🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Pluto
 ✍️ Notes From The Editors  
Another day, another awesome team we get to bring to your inbox! We’ve been watching Pluto for some time now. As news in much of the financial world gets seemingly more pessimistic by the day, we’re excited to present the (potential) movers and shakers in the industry.
- Ethan and Arek 🦄
🥊 • Shadowboxer is a venture studio partnering with early-stage ventures to accelerate their progress. Its product strategists, copywriters, designers, and engineers are experienced venture builders, making them the ultimate partner to early-stage founders. Shadowboxer works for a mix of fee and equity to ensure aligned incentives – they profit only when their partners succeed.
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Automated trading for everyone
Pluto is a platform that allows individuals to entirely automate their investments. It allows you to build rule sets (which it calls “strategies”) that make trades on your behalf. Strategies have a variety of options to choose from and can be edited using Pluto’s drag-and-drop builder or with Python code. Prior to launching a strategy, Pluto determines the strength of the rule set based on previously reported returns. When you’re ready to launch a strategy, you can either launch it in a sandbox environment (your “practice portfolio”) or set it live on the market.
🔗 Check it out: pluto.fi
💰 Business Model
Pluto takes a per-order fee of 8 cents and 0.1% of each transaction. Future plans included a profit-driven fee structure to better align Pluto’s success with the success of its customers.
📈 Traction and Fundraising
  • Raised $4.2 million seed round from investors like at.inc/, Caffeinated Capital, and Switch Ventures
  • Over 4,000 active portfolios with 20% monthly growth; 80% of portfolios are reported to be hitting their benchmark goals
  • Live portfolios can presently only trade cryptocurrencies, with plans for US equities to be added in 2023 (practice portfolios have all equities available)
👫 Founders
  • Jacob Sansbury, CEO: Previously Technical Lead @ NVIDIA, SWE @ Saleae Inc, Security Software Engineer @ Bridgewater Associates
  • Dakota McDaniels, COO: Previously Information Security Analyst @ Lowe’s, Information Technology @ University of South Carolina
  • Caroline Mendel, Head of Community: Creative Arts @ Loyola Marymount University
💼 Opportunities
🔮 Our Analysis
The concept of automated investing isn’t new. You can set recurring investments, limit orders, and many other kinds of market-reactive transactions on most major platforms out there. Pluto wants to take automated investing further than just being a tool in an investor’s toolbox. It wants automated investing to be the norm of long-term investing. Pluto’s platform, which is still very much so under development, has been built with maximizing user protection in mind. Features like strategy scores, trading shields, and forecasts help investors make more educated decisions before taking a strategy live, and can keep capital safer in the long run. CEO Jacob Sansbury tells us that Pluto’s success will ultimately be determined by whether investors are willing to allow rule sets to make the best decisions for them. In a current climate of much financial uncertainty, having an automated strategy to take care of your investments might be able to alleviate some of the emotional stress of trading through the highs and lows. Its product may still be in the early stages, but we’re interested in the unique bets Pluto is making, and are excited to watch its future (especially with equity trading being offered in 2023).
📚 Further Reading
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Made with 💜 by the Unicorner Team 🦄
💰 Business Model
Community is the cornerstone of many up-and-coming startups. It’s certainly been the case for Pluto, where one of the founders focuses entirely on building community. Some points from the team on how to leverage community in building a startup:
👥 Building groups that aren’t only focused on your company - Pluto’s team runs a Discord server that has very little to do with Pluto. Rather, it offers a lot of useful info that makes it valuable to stick around. A lot of people naturally choose to sign up for Pluto after being in the server for a while.
🎥 Creating informative content - Pluto’s YouTube channel offers a number of informative guides for people looking to learn more about finance.
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