London-based startup Nous Global Markets is raising funds to bring an ultra-low-risk trading service to millions of customers around the world, according to the company’s recent press release. The FinTech firm, which uses gaming applications to educate people about the enjoyment and the challenges of financial markets, has already raised over £190,000 (US$290,000) of funding in this round and expects to reach a total of over £350,000 via a network of Angel investors.
The investment is an important validation both of Nous’s traction since going live in 2014, having reached over 300,000 users at a cost of under 50p per unique user, and of their future plans. Nous will use the funds to release a trading application designed for individuals that are excluded by current financial products.
All of Nous’ funding to date has been raised from private investors, predominantly senior finance and technology professionals at global investment banks. This seed round has now been opened up at those same terms to angel and HNWI investors, via the Syndicate Room investment platform.
Justin Short, CEO of Nous, said,
With the great success of our Spark Profit application we realised that there were millions of people with discretionary capital and the desire to trade in financial markets, but no economically sensible way for them to actually do that. We will put the world’s most low-cost and consumer-friendly trading system into their pockets.
Nous Global Markets was founded in September 2012 by Justin Short and four other former Merrill Lynch traders and technologists. Originally based in Tokyo, it has since relocated to London and has received EIS Advance Assurance.
In January 2014, Short and his colleagues launched their free-to-play virtual trading game – Spark Profit – which enables players to predict financial market movements with no risk, in return for cash prizes. Spark Profit’s visual, beginner-friendly interface and weekly cash rewards have already attracted over 300,000 users in 200 separate countries.
At the beginning of 2015, while learning more about their customers’ needs, they found that 95 percent of regular players wanted to start real trading, ideally inside Spark Profit itself. A thorough review of the competition showed that there was indeed a large opportunity to create a simple, low-risk way for people to trade — which would be a natural progression of the existing app and a validation of Nous’ “profit together” ethos. The new trading application will feature several consumer-friendly features that are unique in combination. It is due for soft-launch in Q1 2016.
Read more here.