Singapore App Maker MyHero Raises $10M Series A For Its Stock Market Trading Gamification App, TradeHero

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    » Singapore App Maker MyHero Raises $10M Series A For Its Stock Market
    Trading Gamification App, TradeHero


    By Natasha

    An app that lets people play the stock market without
    the risk of losing any real money has turned its virtual cash game into a
    pile of actual Benjamins, by closing out a $10 million funding round — one of
    the largest Series A rounds for a consumer startup in the region, it

    The app in question, TradeHero, is made by a Singapore-based
    developer MyHero. Investors in the round are Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers China
     (KPCB China) and IPV

    TradeHero users start out with $100,000
    in virtual cash to spend, choosing which and how much stock to ‘buy’ — there
    are no live trades going on here, it’s a simulation — and getting to see
    whether their trading decisions would have panned out IRL because the app
    follows actual market movements.

    Dinesh Bhatia, CEO and
    Founder of MyHero Ltd, the holding company for the TradeHero iOS app, describes it a
    “financial literacy tool” that uses gamification to engage users and help
    them learn how to improve their trading.

    It’s part ‘fantasy
    football’ style game, part trading learning tool, part stock market tip
    resource — the latter aspect because TradeHero’s most successful traders
    become part of a leaderboard that other users can pay to follow so they get
    the inside track on their (successful) trading decisions (leaderboard members
    also share in these winnings — giving them an incentive to keep virtually
    trading on TradeHero’s platform).

    Has TradeHero
    made Bhatia a better trader? I ask because he got the idea for the app
    after losing “a lot of money on the stock market” by betting on Palm’s webOS
    rebirth. Oops
    “It has,” he says. “If you followed me [on TradeHero] I’m up 50% from January
    this year when the app launched. The market has been good this year, but
    still that’s pretty good. But I’m nowhere near the top [of the TradeHero
    leaderboard].” Ergo, there’s still lots to learn.

    aspects of TradeHero’s business model include in-app purchase options, to
    monetise engaged users — by offering them things like the ability to buy more
    virtual cash so they can increase their liquidity, or the ability to reset
    their portfolio entirely so they start again afresh. TradeHero also has a
    b2bc revenue stream via tie-ins with financial companies wanting to reach an
    engaged community of users — provided whatever they’re trying to get access
    is relevant to its audience, says  Bhatia.

    “Most of
    our [learn how to play the stock market] rivals do live trading [such as the
    eToro social network]. We are more about monetising off the information
    brokerage. In a way we’re focusing on the research — we can call it
    micro-research — which is user-generated… rather than focusing on the
    trading. These are tips that you can then use, once you subscribe to
    TradeHero to actually bridge the gap to live trading, and hopefully make
    better decisions,” he adds.

    So now it’s landed a $10
    million Series A, what does MyHero intend to do with the money?
    Bhatia says it plans to spend the funding on a big marketing push for
    TradeHero over the next 18 to 24 months. The app launched seven months ago,
    and has since built up a user base of around 280,000 — three-quarters of whom
    he says are active on a bi-monthly basis, emphasising that those figures have
    been achieved working with relatively limited

    TradeHero was actually incubated out of TNF Ventures, taking in a seed round of
    around $500,000-$600,000 about a year ago, with backing from Singapore’s
    National Research Foundation. Landing such large follow-on funding will
    allow it to ramp up its marketing efforts on several fronts, he
    says, including targeting user-acquisition effects at markets such as
    the U.S. and Europe which it hasn’t really had the “firepower” to focus on
    to-date. It’s also planning to translate the app into more languages to help
    grow its reach further.

    Markets where TradeHero has been
    getting traction to-date include Asia and South America, with Bhatia
    specifically singling out Thailand, Singapore, India, Mexico,
    Vietnam and also the U.S. as places where it’s garnered a following.
    “TradeHero is available in more than 200 countries. We’ve been number one in
    the finance category on the iOS App Store in 75 countries. And top 10 in
    about 100 countries right now,” he adds.

    Part of the
    new funding will go on ramping up the startup’s headcount, to support its
    marketing efforts and market growth push. In the latter area, China will
    be a key focus over the next three to six months. ”We’ve got our sights
    on China. China has a lot of online accounts, brokerage accounts. The
    interest is potentially very, very high in something like this,” he
    says. ”We have tried and tested in markets like Hong Kong, Singapore and
    Taiwan where the mindset is very similar. China is a very, very big market
    for us.”

    The Series A round is actually double the amount
    TradeHero has previously said it was aiming to raise this
    year. Expect the extra money to go towards a new, presumably complementary
    app — although Bhatia won’t comment specify on what it’s working on

    But fuelled by at least some of that $10 million — and
    the addition of an Android app to expand TradeHero’s mobile platform reach —
    this time year he says he’s hoping the app will have amassed a user-base
    that’s “in the couple of millions”. ”We’ve done close to 300,000 users
    now with seven staff, with a very limited budget, with just iOS. I’m very
    confident that we can hopefully be in the two to four million user range,” he


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