Interview with Seth Ward, CEO at Social Investment Platform: Pynk

Pynk exists to empower people everywhere to collaborate and create a more sustainable future for all. We democratise investing by bringing hedge fund-level tools, technologies and knowledge to everybody.

It’s a truly collaborative business where our crowd (currently 40,000 and growing fast) and investors not only contribute to the product but help us build the business, influencing everything from business strategy to branding and marketing.
 
 
Pynk – Medium
 

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

 
I’d previously built another business that combined crowd wisdom with expert insight to help with investment decisions in the world of football. Over the last few years it became clear to me that something similar needed to be done for individuals.

On the one hand, I’d seen people I care about end up financially dependent in later life despite often having business nous and great maths skills. Even these things do not equate to financial literacy – a huge problem globally, with up to 76% of people unable to pass a basic test. Not so long ago, this would have included me too.

On the other hand, I’d personally struggled to find any investment solutions I was happy to trust with my own money. Many of the household names invest in businesses and commodities that I don’t feel comfortable with ethically and don’t offer particularly interesting portfolios or returns despite often high fees.

This results in huge societal problems – people either not investing at all due to lack of confidence doing it themselves, not having the basic understanding that even a little money invested over long periods can grow substantially, or not agreeing with the way ‘done for you’ solutions work. Obviously, this creates huge problems in later life – for the individual, for society and the planet itself.

Pynk is the solution, putting investors at the heart of the decision-making process through a system that finds pockets of wisdom within the crowd without following the herd.
 

 

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

 
Embrace failure as essential to achieving success. Practice resilience by preparing for the worst and having perspective when it hits the fan. Always focus on what you can learn, and continually making small improvements to everything you do. Surround yourself with people better than you and give them everything they need to do a great job.
 

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

 
We’re currently working through our plans for 2021 and 2022 so I can say I’m more excited than ever about what’s coming through in the future. People everywhere need to think about their financial future more than ever and one of the best problems to have is an abundance of ideas that you have to prioritise. There’s going to be a lot more coming around financial literacy and education.

We’re using more gamification – something that rightly has a bit of a bad rap right now because it’s being used for arguably unhelpful purposes – to encourage better, permanent financial habits, which helps not only our individual users but also Pynk’s entire community and, in turn, the wider world. Plus we’re planning more enjoyable ways to bring our crowd closer into the investment process, and to funnel more money into the projects, businesses and assets that actual investors feel good about profiting from because they’re tackling major national and global problems and bringing about positive change.

And we have some very innovative alternative investment offerings that we plan to release in order to protect people’s money in the long term. Whatever we do, it will be focused on changing the way investment works and empowering the actual investor so that their money goes to more of the places they want it to.