Berlin-based lemon.markets raises €15 million to launch a stock trading API for developers

Fintech startup lemon.markets is on a mission to pave a new era of European brokerage and has just scored €15 million to do so. The company is offering an easy-to-use API for stock trading and with this news funding will launch its pioneering brokerage platform for developers and tech companies. The seed funding was co-led by Lakestar and Lightspeed, with participation from Creandum and System.one.

Angel investors in the round include operators from N26, Public.com, sennder, Taxfix, Finoa and Stripe. The financing signals lemon.markets’ strong trajectory on its path to facilitate brokerage services across Europe.

Founded in 2020, Berlin-based lemon.markets’ solution provides frictionless trading, reliable market data and a vivid developer community – with no hidden costs. Today, it powers personalised savings plans and automated trading strategies. Tomorrow, it enables neobanks to embed stock trading in their product and contextual use cases like reinvesting tax refunds

Stock trading is a growing market and is becoming an indispensable part of today’s financial world. The increased demand for financial freedom, low-interest rates and shifts in equity culture, are encouraging companies to incorporate brokerage services into their offering. As a result, it’s believed that brokerage services will be an essential part of every business, with every major tech company providing their customers with the means to participate in the stock market. 

One problem, though, is that the tech and infrastructure needed to build and integrate these services in Europe is still only beginning.  A stable and reliable trading API, designed specifically for developers, is noticeably absent in the market. 

Enter lemon.markets. Defining itself as an API-first company, offering a stock trading API geared towards developers, the young startup aims to consolidate itself in this growing market. 

As retail investing becomes widespread, more and more people are looking for tailored solutions, creating a demand for infrastructure that enables personalised portfolio trackers, trading automation and custom saving plans. Lemon.markets aim to become the go-to choice for developers wishing to launch these projects to a wider non-technical audience. 

Co-founder and CEO, Max Linden, explained: “European brokerage is ripe for disruption. We strongly believe that every tech company should be able to embed financial services into their offering and lemon.markets wants to facilitate that. The demand is already there. Our infrastructure solution takes care of all the plumbing, so developers in these companies can dedicate their focus on creating value for users. We can’t wait to see the many different ways our API will be applied.”

The long-term vision is to become Europe’s leading brokerage-as-a-service provider, expanding across the continent and providing the rails for any European to invest. Lemon.markets is well placed to do so, with a long list of use-cases for its API – from empowering every neobank to offer stock trading as a convenient feature to reinvesting tax refunds to automatically investing the roundup of payments.

Since its inception, lemon.markets has been deeply rooted within a strong community of developers and intensively collaborates on creating new use-cases with them. lemon.markets’ features are co-designed by its users, including software development kits (SDKs) that wrap around the company’s API. Users have been executing trades in closed alpha, helping to shape the product before its full commercial launch in Q2 2022. Leveraging lemon.markets’ strong footprint in the developer community provides a systematic approach for the company to become the go-to partner for businesses in launching a stock trading product. This allows lemon.markets to build exactly what developers need to reshape what brokerage is, one line of code at a time.

This new funding will be used to accelerate this roadmap, fueling further product development and extending its usage to businesses that wish to integrate stock trading into their services. The fintech company will also focus on bringing more talent into the team and strengthening its in-house regulatory knowledge as it scales and enhances its offering.

Lakestar Partner Nicolas Brand commented: “lemon.markets is providing tech companies the technical and regulatory infrastructure to integrate brokerage in their products – all through a single API. With companies facing increasing regulatory, compliance and structural hurdles, lemon.markets abstracts these complexities away for their customers through technology. The current technical infrastructure that makes up our world of finance is being rebuilt entirely.”

Creandum General Partner Simon Schmincke said: “Max and the lemon.markets team are creating the next generation of fintech: laying the infrastructure that will power the next generation of equity trading products, and enriching existing products with equity investing capabilities. Their API first product is leading the charge in making brokerage universally accessible and adaptable. Seeing Max thrive over the last months strengthened our belief to back lemon.markets in this round.”