Business – Motif raises $25M so you can invest in death, junk food, and pets


Motifs may have been the bane of your middle school English existence, but online investment platform Motif wants to make your life easier, or at least richer.

Today, the company that “pioneered ideas-based stock investing” announced that it has raised $25 million in its third round of financing from Goldman Sachs, as well as existing investors Foundation Capital, Ignition Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners. Motif is an online broker that organizes potential stock investments into topical portfolios, or “motifs.” Rather than investing in a series of companies spread over multiple sectors, investors invest in themes that they believe in.

“Ideas present themselves every single day,” said the founders in a blog post. “They’re around every corner, within every story, and at the heart of every phenomenon. Finally, there’s an easy, intuitive way to invest in those ideas and harvest the impact they may have.”

Each motif contains up to 30 stocks. Investors scroll through a Pinterest-esque design with categories like “biotech breakthroughs,” “pet passion” and even “rest in peace,” because “with baby boomers approaching their 70s, the death care industry could see a boost in demand.” Results are filterable by idea type, industry, percentage of daily change, returns, dividend yield, valuation, and volatility.

There is the opportunity to invest in the “junk food” motif and a “fighting fat” motif. Investing in one could potentially increase the returns in the other (insert evil cackle here).

Investors also have the option to build their own motifs with up to 30 stocks, or customize existing motifs by adding and removing stocks and changing weightings. Motif takes a flat commission of $9.95 to buy, sell, and rebalance.

As with all securities investment, this strategy involves risk. Investing in a collection of stocks around a particular idea could mean bigger wins or bigger losses, depending on market fluctuations. Let’s say for example, people stop dying. That investment in “rest in peace” may not have the greatest returns.

This investment brings Motif’s total to $51 million. The company is based in San Mateo, California.



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