Sarna Receives Funding from Simplex Ventures, Motivate Ventures and Wedbush to Disrupt Digital Brokerage Space

By Doug Miles

Monday, February 26, 2024

Investment will fuel the completion of Sarna Finance’s mobile investing platform and rollout in the US and overseas.

CHICAGO--()--Sarna, a trading and investing platform, has today announced new seed investments totaling over $2.5 million from venture capital firms with deep experience in fintech and financial services. The infusion of capital will help the firm bring its mobile investing app, currently in beta, to market in the United States this summer and in Europe at the end of 2023. The company will also continue building its best-in-class risk management engine for real-time customer buying power calculations that enables T+0 settlement.

The $2.5M investment will bring Sarna's mobile investing app to market in the US and Europe. (Photo: Business Wire)

"We’re grateful for the investment as well as the vote of confidence in our vision for the future of digital brokerage," said Dominik Sarna, founder of Sarna. "The importance of finding investors with an understanding and history of success with investments in financial technology and services cannot be overstated. We are looking forward to working closely with them to reset the technical standard for the industry."

Previously in stealth, Sarna raised across two rounds. Motivate Ventures led Sarna’s pre-seed, while the seed raise was led by Simplex Ventures, and included participation from both Wedbush Financial Services and Wedbush Ventures, and several angels with trading, clearing, and financial services backgrounds.

"Across their myriad of trading and investing solutions, we’ve seen the Sarna team’s thoughtful and visionary goals for the options, equities and ETF markets," said Kate Kitto, head of Simplex Ventures, the venture capital arm of leading proprietary trading firm and market maker, Simplex Trading. "We’re proud to be leading their latest seed funding rounds and bringing to market a company that is helping to shape the future of finance."

"Dominik and team are creating the first retail brokerage entirely built from the ground-up, ensuring proper risk management controls and an ‘always-on’ customer experience," said Lauren DeLuca, Founder and Managing Partner at Motivate Ventures. "It’s a true testament to the durability and resilience of the backend that their internal risk management systems are licensed to other broker-dealers and clearing firm partners. Motivate is proud to support such technical expertise and an aim to bridge the US and EU markets with a modern customer experience. While legacy brokerage technology will continue to face outages driven by accelerating market volume and volatility, Sarna is responsibly and reliably pushing towards a safer and more promising future of investing."

"Sarna’s team of industry veterans is building the next generation retail brokerage platform for US and European investors," said Petra Griffith, Founder and Managing Director at Wedbush Ventures. "Rather than putting a modern skin on legacy infrastructure, Dominik and team are building the technical backend and internal risk management capabilities for today’s trading volumes and volatility with intraday buying power calculations and margin capabilities. Wedbush Ventures is proud to support Sarna’s mission to reset the technical standard for the digital brokerage industry."

About Sarna

Sarna means Sarna Holdings, Inc. and its next generation trading technologies and digital trading experiences through its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Brokerage services are offered through Sarna Finance LLC, a FINRA licensed broker dealer located in Chicago. Sarna Finance offers U.S. exchange traded equities, options and ETFs through its advanced mobile trading application. Software and technology services are offered through Sarna Technologies LLC.

About Simplex Ventures

Simplex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Simplex Trading, a leading, technology-drive proprietary trading firm, invests in early-stage companies that are shaping the future of finance. Through its strategic investments, Simplex Ventures creates truly collaborative partnerships with visionary founders of fintech companies who are driven to disrupt and transform the financial industry. Learn more at

About Motivate Ventures

Motivate is a Chicago-based VC firm with a deep commitment to providing institutional capital and support at the earliest stages. Launched by entrepreneurs with backgrounds in fintech and enterprise software, the Motivate team invests in pre-seed and seed stage companies across the US and Canada. The singular vision is to find and empower the most promising founders building tomorrow's greatest companies.

About Wedbush Financial Services

Wedbush Financial Services is a diversified financial services holding company. Its primary subsidiary, Wedbush Securities, which was founded in 1955, has been a leader in the financial services industry, providing its clients, both private and institutional, with a wide range of securities brokerage and processing, wealth management, and investment banking services. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California with over 100 registered offices and nearly 900 colleagues, the firm focuses on bespoke client service and the utilization of advanced technology.

About Wedbush Ventures

Wedbush Ventures is an early-stage venture fund investing in seed and pre-seed stage companies. Founded by entrepreneurs and industry veterans with substantive insights and authenticity, Wedbush Ventures seeks to leverage its executive background and is dedicated to provide funding for select industry disruptors, early in their life cycle, who are working to solve distinct market problems. Seeded by Wedbush Capital, Wedbush Ventures brings a wealth of connections, operational expertise at the early stage and long-term support to companies transforming their industries.

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