Toronto-based Composer, which offers an automated trading platform for retail investors, has raised a $6 million USD seed extension led by New York’s Left Lane Capital.
The all-equity round, which closed in August, was supported by a slew of existing, United States-based investors in First Round Capital, Alumni Ventures Group (AVG) Basecamp, Draft Ventures, and Packy McCormick’s Not Boring Capital. The fresh capital brings Composer’s total venture funding to date to over $11 million, from a group that also includes Toronto-based Golden Ventures.
While other stock trading apps like Robinhood have seen their active users drop during the market downturn, Composer claims to have experienced increased customer demand.
Composer co-founder and COO Ananda Aisola told BetaKit that the startup plans to invest the funding in product development and growing its user base. According to Aisola, the seed extension comes at a higher valuation than Composer’s $4.25 million seed financing, which the company secured in May 2021. When asked whether Composer’s latest round involved any secondary capital, Aisola did not say.
Composer was founded in 2020 by Aisola, CEO Benjamin Rollert, and CTO Ronny Li, alumni of Toronto social food ordering app Ritual and Montréal-based workspace startup Breather.
Composer’s no-code platform allows individual, non-professional investors—or retail investors—to adopt, design, and deploy sophisticated, hedge fund-like investment strategies, previously unavailable to those without the time, capacity to pay the data costs, and requisite coding skills. Currently, the company’s offering is only available to users in the United States.
According to Composer, investing under current market conditions “requires hours of endless research and monitoring.” With its automated trading platform, Composer aims to simplify this process for retail investors.
Composer rolled out in open beta last year, amid a spike in the popularity of retail investing during COVID-19 and the recent bull market, fuelled in part by the growth of investment communities on social media platforms like Reddit.
As economic conditions have shifted and inflation has risen, this wave has given way to what Rollert described as “one of the worst periods for stocks and bonds in history.” Amid this environment, Rollert says investors have been forced to reevaluate their strategies, and consider “how they can invest more intelligently going forward.”
While popular stock trading apps like Robinhood have seen their active users drop during the market downturn, Composer claims to have experienced increased customer demand for its platform over the past few months with 400 percent growth in trading volume and 600 percent growth in AUM.
UPDATE (16/09/22): This story has been updated to note responses from Composer.
Feature image courtesy Composer.