Welcome to the world of impact investing, where Tickr founder Tom McGillycuddy shares what it was like for him and his co-founder, Matt Latham, to leave their corporate jobs and create a business that allows people to invest in companies that create a positive impact, such as those in the energy, water, food, health, education, and cybersecurity space, to name a few.
Initially crossing paths in Barclays, Tom and Matt realized that they wanted to “democratize” investing and make it more accessible for everyone. Apart from that, they also wanted to give people a chance to support companies they believed were making an impact. So, it was basically offering people a chance to invest sustainably and adopt good investment behaviors.
In terms of how Tickr works, it first gives people three themes to choose from (people, planet, and people-planet) along with three risk levels, after which you will then be able to select from an extremely diverse array of options the companies you would like to invest in. They encourage their users to invest monthly, which 85% of them do. Currently, Tickr has over 100,000 customers and it’s continuously growing, since more and more people are realizing the beauty of what Tickr offers and the problem that it solves.
Tom talks about the two ways of getting a fintech company regulated, which both have their own pros and cons. He also shares the challenges he and Matt faced when it came to finding investors, and he says their financial backgrounds had a big role to play as it helped them talk to the right people and get the funds they needed.
Contrary to what you may think, Tom and Matt actually didn’t do much market research, because they were creating this product for themselves and their friends. They simply built their idea off the fact that they knew there was a desire to invest and to have a positive impact, and years later, they proved themselves right.
Tom’s advice for early-stage founders is that although working in a startup is definitely not a walk in the park, if you’re passionate enough about your idea, work hard to make it happen. Having a vision of the future, he says, is also crucial to investors, so keep that in mind.
In the years to come, Tom would like to think that the term ‘impact investing’ will be obsolete as it will just be considered ‘investing,’ and with the help of companies like BlackRock, a more impact-driven society will hopefully happen sooner rather than later.
Tom’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were: