Bux, the Amsterdam-based trading app that wants to make investing fun, has picked up an additional $12.5 million in new funding. Venture capital firms Velocity Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures led the round, which also includes debt financing from Kreos Capital. It brings total funding to $35 million since being founded over five years ago.
The newly raised capital will in part be used to launch “STOCKS,” the company’s planned app for “commission-free” investing. Bux is also disclosing that it has already spent some of the funding on the acquisition of online broker ayondo markets Limited (AML). Ayondo is the back-end provider the startup has been using to power its existing trading app BUX, while the merger arguably puts Bux squarely in the “neo-broker” territory and up against the likes of London-based Freetrade.
“The acquisition of AML marks the first acquisition by BUX since its founding in 2014,” says the Dutch company. “To-date, the partnership with AML has allowed BUX to fully focus on creating an app that removes the complexity from the financial markets and simplifies the trading experience. It has allowed BUX to reach a base of over 2 million users in just over four years across 9 European countries”.
By bringing its brokering in-house, Nick Bortot, CEO and founder of Bux, says it gives the company control over “the full value chain,” including a full brokerage license, back-end technology and operation. This, he believes, will enable Bux to service customers better going forward, and make it much easier to quickly launch new features.
It’s a similar argument made by challenger banks that have built out their own banking stack, and echoes the thinking behind competitor Freetrade’s decision to acquire a broker license very early on.
“We will additionally add 50% to our future revenues, as we will keep servicing other clients of AML,” adds Bortot.
On track to launch this summer is STOCKS, Bux’s commission-free investing app that is quite different to the BUX app that offers a “gamified” trading experience and generates revenue per trade.
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