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Why are there less women than men in the financial industry? Why do women invest less than men? And how do we close the gap? These questions are the founding pillars of the investment app Stack by.me.
We had a chat with Co-founders of Stack by.me, Madeleine Bjørnestad Røed and Christine Kvaalen to get to know them – and what makes them tick.
Stack by.me is the new social investment-app, founded by Madeleine Bjørnstad Røed and Christine Kvaalen in 2020. The app was launched in September 2022, and has seen user growth every month since. The team is growing, and we just moved into Epicenter.
After many years as one of very few women in the financial industry working for Pareto, Madeleine Bjørnestad Røed began to think about why there are fewer women, and what is needed to change this.The statistics are clear; the capital gap is large, and women are underrepresented in all areas of finance.
She teamed up with her friend Christine Kvaalen, who comes from marketing and product, with background from Chanel, Gucci and Vita, and they started the Stack-journey – to build the investment app that they would like to use themselves. Stack wants to help inexperienced people to start investing, and especially the many women who to date have invested less than their male counterparts! Stack by.me believes that the capital market should be for everyone, and that we must therefore have solutions that are adapted to all groups in society. Investing is not as difficult as many might think.
60% of women and 45% of men (in Norway) do not invest. The traditional investing platforms are targeting men 40+ and thus none of them feels appealing to other segments. Minorities are also very underrepresented in the stock market. It is so important to be part of the capital market and the growth in the economy, and the only way to be part of this is by investing. Stack has developed a totally different user experience, to offer a solution adapted to the younger generation, with a clearly female touch to be appealing for women as well. Research tells us that the target group feel they lack knowledge in finance, so we created a Stack Academy with short educational videos. The target group also told us they lack the network of people to ask and discuss investing, so we created a social app where the users can follow each other, see others’ portfolios and interact with each other.
We have a broad reach in Social Media, and are happy that we have influenced so many women and inexperienced to start investing.
The financial sector is really regulated, and the app we are building is complex. The traditional banks are also very strong so the space is crowded. But we have learned that nothing is impossible, and by using Social Media very actively, we get so much feedback and positive response, so we know there is a huge demand for this solution.
We are always listening to our customers and followers, and navigating after the response we get from them. That way we can develop the perfectly adapted solution. By making the investment platform social, we have created a totally new solution, and the Stack Community is growing itself, creating more and more active users, because it’s more fun when you always get updates from your friends, and you also have the incentive to invite friends to expand your own network.
We currently offer mutual funds in the app,and the next step is to add stocks. We will also expand to Sweden, so lots of exciting things are coming up!
We did a lot of research regarding the workplace, and felt Epicenter had the flexibility we were looking for. We are a small team, who would like to meet 1-2 times a week, and thus we don’t need a big office everyday. The team will grow over the next few years, so it is also important to have the opportunity to scale up the number of members according to our growth.
Other important factors for us was the central location, and the event spaces, and all the opportunities for arranging breakfast meetings, afterworks and bigger events, as well as the podcast studio available. The staff is very helpful and encouraging, and it all feels like being part of a great community.
Want to know more about Stack by.me? Visit their website here.
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