Bux, a trading app designed for the younger generation, has today launched a crowdfunding round on Seedrs after completing a €10.6m (£8m) series C round from institutional investors.
The company, which aims to be a “millennial financial brand”, wants to expand its current trading community while also launching a stock trading app and a cryptocurrency trading app next year.
Crowdfunders who join the Seedrs round will be able to invest on exactly the same terms as the institutional investors, who include Germany’s Holtzbrinck Ventures and the Netherlands' Velocity Capital and angel investors Arthur Kosten (formerly of Booking.com) and Binckbank founder Thierry Schaap.
“We are very actively engaging with our user community,” said Bux founder Nick Bortot. “They said: ‘We are the people who are helping you to become big, so why don’t you allow us to invest in your company?’”
Currently, Bux operates a model where users can trade "contracts for difference" (CFDs). They mirror the price of the asset underlying them, for example a stock, but the owner of the CFD never actually owns the stock.
CFDs have a number of advantages, including lowering the commission which brokers can charge. They also allow investors to use leverage — or borrowed money — which can increase returns, but also magnify losses on a poor trade.
"We do not see CFDs as a leveraged product. You can offer it with leverage but we use them because they allow people to trade fractionally,” said Bortot. “We’re targeting young people who often don’t have the means to invest a couple of thousands of pounds or euros. The want to invest £50, or £100.”
Bux operates across eight European countries, and has partnered with broker Ayundo Markets in the UK to obtain licensing from the Financial Conduct Authority.
The app has 200,000 users in the UK, who can start using virtual money and then progress to real money. Currently 85,000 of the UK users have a real-money account.