Meet Iris ten Teije, Co-Founder at Alternative Investment App: Koia

Koia’s mission is to make alternative assets accessible to anyone, via fractional ownership, and allow users to invest in assets they understand and are truly passionate about. Koia aims to break down barriers to entry and let anyone own a piece of an iconic asset previously only accessible to the wealthiest 1%.

The startup is launching with collectibles like watches, fine wine and Pokémon Cards with a vision to ultimately be able to fractionalize any kind of physical or digital asset. Koia also takes care of sourcing, authentication, storage and insurance, so users get all of the benefits and none of the hassle.
 
 
UK startup Koia brings alternative asset investing to Europe – Startup  Reporter
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
As founders, we’ve all been interested in investing for many years, both personally and professionally and we wanted to further open up opportunities to everyday investors.

We were fascinated by the rise of all kinds of new and alternative assets, with crypto of course being the one that has been in the spotlight most. There has also been a growing interest in investing in traditional stocks and shares and over the past decade due to innovations in technology, finance and business models access to stock investing has become 10x easier, cheaper and faster. Think of buying a fractional share in a company with a low-cost broker from your mobile phone.

At the same time, when it comes to passion assets, these types of assets are still completely inaccessible to all but the very wealthy due to high costs and even if you have the money, the process of buying is complicated due to having to think of for instance storage, insurance and authentication. We realised there was an opportunity here to make buying a fraction of a Rolex as easy as buying a fractional share of your favorite company and make alts accessible and mainstream!
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
We started in the middle of the pandemic (early 2021) so we started off with a remote team from the start.

However, the pandemic has certainly played a role in increasing interest in investing, as well as interest and time spent on hobbies and passions: interest in collectibles is at an all-time high. 2021 saw record-breaking sales across a wide range of categories from sneakers to trading cards to whisky; auction houses tripled their sales in the first half of the year, and companies selling physical collectibles like StockX reached multi-billion dollar valuations.

With soaring inflation rates, real-world collectible assets that Koia provides access to are only becoming more desirable. Meanwhile, digital assets are also thriving with NFTs surpassing $40bn in sales. This mix of interest in collectibles, NFTs as well as investing form the perfect circumstances for a business like Koia to take off!
 

What can we hope to see from Koia in the future?

 
We’re currently working on an improved app design and user experience and building a web app to allow more people to join Koia (currently Koia is available on iOS).

Later this year, we also want to launch a secondary market so users can sell their fractions and cash in before the asset as a whole is sold. Of course, we also are excited to bring a wider range of assets on our platform as we grow!