Roboinvest Boots Up [UPDATED]

Social trading platform claims to be the first; it's not.

traders Roboinvest Boots Up [UPDATED]

Will these guys be replaced by citizen traders?

Want to trade stocks? Have no clue how? Roboinvest is the latest startup to launch out of New York for casual, insecure or curious traders. Like Union Square Ventures company Covester, Roboinvest is a social investing platform built on top of ETRADE that lets users “look over the shoulder of top investors” and follow their moves, sort of like AngelList does for startups and Currensee does for foreign exchange trading. The startup had a soft launch on Friday and opened officially yesterday.

“I’ve completed a seed round of funding from local investors as well as friends and family, and I’m working on completing an all cash angel round of funding which will allow us to build out the product and gain enough users to prove the business, or pivot if necessary,” Aussie-in-New-York founder Michael Giles wrote in a commemorative blog post.

Roboinvest’s timing is noteworthy. In the wake of a recession caused in part by the professional finance industry, technology seems to be empowering the small investor. Just yesterday, the launch of WeFunder reminded us that the Democratizing Access to Capital Act, which would allow non-accredited investors to put money into startups, passed the House of Representatives in a bipartisan landslide and is now being debated in the Senate. Power to the people! Soon we will all be making terrible funding decisions just like the big banks and venture capitalists can.

UPDATE: Mr. Giles writes in to clarify the statement in the press release: “Just to clarify out of interest – we’re ‘first-of-its-kind’ in that no one else is publishing trading information how we are – we have unique integration with E*TRADE that no one else has, and we can do it faster than anyone else can.  We certainly not the first, nor did we invent social investing, I’d give that credit to Covestor. Covestor is also built on Interactive Brokers who has 170,000 trading customers, E*TRADE has 2.8 million.”