Apr 22, 2021

Investment fintech BUX raises $80m in latest round

Tencent
bux
investment
Fintech
Joanna England
3 min
 Investment fintech BUX raises $80m in latest round
The leading European neo-broker BUX will use the funds to accelerate its roll-out of zero commission investing across Europe...

BUX, Europe’s fastest growing mobile brokerage company, based in Amsterdam and London, has raised $80m in a funding round led by Tencent and Prosus Ventures.

Additional new investors included ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital. Existing investors HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures.  

The zero commission brokerage, which turned to Royal Park Partners to act as an exclusive financial advisor on the drive, recently welcomed its 500,000th customer, and will use the new capital to expand operations and enhance services on its popular investment app, BUX Zero 

According to reports, BUX Zero has more than doubled its assets since January, and its active customer base increased six-fold over the past 12 months. With interest rates at all-time lows and struggling pension systems, there is an increased demand for investing especially amongst the younger generations.

Since March 2020, the fintech has launched in France, Austria, Germany and Belgium and planes to continue its international expansion throughout 2021.  

Tencent executives said the technology giant had backed BUX because they are the leading neo-broker in Europe and have been able to build a platform that is sustainable and scalable. 

“BUX is the only neo-broker in Europe that offers zero commission investing without being dependent on kickbacks or payments for order flow. This ensures that its interests are fully aligned with its customers,” said Alex Leung, Assistant GM at Tencent, Strategic Development. 

Younger generation investors

Appealing to the next generation of long term investors has been central to BUX’s strategy and success, say its leaders, and one they will continue to pursue. 

Speaking about the latest funding drive, Yorick Naeff, BUX’s new CEO, explained, “Younger generat ions in Europe now realise that investing is one of the few viable ways left to create a stable financial future.”

He went on to say that the new funding round would enable BUX to continue to “spearhead innovation” by implementing advanced features to further shape the future of how Europeans invest. 

“We are extremely grateful to have top tier investors like Prosus Ventures and Tencent onboard to support us in our mission,” Naeff said. 

Meanwhile, Sandeep Bakshi, Head of Europe Investments for Prosus Ventures, said, “Traditional financial market investing comes with a lot of friction and we firmly believe in the democratisation of access to financial services for the next generation of investors.”

Bakshi pointed out that the existing solutions are expensive, complex and not designed for younger generations.  

He added, “BUX has built the next generation of investing services that are low cost, convenient and intuitive for even the newest investor, while covering the full spectrum of investment options, including cryptocurrencies. They have already experienced impressive growth and are the best-positioned neo-broker to scale across Europe and beyond.” 

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Jun 10, 2021

FIVE things fintechs must do to keep investors onboard

Fintech
Investment
venturecapital
AI
Brandon Rembe, CPO, Envestnet...
4 min
Fintech innovations drew in first-time investors who reshaped the markets. What new advancements will help them continue their rise?

New investors flocked to the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of investors said they had never had a brokerage or similar account before opening one in 2020.

Low or no-fee trading options have helped accelerate the trend – nearly half of new investors said they accessed their account primarily through a mobile app. As FinTechs, how do we create the trust needed to keep new investors in the market and create a fruitful customer experience for them?

The financial industry does a disservice to individual investors if we merely offer tools that focus on making money quickly, an approach that usually backfires. Instead, the surge of interest presents an enormous opportunity for those who want to help more consumers use financial technology to educate them on responsible spending, saving, and investing in order to achieve financial wellness current fintech tools have welcomed individual investors in the door.

Now, it’s time to focus on education and improving their experience going forward. There are several ways those of us in fintech can step up to shape the future of retail investing so that it works better for everyone, starting with the following areas.

Equal access to financial wellness education

Financial health should be available to everyone — but today, not everyone has the educational resources to achieve it. One study shows that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class. What they aren’t learning in school or from family members, fintech companies can provide on their platforms.

The companies should move from solely offering financial services to a more responsible model of education, advice, and prescriptive choices to help consumers develop better habits and make wiser financial decisions. Not only can they empower consumers and bridge historical wealth divides, but they can also stimulate growth by opening up new consumer segments.

More personalisation

Just as we’ve come to expect that our fitness routines are tailored to our individual bodies, we’re also ready for finance tools that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. But only six percent of financial institutions say they’re using the kind of technology that allows them to deliver a deeply personalized experience. Fintech tools need to reflect that financial success looks different for each of us.

For one consumer, it may mean providing guidance on how to pay off student loans early; for another, it may mean prescriptive actions that enable them to stick to a budget for the first time; for a third, it could look like prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, so that her portfolio aligns with her political beliefs.

Now, we are seeing financial technology beginning to meet the demands of personalized finance in a substantial and meaningful way.

The rise of AI-Powered Advice

Big-picture advice and predictive guidance used to be a feature of high-end financial advisory firms — a perk only available to those who could afford it. But thanks to rapid advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that kind of holistic advice is now more accessible than ever. AI-driven robo-advisors can parse many different streams of financial information, delivering customized answers to key questions: Is it time to buy a home, or is it smarter to keep renting? Can I afford to take out another student loan?

Intelligent connectivity powered by AI can anticipate consumers’ needs and next steps, making proactive suggestions that guide them along the path to financial wellbeing. Fintech companies can also help consumers identify when their financial picture becomes too complex for a robo-advisor, and help them find a human financial advisor to meet their needs. 

Focus on financial mental health

New investors are quickly finding that the market can be overwhelming. That’s not surprising, financial anxiety is common and studies show that financial stress can have an impact on mental health for some.

It’s not enough for fintech companies to give retail investors access; they also must provide the guidance and support that help consumers manage their financial well-being. Educational tools can ensure that consumers are well informed about their options.

Predictive analytics can anticipate consumers’ questions, serving them key information and insights before they ask. Features that emphasize a comprehensive notion of financial well-being, rather than short-term wins and losses, can also help ensure that consumers are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.

Gamification for good

The surge of gamification apps has done an impressive job making investing as engaging as playing a video game or joining a social media platform.

Much of the current use of gamification emphasizes short-term thinking, but there’s also an opportunity to help consumers think more broadly about their overall financial picture. One example is peer benchmarking, a feature that enables help consumers to see how their financial habits compare to those of friends and fellow consumers.

Gamification can also be used to incentivize making smaller, smarter choices — for example, rewarding saving over making an impulse buy.

The future of fintech is about more than just broadening access to the markets. It’s about making sure more individuals have access to the tools that can help improve their financial well-being—in the ways that suit their own circumstances and needs. The potential to act within their own set of individual priorities, with their long-term financial wellness in mind is much more empowering to a consumer than simply relying on short-term, high-risk investments.

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