Renren CEO Joseph Chen believes financial technology could represent a future business model for the company.
Motif runs a website that lets users create, share and invest in baskets of stocks around common themes, such as precious metals and socially-responsible companies. The site has about 120,000 users, who pay $10 tfor each basket of stocks. The funding will fuel Motif’s expansion into tools for wealth managers and other financial advisors, who pay a monthly fee for software that helps them manage clients’ portfolios. Joseph Chen, Renren’s founder and chief executive, will join Motif’s board. His company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in financial-tech startups in his belief that they could represent a future business model for Renren. As users of social networks shift to mobile devices, Renren has found it harder to make money from ads and is looking to add new streams of revenue by selling student loans, credit cards and financial services.