We broke these news on Sunday – eToro just completed another financing round, however this time it’s a very large one. This perhaps is the largest round for a forex start-up to date.
I had the chance to ask Yoni Assia, eToro’s CEO, a few questions:
Q: What is the investment for? PR mentions ‘fuel expansion’ – but more concrete plans? Will eToro introduce more innovations in the social trading space?
A: The investment will be used for marketing and product development. We are continuously innovating and pushing the boundaries of usability. Today we are already the undisputed leader in Social Trading, and we will ensure our leadership position via the launch of top innovative products that will change the course of the way people invest their money.
Q: With binary options becoming more and more popular will eToro offer them too?
A: We are focusing on improving profitability of our customers and to achieve magnificent results for them. We are already seeing better results than many hedge funds; our better results are attributed to the wisdom of the crowds, which is helping our traders to reach exceptional returns on their investments. At this point, we do not see how binary options will contribute to the profitability of our customers.
Q: What’s the deal with MT4? You soft launched it a while back but it’s still not publicly available, what are the plans with it?
A: eToro’s currently evaluating MT4 integration with its social trading network, OpenBook. This will also allow EA’s to become Gurus (top traders) in our network.
Q: What are eToro’s long term plans? it transformed from retail forex broker into a broker with its own social platform – is that the goal?
A: We are already the largest investment network in the world and we will continue to expand aggressively. At this stage we have more active users then the top brokers in the world, and we plan to grow tenfold.
Q: What was the valuation of the firm post investment?
A: We cannot share the evaluation, but I can say that our investors are very pleased with our current situation and the investment is a vote of confidence in our ability to maintain and further expand our leadership position in the social trading arena while becoming the standard in online investing.
Q: When you say double the volume, what is the current average monthly volume?
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A: Just like eTrade we measure in DARTs. we have already surpassed 100,000 DARTs a day and aim for surpassing eTrade’s 150,000 by the end of the year.
eToro Completes Funding Round of $15 Million led by Spark Capital
eToro takes on funding to fuel explosive growth and evolve its social investment network
London, March 13, 2012 – eToro, the world’s largest investment network, announced today that it has closed a funding round of 15 million US dollars from Spark Capital and other investors to fuel international growth and continue to evolve eToro’s social trading platform. Over the past 12 months, eToro has experienced explosive growth more than doubling its active user base and making it the world’s largest online investment network with over 2 million registered users in over 140 countries.
The capital injection will enable eToro to accelerate innovation and continue to realize its vision of disrupting the financial markets. Over the past year, eToro managed to recruit some of the industry’s top talent, adding to its leadership role in defining the standard for social trading. As a result eToro has doubled its workforce within 12 months, reaching over 200 employees in Europe, United States, Australia, and Israel, where its R&D center is located.
eToro trading volumes doubled in size within the last 12 months, and the number of traded positions in the network has increased by more than 500%. This explosive growth is attributed to eToro’s award winning CopyTrader™ that allows any user to automatically copy the entire trading activity of the best performing traders in the network, thus delivering better success rates and higher average returns per trade. CopyTrader™ has exceeded the anticipated adoption rates and is now used by the majority of eToro’s active user base. Users engaging in copy trading achieve win ratios of over 80%, which is dramatically higher than the industry standard, resulting in higher trading performance.
“The internet is breaking down long-standing business models across various well-established industries. Just as our portfolio companies, Twitter, Tumblr and foursquare have reinvented the way people interact online, eToro is now leading the charge to disrupt yet another market, the financial services market,” said Santo Politi, General Partner at Spark Capital.
“We are very pleased to have Spark Capital on board to help us continue to expand and lead the social trading revolution, ” said eToro CEO, Johnathan Assia. “As the largest investment network, we constantly push the boundaries of design and technology to harness the wisdom of the crowds for our users helping them trade and invest online more intelligently, yielding outstanding results.”
Learn more about eToro and tap into the world’s largest investment network at: http://www.etoro.com and http://openbook.etoro.com
eToro is the world’s largest investment network, with over 2 million users in over 140 countries and thousands of new accounts opened each day. eToro leads the social trading revolution through its community powered network, which enables every investor to see, follow and automatically copy the actions of other investors in real time. eToro’s mission is to open the financial markets to every individual and make them accessible through a simple, transparent and more profitable way to trade and invest online. By harnessing the wisdom of the crowds every member of eToro’s social trading network benefits from accelerated information exchange, knowledge sharing and the ability to quickly identify the best investment opportunities. eToro’s open Guru Program allows expert and talented traders to earn wide reaching recognition and monetize their trading expertise by earning rich monthly rewards. eToro’s wide range of award-winning web-based and mobile social trading platforms appeal to every level of trading expertise, and provide an amazing investment experience that caters to the needs of the consumer investor. For more information, visit us at www.etoro.com.