Global financial and technology company Abra is promoting financial inclusion in the Philippines by making it easier for Filipinos to invest in US stocks and exchange-traded funds.
“Abra has been at the forefront of financial sustainability. Our goal is to help people to send and receive money from each other. We also want to give people the opportunity to invest in companies they have only dreamt of or are unreachable. Our product continues to adapt with the new technologies that come out in the financial sector,” said Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra, a financial technology applications developer based in the United States.
“We would like to educate and introduce the Filipinos to the world of financial inclusion. We want to enable Filipinos to invest in US stocks,” said Barhydt.
The Abra app enables users to send funds to one another and convert them into whatever currency they want. The app also introduces Filipinos to the United States stock market and allows them to invest as little as P300 for a fractional stock of more than 50 stocks and ETF products, including popular stocks like Tesla, Uber, Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway.
Barhydt said mobile applications like Abra open up a new breed of investors in the financial market. “These are individuals who want something new and who are looking for non-traditional ways of investment,” he said.
Barhydt believes that digital technology is on the rise in the Philippines—not only technology coming from other countries but also from the talented startup community of the country.
Abra is a non-custodial platform, unlike crypto exchanges or wallets that operate like traditional banks. This means the funds are stored on the blockchain, making the transactions more secure and private than centralized databases used by most crypto exchanges and wallets.
Abra is backed up by American Express Ventures, First Round Capital, Foxconn Technology Group, Arbor Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, RRE Ventures, Silver 8 Capital and others.