Startup Roundup: DriveWealth, investFeed, Cooperative Alliance Distribution
Photo: Robert Cortright, CEO and founder of DriveWealth Photo Credit: Courtesy DriveWealth
Robert Cortright, CEO and founder of DriveWealth | Courtesy DriveWealth

DriveWealth: Earlier this fall, DriveWealth (Chatham) rolled out its set of Wealth Management APIs to support investment advisers globally. DriveWealth has a unique approach to investing: the firm enables its customers to offer fractional shares of stocks.

Investment advisers can use the Wealth Management APIs to create weighted, diversified portfolios for clients with varying account sizes by integrating client information into the APIs, the startup said. Furthermore, the use of real-time fractional shares in the APIs effectively lowers the client minimum account balance to zero, allowing wealth advisers to offer their services to a wider range of potential customers, the company said in a release.

Because DriveWealth can onboard international customers, advisers in the US have an opportunity to offer their services to a global client base. In addition, international advisers gain the unique ability to create more diversified portfolios by including US equities in their recommendations to their clients, the release continued.

In September, DriveWealth announced that it had partnered with another New Jersey fintech startup, Invessence (Chatham), a digital-wealth-management technology provider, to offer the Invessence wealth-management platform to investment advisers worldwide.

“Global investment advisers are beginning to recognize that they can create more diversified portfolios for their clients by including US-listed stocks, [exchange-traded funds] and [American depositary receipts] in their recommendations; however, internally building a trading interface to support US securities can be costly and time-consuming. Our collaboration with Invessence provides advisers with a cost-effective, streamlined platform to enable US-securities access for investors worldwide,” said Robert S. Cortright, founder and CEO of DriveWealth, in a press statement.

investFeed: Hanover-based investFeed has gone the equity crowdfunding route for its next round of financing, using the Crowdfunder website. After doing its due diligence, the company has confirmed reservations from accredited investors for more than $560,000 on the site, CEO Ronald Chernesky told us.

InvestFeed has a niche in the fintech market. Through openness and portfolio transparency, the startup wants to enable Main Street to beat Wall Street at its own game through smart crowd investing. Its founders say that it is a marketplace where investors and traders share their insights and portfolios with friends, groups, and the crowd through chat. “The best part? People use the platform to leverage crowdsourced stock ideas in order to make better financial decisions with less noise.”

One of the larger investments through Crowdfunder is $250,000 from a NASDAQ affiliate, and it looks as if that will pan out, Chernesky said. This is smart money for investFeed, and Chernesky said that this investor expects to recruit a family office to finish the rest of the round.

Crowdfunder has taken interest in investFeed’s rise, and will be promoting the firm in a newsletter that it’s launching on December 12.  The newsletter will be going out to the 3,000 accredited investors in the Crowdfunder network.

Cooperative Alliance Distribution: Mike Thomas, cofounder of Hoboken-based Cooperative Alliance Distribution (doing business as: www.MasterPieceCorp.com), told NJTechWeekly.com that his consumer tech company is a one-year-old startup that has developed a battery-powered amplifier with Bluetooth and digital solid-state drive (SSD) technology. A patent for the technology was issued in March 2016. The device allows the portability of large, high quality, powerful speakers, as well as the combination of those speakers with Bluetooth devices, including your mobile phone or a memory card with recorded playlists.

The device allows the use of large speakers in public places without power, such as on a beach or at a picnic, and is a good way to reuse older speakers that may not have been originally designed to work with digital equipment, he said. There is also a non-battery model for indoor use only. The product has been available at Fry's Electronics since August 2016, and is sold nationally through Amazon, with new national distribution under negotiation.

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