Although the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on the trading markets and the companies that operate within the space, according to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of B2Broker, Evgeniya Mykulyak, it’s not going to stop the company from executing its expansion plans.
Recently, Finance Magnates sat down with Ms Mykulyak to talk about the company’s plans for the future, as well as how it has coped with the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. During this chat, she revealed that B2Broker, a liquidity and technology provider, has big expansion plans this year in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and in the United Kingdom.
B2Broker COO: we have undergone strong growth phase
“B2Broker has undergone a strong growth phase recently and this has been supported by both investment in new or expanded offices and, of course, staff. First of all, during the pandemic we had the chance to enlarge our current space in Moscow by adding premises next door and combining it into one bigger space. Now we are ready to hire more people in the Moscow office,” Evgeniya said.
“Secondly, we are in the process of renovating a new 800sqm office in St Petersburg which will accommodate 150 employees. Around 80 people have already been installed there and we will be expecting a new influx of developers by the end of August on completion. Thirdly, we are setting up a new office in Belarus in addition to our current premises where our legal office is located. The new office will, once again, accommodate developers who we are currently in the process of hiring.
“In addition, our Kiev office which has been established since our company’s inception will also expand with the addition of a further development team. Last, but not least, we are re-focusing on our London office as the Covid-19 restrictions enter the final stages and we are able to resume with our plans to establish a foothold in the UK by the end of this year.”
B2Broker eyes three areas of regulation
According to Ms Mykulyak there are currently three areas of regulation that B2Broker is looking at. “With an office already in Minsk, a key focus for us now is becoming a member of the Belarus High Tech Park – a tax and legal regime in Belarus that contributes to the favorable development of IT business in a similar way to Silicon Valley in the US,” she elaborated.
“Belarus offers high potential for us and gives us credibility so it makes really good business sense to be there. As I already mentioned, our plans for UK entry are also high on our agenda. Finally, Asia is also going to figure as a key part of our plans in terms of expansion so regulation will be our primary focus, particularly in terms of obtaining a security licence for exchange trading.”
What’s next for Belarus?
B2Broker has been expanding its presence in Belarus in 2020. As Finance Magnates reported towards the end of last year, B2Prime, part of broker technology provider B2Broker, became the first forex prime broker to obtain a licence to operate in Belarus in accordance with the country’s local legislation.
Belarus is a country that is becoming an increasingly popular destination for foreign exchange (forex) brokers and traders alike, with the country implementing a number of FX-friendly regulations. In the interview, Evgeniya pointed out that B2Broker’s operations in Belarus are of prime importance strategically.
“Firstly, our presence there allows us to onboard clients under Belarus jurisdiction. Belarus is a trusted regulator and B2Broker was the first Liquidity Provider and Prime Broker to be included in the register, of which there are currently only a few companies. Belarus High Tech Park membership is also part of the plan as it provides benefits conducive to doing business and attracting key talent in the region.
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“Our office expansion will allow us to hire top talent and provide us with greater scope for developing our products and services further. As a Fintech company, technology is 50% of our business. I would like to stress that it is very important for our business to hire good talent. Quite simply, new people create business, people create technologies and technology creates people and business – it’s all interconnected, so we’re definitely in the right place!”
New products for B2Broker
Aside from physical expansion, what else is in the works for the liquidity and technology provider? According to Ms Mykulyak the company has a full agenda for the rest of the year, which includes a number of product launches.
“First of all, we will soon be launching B2Margin, a platform that combines the features of Margin and Spot trading in one system and allows clients to run a crypto margin exchange business. This is in response to the latest trend for trading cryptocurrencies with leverage. B2Margin will offer clients a variety of advantages like trading and wallets together, favourite markets, grouping, watchlist, customisable UI and much more, which will be revealed in the very near future,” she explained.
Major upgrade coming for B2Trader
“We are also planning a major upgrade of our matching engine, B2Trader, the core mechanic of our exchange technology which matches up bids and offers to execute trades. B2Broker launched the first version of its matching engine in 2018 after an in-depth development and integration phase. The latest version features a number of exciting new features including an enhanced front end, upgraded security features and a host of other advantages which are also due for announcement shortly.
“B2Core, our Trader’s Room solution, is another key product for us which was recently unveiled as a package-based solution to cater for different types of customers. This continues to evolve with continual upgrades and product enhancements such as anti-fraud features, additional payment systems, white list capabilities and numerous more. Finally, we are planning to release version 2 of our popular cryptocurrency payment gateway. Updates will include flexible wallets creation, custom labels, integrated KYT and access rights for each wallet and activity monitor.
“For us at B2Broker, development and improvements never stop. Our mission is to provide our customers with the best cutting-edge products and services in the industry.”
COVID-19 forced B2Broker to look to new ways of doing business
Lockdown measures as a result of COVID-19 have forced a lot of companies to change the way they do business. Industry events were cancelled, removing networking opportunities, client meetings could no longer be held face-to-face and staff had to work remotely from home. Because of this, companies have needed to be flexible and willing to adapt, so how has B2Broker faired so far?
“Like most companies, we definitely felt the impact of Covid-19,” Ms Mykulyak outlined. “For a start, anyone in our line of business will understand the importance of expo attendance, and what hit us first was that all industry expos were cancelled. This forced us into looking at other ways of doing business online.
“In this respect, we actually took advantage of the circumstances brought about by Covid and quickly decided to set up webinars. In fact, I can fairly confidently say that we were one of the first to start doing them! We realised that being cut off from potential clients was not an option and e-meeting them was the best way to rectify the situation. Our webinars have proved a great success and allowed us to show our products to potential leads across the globe and tackle many educational aspects too, in several languages.
“We also discovered that we were able to work remotely with the same efficiency which further emphasised how remote working plays a big part in our future growth. Above all, life goes on, and product development continues, as do plans to extend our global reach. Many companies in our genre reported increased business during these times and fortunately we are one of them. I’m happy to say, we are looking forward to the future with increased enthusiasm.”