Bumped wants kill two birds with one stone, helping companies build 1-to-1 relationships with customers while giving people an easier way to own shares of said companies.
The Portland startup came out of stealth mode today, launching its app that gives users fractional shares in a stock when they spend money on a participating brand.
Customers sign up on Bumped, create a brokerage account, link their debit or credit card, and pick their brands. When they spend money with those companies, they get a percentage of their purchases back in shares.
The 13-person company has raised $2.5 million from Commerce Ventures, Peninsula Ventures, Stanford, and Oregon Venture Fund. It’s led by David Nelsen, a veteran fintech entrepreneur who previously sold digital payments startup Giftango to InComm.
“Let’s say you pick up groceries on your way home from work … Or buy a new floor lamp this weekend … Or pay your monthly bill for your video streaming service so you don’t miss a minute of binge-watching,” Nelsen wrote in a blog post. “Those transactions could get you fractional shares of stock in the partner brands you choose to spend with. Over time, you gain ownership in companies that represent your life and your choices.”
Nelsen told GeekWire that Bumped is removing a barrier to the stock market. The company says 14 percent of American households own actual shares of company stock. Bumped does not charge account or trading fees; it makes money by charging the participating brands.
“Our customers do not invest their own capital in Bumped — they are given fractional shares for shopping with brands they love,” Nelsen said. “Other investment apps have broken down barriers by making stock trading free, now we’re making the stock free. Bumped is specifically building relationships between brands and their customers through stock ownership, not stock trading.”