Having launched back in 2010, Spotware has made an announcement today in celebration of a decade worth of operations. In light of this milestone, Finance Magnates has sat down with Alexander Geralis, Sales Manager at Spotware.
Spotware is a provider of online trading platforms and applications for brokers, which aim to convert and retain clients. The company’s flagship platform is cTrader, which is one of the most prominent FX and CFD trading platforms in the industry.
Since launching a decade ago, cTrader is now used by more than 60 different brokers, provides trading for millions of investors, and has been integrated with more than 40 liquidity providers, CRMs and data-vendors.
During our interview with Geralis we covered a range of topics – how did the company get started, how has it changed over the past ten years, and what is the company’s direction for the future?
How Did Spotware Get Started?
“Our founder, Andrey Pavlov, created Spotware in 2010 at what I would call a crucial phase in the history of retail FX/CFD brokerages. At the time brokers, and therefore traders, didn’t have many platform options. Monopolies are not known for driving innovation and overall, they are not a healthy environment to excel in,” explained Alexander Geralis, Sales Manager at Spotware to Finance Magnates.
“I believe brokers immediately understood the value in the product, the idea and the ideals we represented from the very beginning. This is why some of the largest brokers in the industry launched cTrader almost immediately.”
What Was Your Initial Offering and How Has It Changed over the past Decade?
“Our initial offering was cTrader, and to this day it remains our flagship platform. By this, I mean that over the past decade we have continued to work on that very same platform, and it has grown into cTrader Suite with the additions of cTrader Automate, cTrader Copy and Analyze. The cTrader family of brokers continues to receive the latest innovation on PC, Web, Android and iOS.
“We are not the kind of company to introduce a different platform to replace our current one, to try and capitalise on brokers needing to add it. We believe the success of our brokers is the success of Spotware, and that is clearly expressed in the continued development of the existing product.”
How Has Spotware’s Place within the FX Industry Changed over the past Decade?
“As we have been pioneers of ECN/STP trading platforms, this concept remains unchanged to this day. Traders should have access to quality execution and robust trading platforms that they can trust. This has not changed of course, and a large community was built around this. Many of these traders tend to be larger traders that trust cTrader to access the markets because of its transparency and fairness.”
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What Major Developments Has Spotware Seen in the Industry?
“You can imagine that much has changed over the past ten years. Today it is easier and more cost-effective than ever to launch a brokerage. The technology around platforms such as CRMs, bridges and even liquidity has become abundant. Specifically, some of those were very hard to come by just a few years ago. You now have a much lower barrier to enter the market, but at the same time it has also become much more competitive.
“Additionally, following the Swiss Franc shock of 2015, when the Swiss National Bank suddenly scrapped its three-year-old cap on the franc against the euro, causing many smaller brokerages to shut down, the Forex industry fell under the strict eye of regulators. As regulations became tougher, cTrader’s STP/ECN platform transparency became more valued than ever before.”
What Would You Recommend to Startup Brokers to Succeed?
“Knowing your niche is important. Are you a startup broker focusing on a region where you have an edge in terms of communication and marketing? Or are you a large broker with multiple regulations in need of a platform that can offer that flexibility and scalability?
“You need to know your edge and where to focus your energies on. We at Spotware make the effort to guide startup brokers along the way with the help of our technical team, as well as various content, so our clients can enter the industry with greater ease.”
What Have Been the Most Essential Lessons Spotware Has Learnt over the Years?
“Over the decade it is clear that you need to know exactly how your product adds value to the broker both now and in the future. You can have an excellent product, but if it is not evident how this solution is adding value to your clients – the market will not perceive it as such.
“We appreciate the good lines of communication we have with the brokers because their feedback, just as feedback from traders, is part of our vision. Our motto “Traders First™” expresses this.”
Looking to the Future, What Plans Does Spotware Have for Its Product Suite?
“Very good question and I’ll use this opportunity to reveal a major release coming this year – cTrader Copy on mobile devices. cTrader Copy has grown exponentially over the past quarters, both in terms of strategy providers and strategy followers, who can benefit from proven, profitable strategies from experienced traders. The introduction of cTrader Copy on mobile devices means traders will be able to make use of our copy tool on-the-go, further boosting the already impressive growth.”
What Has Been Your Focus for the past Ten Years, and Will It Change over the Next Yen Years?
“Our focus has always been putting our traders and therefore brokers first. Our ideals which can easily be understood as pioneers of the STP/ECN model and “Traders First™” motto make it clear that we will continue on this path. In terms of our flagship cTrader Suite, we will make sure that cTrader brokers always have an edge that in turn drives their, and therefore, our success.”
Where Does Spotware See Itself in Ten Years?
“I’m quite excited about the next decade. Trading is an infinitely fascinating and changing industry and the retail part of it only continues to grow – Finance Magnates has reported the 2020 records growth in accounts all over the world.
“Our product is already the leader in terms of design, functionality and reliability. The natural and currently in progress step is for cTrader to become the number one platform in terms of market share segment for the FX/CFD retail space. Although this will happen much sooner than 10 years from now.”