Member Spotlight: BUX

Member Spotlight: BUX

Founded in 2014, the community-based trading app BUX is well on its way to completing its mission of providing easy access to exploring the financial markets for anyone who is interested. Currently active in 9 countries, with a total user count of 1.2 million, BUX is gaining a lot of traction and has come a long way since the launch of the app just over 3 years ago.

Like many successful companies, BUX first started off with a few people and an idea to fill a perceived gap in demand and supply. The founder of BUX realized that a lot of people had a great interest in the financial markets, yet the number of people actively taking part in stock trading activities was significantly lower. According to the founder, traditional banks and brokers made the entry barrier for individual investors to the market too high and the process too complex. Also, the fees charged compared to the size of the transactions made by individual aspiring investors, who were new to the financial markets, often stopped them in their tracks.

This led to the creation of BUX, the international community-based trading app, aimed mostly at those with little to no stock trading experience yet. In the app, users are gently introduced to the financial markets and the consequences of trading, as every new user is allowed to trade with fake money in a risk-free environment that mirrors the real markets. This allows new users to get a good feel for the dynamics of the markets and prepares them for the real deal. But it doesn’t stop here, since BUX is more than just a trading app. To increase users’ learning curve, BUX users can interact with each-other in group forums or follow other (more professional) users’ activities. This way BUX isn’t just about trading, but also about engaging its users and offering them a community that stimulates learning.

The founder of BUX doesn’t like to label the company explicitly as fintech. As the social aspect plays a huge role, the app is a combination between financial stock trading and a social network. This is its strength, as it makes the company itself unique, as well as its approach to appeal to its main target audience consisting of millennials. The app lowers the entry barriers for investors and offers a much smaller fee per transaction, making smaller sized transactions more feasible, which is very attractive to a younger audience. BUX is really becoming an established brand with a unique tone of voice and visual appearance, which young people and those young at heart identify with.

The company has grown fast since its first launch, now employing 50 people in its Amsterdam office. What makes this interesting is that only 3 employees working for BUX have a financial background. This way, the company created the possibility to re-invent stock trading, where the numerous different perspectives within the company prevented BUX from becoming an already existing product. Hiring the right people is crucial, says Nick Bortot, CEO and founder of BUX. “As a fast-growing, ambitious company, you have to make sure to hire the right people, spend a lot of time with them and keep a clear vision throughout the entire company,”.

Recently, BUX successfully completed a series C funding round of €10.6 million from leading venture capitalists, including Holtzbrinck Ventures and Velocity Capital together with a number of influential angel investors, including Booking.com CMO Arthur Kosten and BinckBank co-founder Thierry Schaap. After receiving a lot of demand from its users to also take part in the funding rounds, BUX has also opened up a crowdfunding round to individual investors. This appears to be a success, as over 1660 individual investors have already taken the opportunity to invest in the company. The set target of raising €1 million was already reached within 1 week. Due to high demand, the crowdfunding round is still open, details can be found here

With the collected funds, BUX plans to become the go-to destination for everyone who is interested in investing their money, by 2020. The company’s product offering currently only exists of a short-term trading app, yet BUX plans to expand its range by launching a mid- to long-term investing app, as well as a cryptocurrency app, due to popular demand.  To realize this, CEO and founder Nick Bortots emphasizes the importance of digital communication. “A shift is taking place in which people are more trusting towards each other and start relying less on traditional advisors and experts in the field.” By not only offering an app, but also a community, BUX provides the people what they want.

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