Fintech startup makes investing in stock market easier for Filipinos globally

Fintech startup makes investing in stock market easier for Filipinos globally

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

316 week ago — 7 min read

Enterprise: Investagrams

Founders: JM Lapiña, JC Bisnar, Airwyn Tin


Year it was founded: 2015


Sector: Fintech


Based out of: Taguig, Philippines


Navigating the stock market can be challenging for both novice and experienced investors. Recognizing the need to make the stock market easier to understand, JM Lapiña co-founded Investagrams in the Philippines. Investagrams is a social financial platform that provides tools and education to both aspiring and seasoned investors in the Philippines.

JM Lapiña started trading in the stock market while still in college. Initially he had a tough time because there was nobody to guide him on the nuances of stock trade. Eventually he made his first million and his passion and keen understanding of the stock market led him to become the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Investagrams. The vision of the firm is to not only provide awareness but also enable more Filipinos worldwide to experience the stock market through its digital platform. In the past several years, despite the growth of the economy, less than 1% of the Filipino population has invested in the stock market and JM Lapiña believes that this presents an untapped opportunity. 


In conversation with UnionBank GlobalLinker (GL), JM Lapiña (JM) shares his business journey.

GL:  Tell us about your business – what it is and how it started.

JM: Investagrams is a social financial platform and we provide tools, education, and a community for both those who are interested to start investing in the stock market and those that have already invested. It started back in 2015 when I met my co-founders, JC Bisnar (CEO) and Airwyn Tin (CTO). All of us started trading in college. There are a lot of things that pushed us to build Investagrams. First, we saw and experienced the potential of the stock market at an early age. Second, only less than 1% of Filipinos have invested in the stock market in spite of Philippines being one of the top performers in terms of economic growth not just in Asia but in the world. Third, making your money work for you is one of the best decisions you can make given the high inflation rate. Lastly, we are not meant to work, pay bills, and die. There are a lot of things you could and should do with your time. Life is short, if you have the chance to spend most of your time with the people that matters to you most, why not?


GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?


JM: There are many challenges, especially when you’re starting something big with just a few connections and little to no experience. One of which is resources, because we started young, our capital was limited. This has taught us to become wise stewards of our resources. Instead of hiring people, we did everything ourselves. Instead of spending cash for advertisements, we’ve partnered with a social networking site to get free credits. Instead of raising cash, we sell valuable features and organized big events. Instead of drawing a salary, we wholeheartedly decided to invest it back for the benefit of the company. When you set your heart, mind, and most importantly soul to something beneficial to the community, though sometimes very difficult, impossible becomes possible and great things are accomplished.


GL: What is the unique selling proposition (USP) of your business?

JM: We are people’s PARTNER from START to PROFITS. It simply means that unlike other entities, we dedicate ourselves to be there when you’re just starting out, in your losing and learning moments, and in your successes. This is what we are doing currently and will continue doing, a company that truly serves because if our users succeed, we also succeed.

GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?

JM: For us, our biggest achievement is being able to open doors for Filipinos who, for the past several years, have been working really hard both here and abroad to give their family hope and a brighter future. In just 3 years of operations, we were able to reach more than 200,000 users and provide both a platform and community to help these users with their investments and trading decisions.

GL: What role do you feel UnionBank GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting businesses?

JM: UnionBank GlobalLinker makes it easier for businesses, especially startups, to connect and collaborate with other businesses that will potentially help their brands grow - not just in the number of clients but as a company in general. I believe it will also provide services that will help SMEs and startups connect with financial institutions to increase their potential for growth through financing, payroll, etc.


GL: What is your big business dream?


JM: At Investagrams, we aspire to be a recognized and a successful fintech platform not just in the Philippines but also in the global arena that Filipinos can be proud of. We want to be a ‘spark’ that will awaken and inspire more Filipino startups to compete globally simply because the quality of our products and the skills, ideas and capabilities of Filipinos are truly world-class and admirable.


GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

JM: For this one, I would like to quote John A. Shedd, “A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

We will never know the outcome of our ideas unless we actually bring them to life. Surely, we’ll encounter problems, adversities, and down moments. It doesn’t matter how experienced, how rich, or how wise you are. If you are doing something bigger than yourself, you will encounter hurdles along the way. But take heart, if you’re doing something good and impactful to the community, the universe conspires in helping you bring your ideas to life.


Network with JM Lapiña by clicking on the 'Invite' button on his profile.


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

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