Dentsu Ventures, the advertising giant’s investment arm, has invested in Folio, an online security brokerage that enables individuals to make small and theme-based investments.
Folio has been operating a beta service since November 2017. Its proposition is to break down the barriers to investing, which can be daunting to the inexperienced. As well as theme-based investing, it puts emphasis on UI and UX to simplify the process.
Users of Folio are required to invest a minimum of 100,000 yen in a particular theme. These can range from VR, esports and drones to ‘young women’s trends’, according to Dentsu. Each one comprises 10 companies Folio defines as promising.
Dentsu will support the company’s marketing efforts and believes it has strong potential to grow as Japan’s famously cautious savers start to look for ways to grow their money.
So does Line. The messaging app has signed a capital and business alliance with Folio that will put the brokerage service in front of its 71 million users. It is not yet clear how the two companies will work together, but the move on Line’s part represents its efforts to become a centralised portal for a wide range of activities.
Folio was founded in 2015 by Shinichiro Kai, a former Goldman Sachs trader.