

“We’re going to transform the way that Europeans invest too,” CEO Adam Dodds wrote.

Founded in 2016 by Dodds, Viktor Nebehaj, Davide Fioranelli, Freetrade makes investing more accessible. It is positioning itself as a brokerage platform, transforming the “archaic and clunky” nature of how people invest.

The expansion will also mean that users in Sweden will have free access to thousands of European, UK, and US stocks and ETFs. On the Freetrade website, Dodds writes that they will be adding more features and products. One notable feature will be offering an ISK, the Swedish version of an ISA that will be out later this year. They have already started to onboard beta testers for the Swedish app.

Two men standing in front of a pink taxi
Founders Adam Dodds [left] and Viktor Nebehaj [right]

Speaking to Mary Agbesanwa, Fintech Growth Lead at Seccl, about their expansion, she points out, ” they are now venturing into securities lending. With profit margins increasingly narrowing in wealth tech and their ‘freemium’ type business model, it is not surprising that they have now opted for this.

“This showcases the internal conversations they are probably having about a journey towards profitability. In reality, the practice is pretty standard but no doubt makes some customers nervous. I appreciate that they enable existing customers to opt out by June (although they won’t be able to continue trading), but a handy FAQ page on their site is not enough to provide comfort. In reality, this likely contributes to funding their European expansion plans and keeping their commission-free mantra.”

On the Freetrade website, Dodds writes that they will be adding more features and products. One notable feature will be offering an ISK, the Swedish version of an ISA that will be out later this year. They have already started to onboard beta testers for the Swedish app.

Why Sweden?

The country has a legacy for creating the most iconic and innovative global brands, such as IKEA, Spotify, and H&M. Building on this, its tech reputation is well respected with companies such as Minecraft, Skype, and Klarna; startups valued at above $1 billion — per capita, at around 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants according to the Swedish Chambers of Commerce, more than any other region in the world.

Sweden’s success is attributed to the low regulatory burden and simplified digital infrastructure.

In the European Investment Bank’s book “Stockholm: The Tale of the Unicorn Factory,” the essay explains that Sweden is an innovation-driven country with many well-known researchers and scientists from the eighteenth century onwards.

The tech ecosystem encourages many entrepreneurs, and reinvestment and supports startups early on in incubators such as incubator STING.

As one of the world’s most cashless societies, with its tech-savvy population, and entrepreneurial ecosystem, Sweden has provided a platform for fintech and new payment methods to flourish.

For Freetrade, this is just a start. They hope to expand throughout Europe, and it will be interesting to see where they go next.

Freetrade Limited is a member firm of the London Stock Exchange and is an authorized member of the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales.

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