Over the last year or so, I've been working with some startups on a deeper level than most. I have specific reasons that I decide to work with them and not others, but have never shared these publicly. I thought it would be a good idea to start publishing “the why” behind my decisions to invest time into a startup. Today’s feature is on a Phoenix-based company called Personafi.
What is Personafi?
Personafi is a social public market trading app. The idea is that people can get on Personafi, link their brokerage accounts, and track their trades. Over time, people can follow different traders, comment on contrarian trades, and actually engage with Personafi similar to how they would engage with large users on Twitter. On the trader side, this is a creator tools platform. Anyone is able to link their accounts. start trading, and building influence on the app. The idea is that eventually, traders will be able to make a living some people subscribing/paying to access their trades and analysis behind them. Think Substack but for public market investors. Sound cool? Get on the waitlist here.
There are many things that are going right for Personafi. First off, the market conditions couldn’t be any better.
Nothing says more like “it’s a retail investor’s market” than a group of Redditors manipulating Gamestop stock to put a billion-dollar hedge fund out of business. Or the fact that Robinhood’s revenue nearly tripled from 2020 to 2021. Or that a16z, a leading venture capital firm, has said that social fintech is a cornerstone of the average Gen Z consumer. In 2021, everyone wants to invest in the next Amazon or Facebook. More importantly, everyone has an opinion on who the next Amazon or Facebook will be. This is why the current market conditions have created the perfect storm for a company like Personafi. It’s time for the retail market analysts to thrive, with Personafi selling the sticks and shovels (and funding it all).
The Founder, Ken Mooso
You know you meet a good founder when they don’t seem to ever give up. Ken Mooso, the co-founder/CEO of Personafi, fits this mold perfectly. I first met Ken as he DMd me on Slack to tell me about what he was working on at this time. I thought he sounded sharp and told him to keep me in the loop. Well, he did. Month by month, he kept me updated on his progress with Personafi. Aside from the monthly updates via email, he also Slacked me questions and generally stayed top of mind for me.
After about a year of his persistence, I knew that he was going to be successful. He had “it”. There are two reasons for this. First off, he kept me in the loop, consistently. Secondly, every time we talked, he was further ahead than the last time we talked. He is always progressing and moving forward, even on bad days. Whatever roadblock was in his way before, now it’s a new one. And if I can’t help him with something, he finds someone else to do it for him. He is relentlessly resourceful and it is the reason I know that Personafi is in good hands.
Yes, I am painting an exciting picture for this company. The market conditions are perfect for it. Yet, if they are perfect for Personafi, they are perfect for its competitors too, and lord knows they have raised a lot of capital to tackle it. Most notably, Public has a social investing component to it, which has raised north of $300M. Additionally, Commonstock is a newcomer that is picking up steam, having just raised $9.7M from Greylock. There is also the risk of Robinhood itself competing with Personafi but adding in social trading/following features. In addition, with the costs of starting a fintech company plummeting, it’s clear that this space will heat up even faster in the future.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the TAM is growing by the billions on a global scale. What feels saturated in the states feels like “westward expansion” in Africa or India. The rise of retail investors is only going to grow and more people get disgruntled with credentialed elites claiming they are smarter and can do the job better than us. Personafi will come out on top when the dust settles because of the grit, tenacity, and persistence of Ken. He is simply willing this thing into existence, and he’ll do it with or without your (or my) help.
Personafi is raising their seed round right now and is looking for investors to join their journey to create a new category of internet native investment analysts. They’ve already raised $150,000+ and are looking for more. Read my analysis above. Do your own research. I can even introduce you to Ken if you want to chat with him if you want. Learn more about Personafi and how to invest in the link below.
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