“Atom is disrupting the investment research market through the implementation of best-in-class technology, software and sector expertise,” SoftBank’s investment director, Juan Franck, said in a June 23 news release. “SoftBank is excited to partner with Atom as they pioneer a modernized investment experience for both investors on its platform and through B2B product integrations with financial institutions worldwide.”
Thanks to the fresh infusion of $28 million, New York City-based Atom is opening a Miami office where founder and CEO Eric Shoykhet will be located. Shoykhet said the Miami presence will enable the startup to extend its reach further into Latin America. Atom recently forged a partnership with Brazilian digital bank Banco Inter but wants to gain a foothold elsewhere in Latin America, including Mexico.
“We are extremely, extremely bullish on the retail investing landscape in Latin America,” Shoykhet said.
Atom provides a direct-to-consumer offering for retail investors and a white-label product for financial institutions. Shoykhet essentially wants to democratize investing — going beyond the likes of Yahoo Finance and Google Finance to supply more robust information about the market, yet making investing more accessible than platforms like S&P Capital IQ and Bloomberg.
Atom aims to cater to “a large audience of underserved retail investors and professionals who could benefit from a more modern investment research and market-monitoring platform,” Shoykhet said. The platform connects to users’ investment accounts, and supplies investment alerts, news and research that can help users navigate the market.
“We think we can bring sophisticated equity-style research content to a larger swath of retail investors,” Shoykhet said.
Users can sign up for a free basic subscription or a paid premium subscription, or can take advantage of the platform through Atom’s white-label partners. Those partners operate under a revenue-sharing model or per-user model. Atoms says the number of premium subscribers has grown by more than 250% since early 2021.
Atom’s platform is gaining traction at a time when retail investing is taking off:
- Brazil’s B3 saw the number of retailer investors on the exchange soar from 1 million in May 2019 to nearly 3.2 million in October 2020.
- Retail investors in Mexico opened 150% more accounts in the first six months of 2020 compared with the previous 10 years.
- In the U.S., a survey by investment giant Charles Schwab found 15% of current retail investors entered the market for the first time in 2020. A study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the University of Chicago’s NORC research organization shows the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many new and experienced investors in the U.S. to flock to the stock market last year.
The growth of retail investing “is actually a global phenomenon,” Shoykhet said.
“From our perspective, we think our mission of expanding access to high-quality investment research, data, tools and software is something that we want to do globally,” said Shoykhet, adding that SoftBank’s global brand will help Atom attract users around the world.