From his home in Redwood City, finance guy Colton Daines launched a new stock platform that allows anyone to monitor their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn friends’ portfolios.
MeARKET (pronounced "meerkat") is an online website that serves primarily as a tool amongst friends rather than stock experts, said Daines, an advisor at Sage Financial Services in Menlo Park. Seven months ago, Daines and two other tech gurus—Noam Small of Pivotal, Inc., and Nadav Gur of TripBoard—wanted to create a fully transparent platform amongst friends rather than relying on slower modes of communication like phone calls or email.
It’s not meant to pull expert advice from Bloomberg or CNBC, he said, just connections’ opinions. The social aspect makes the often complex stock market seem less formidable when friends can easily share information with each other.
“[The stock market]’s a scary place to be sometimes,” Daines said. “Now you can collaborate and ask friends for information you couldn’t get before.”
“The advantage is that this information is coming from your family and friends, people you trust,” he added.
And if you’re hesitant to rely on your friends’ decisions, Daines said there is a leader board that shows top trading stocks and trends from all users across the board. Users can track the big market movers while also monitoring their friends’ smaller portfolios simultaneously.
Before the site had its soft launch two weeks ago, the co-founders invited fewer than 1000 test users in order to carefully track their behavior and habits to discern trends.
From beta testing, Daines saw that some users didn’t even own stocks and simply wanted to monitor their friends’ activity. It also propelled many to get back into buying.
MeARKET is primarily self-funded and pre-funded for the moment, but intends on leveraging its growing user-base as its business model, Daines said.
While it doesn’t work with brokerages, yet, Daines sees these partnerships as a potential business model and is speaking to a few firms. He said no one is currently doing what MeARKET is doing.
Other companies in the market, like StockTwit, which uses the social media platform Twitter to gather stock information, are potential partners rather than competitors, Daines said.
But Daines is realistic about the reach MeARKET has. He said the primary demographic is definitely for the younger generation under 35, which is already synced with numerous social media.
“I don’t expect this to be for everybody,” he said. “But for those already on Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s a chance to utilize their networks.”
Privacy is not a concern because users can choose to share as little or as much information as they like with select friends, he said.
But users aren’t limited to the US. Users around the globe have tapped into MeARKET. However, Daines said the company is focusing solely on the US market—for now.
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