We’ve been following the progress of Hong Kong-based 8 Securities for about a year, and the socially-oriented stocks trading portal has done a lot in that time. The latest news from 8 Securities is two-fold. Firstly, it has closed another $3 million funding round last week, coming quite a short time after earlier rounds of $1.5 million and $8 million. CEO Mikaal Abdulla explains to us today that the team has “100 percent follow-on participation from our original eight investors.”
The second bit of news is that 8 Securities will open an office in Tokyo in March 2013, and will launch for Japanese users pretty soon. This takes the startup global into what it calls, along with its Hong Kong HQ, the two most important markets for stock trading in Asia. Mikaal reckons that Asia has 80 million online investing accounts among its citizens, leaving it with huge scope for growth. The interface in the top image is how its trading dashboard will appear to Japanese users.
As for 8 Securities’ own progress, the startup says it now has “55,000 accounts holding $1 billion USD in assets with us.”
Co-founder Mathias Helleu explains what Asian investors are interested in on its service:
The biggest trend we see in Asia is customers investing in the US companies they interact with daily. They see the growth opportunity of companies like Google, Apple, and Starbucks in their own markets and it is no coincidence these are some of the most popular stocks. Customer can invest in their local market or the US, all from a single account.
And with that enthusiasm, the startup is keen to disrupt US brokerages where, Mikaal insists, there has been “very little technology innovation in the past decade.”
The trading platform, which features social integration and an API for third-party developers to create their own widgets, came online in April 2012, but we first saw it in action at TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing in November of last year, where 8 Securities was one of the Startup Battlefield finalists.