By Carla Rosario, Computer Science, Second Year
SciTech writer, Carla Rosario, takes a look at Stratiphy - the new sustainable investing app co-created by former University of Bristol maths student
If you’ve ever decided to dip your toes into the turbulent waters of trading, chances are your mind was thinking more about your Wolf-of-Wall-Street riches than the environmental consequences of your gains. However, for Bristol graduate Daniel Gold and his cofounder Nikki Hawkes, their focus was on two kinds of green - building a platform where both cash and the environment were winners.
After raising more than £440,000 from 700 investors across 53 countries, the graduates from Bristol and Southampton created Stratiphy: an app that encourages sustainable investing. With trading apps becoming increasingly popular, Stratiphy aims to join the movement towards democratising investment, whilst adding the ability to customise the ethical and environmental implications of your trades.
‘My time at the University of Bristol instilled a deep sense of hard work, ethical and healthy living’
The app allows users to personalise their investments across risk level, industry preferences and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria, without the high-fees of old-school financial advisers. To help users new to trading make sensible choices, it offers them an education in portfolio risk management. In Gold’s own words, Stratiphy seeks to ‘reduce the time, effort and risk involved in trading,’ with the option ‘to make more ethical choices.’
Gold is a former maths student at the University of Bristol who then went on to complete a PhD in algebraic geometry. After his studies, he set up a business with his brother to help isolated communities in the Middle East get access to solar energy.
Along with Stratiphy, Gold continues to demonstrate his interest in sustainable entrepreneurship, nurtured by his time at Bristol, which he claims ‘instilled a deep sense of hard work, ethical and healthy living.’ He also worked for 10 years as a risk analyst and in bond yield forecasting for a banking giant, observing the investing strategies used by high-net worth clients.
"sign up to my course to get rich quick" .... pic.twitter.com/EO5Sa4Alij— Stratiphy (@stratiphy) October 14, 2021
After this, Gold decided to create Stratiphy, as he believes it combines his three passions - maths, finance and sustainability - into one vision. He saw that there weren’t many online tools to allow average people to build their investment portfolios, and so set about making investing more accessible by designing a system to mimic an expert approach.
Whilst juggling a full-time job, he started developing Stratiphy and after one year had built an interface for users to implement strategies like the quantitative approach used by professionals. Gold then brought in tech advisor David Adler and Southampton alumna Nikki Hawkes, who became a cofounder. Hawkes, who previously worked as an actuary, shares a mutual interest in promoting accessibility and sustainability in investing.
Stratiphy, which has gone through the SETsquared accelerator programme, has already won a contract with Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG research, and has obtained advisors from the likes of Monzo and Hargreaves&Lansdown. It has saved 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions to date - this is equivalent to planting over 3,705,000 trees or removing 28,100 cars from the road for a year!
The app goes live next year and has a growing team and waiting list. Gold emphasised the importance of Stratiphy, stating that: ‘It has shown me that the financial decisions we make can have a physical impact on the world – and we need more of this.’
Featured Image: Epigram/University of Bristol
Which field would you like to see move towards sustainability next?