TradeHero, a free fantasy stock market app developed by Singaporean startup MyHero, wants to democratize trading but allowing people to trade stocks using virtual currencies and learn from top traders. The startup, which now counts some 4 million users, is now extending its global footprint and is gaining much traction in the Chinese market.
Essentially, TradeHero is a user-generated community made of validated top traders, termed „Heros,“ and less experienced traders. The main proposal of the platform is to allow novices to interact with top traders and learn from them. Users can follow successful traders, view their past and open trades, and replicate their strategies.
On the platform, users trade with virtual currencies, what the company calls TradeHero dollars. This way, they can develop and experiment trading strategies without the risk of loosing money.
„This changes the whole fantasy, gaming paradigm, where you can actually use virtual dollars validated with real information and put it in good use and a real world context, a real world setting,“ explained Dinesh Bhatia, CEO at MyHero.
According to Bhatia, a stock market simulation app is the best way to teach people about trading and the financial market.
Since its launch in January 2013, the startup has gained much traction, notably in China, and is now serving some 4.5 million users. Currently, the largest demographic using the app is young people, under 30 years old, the exact segment the startup is targeting, Bhatia said.
The app has been the No 1 finance app in 91 countries and in the top 10 in 127 countries, according to the company.
In late-2013, MyHero raised US$10 million in a Series A funding round to trigger its global expansion. Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers China fund (KPCB China) and IPV Capital, the funding highlighted the interest and potential for its app in China, according to Bhatia.
Its expansion into the Chinese market, although tumultuous in the beginning, paid off.
„It’s about understanding [China] … You need to understand the people. It’s not just a language translation, it’s a culture translation,“ Bhatia said.
Riding on China’s mobile gaming boom, TradeHero’s Chinese app was launch there in November 2013. In May the following year, MyHero opened a local office in Shanghai.
„By January 2014, we had reached one million registered users and as of May, we have close to four million registered users, with three million or about 70% coming from China.“
Apart from China, MyHero’s largest markets are Singapore, Indonesia, India and the USA with an average of 100,000 to 150,000 users from each country.
The company’s target is to reach 8 million users globally by the end of the year, Bhatia said, a goal he believes is reasonable considering the large Chinese market. By 2016, MyHero aims to have a physical presence in the US.
It’s obvious that the MyHero Users would be very interesting for Banks, such as Financial Products providers. So MyHero will maybe consider to make money in generating leads to Banks and other Financial Service providers. Recently they announced that they will join forces with Macquarie to create WarrantHero, a virtual trading app of structured warrants on the Bursa Malaysia.
An other option could be that they can develop to a Social Trading provider such as E-Toro or Austrian based Wikifolio.
Watch TradeHero’s Dinesh Bhatia speech with Tech in Asia:
Watch TradeHero’s promo video: