Good startup ideas aren’t so easy to come by in Singapore. So here’s one I really like: it’s called TradeHero, a mobile app that allows users to trade virtual money based on real-world stock market data. But this isn’t just another simulated stock market game; read on.
In some ways, OK, it’s a game. But this game brings in loads of entertainment and money-making opportunities. Co-founders Dinesh Bhatia and Dominic Morris say that monetization of TradeHero comes naturally with the game. They call it monetizing “information and reputation.” How it works is that folks will trade stocks based on real-world data. The greater return on investment (ROI) you bring in, the more reputable you will be.
When you’ve got a good reputation, your every buy and sell signal or comment becomes valuable, and it costs $1.99 per month for another TradeHero user to follow your trade movement. Users who subscribe to your feed will get in-app push messages on every trade you make. That $1.99 will be shared 50:50 between you and TradeHero after Apple’s 30 percent cut. So in absolute dollars, you receive about $0.70 for every user who subscribes to your trade movements.
So why the hell would people pay? Simple. In trading, information is key, especially information from someone who has consistently done well in the market. This information is also highly relevant because the ROI made on TradeHero is based on real-world stock data. So theoretically, if the trades are executed in real-world markets, he/she should make real money too. At just $1.99 per month, the information you get from TradeHero is an extremely good value for the money.
The revenue math looks great for the founders too. If 50,000 follows were generated among TradeHero users, the startup could make a healthy $35,000 a month in revenue. Reputable TradeHero users can also earn while they trade. Note that this is just one of the many value-added services which TradeHero could potentially offer.
TradeHero is a mobile-only virtual trading platform because, according to co-founder Dinesh, that’s the best way to monetize intention. He explained:
Everything is on mobile. Because you get the in-app notification instantly. With the app store you can actually monetize intention straight away. You can’t monetize intention straight away on the web. You got to go through several steps including taking out your wallet, pulling out your credit card, entering your name, credit number, CCV number, expiry date, and maybe you made an error and by that time you’ve lost intention.
In contrast, using in-app payments is faster and more direct - all you need is just your App Store password to making an actual payment. Mobile allows payments to be made swiftly while the consumer’s purchasing intention is still fresh.
The TradeHero app has been submitted to Apple’s App Store for approval and should be launched soon. So stay tuned, financial geeks! Despite being a work in progress, Dinesh and Dominic have received SGD$600,000 in convertible debt notes from The Network Fund (TNF) under the TIS scheme. TradeHero's concept sounds great so I look forward to seeing how users will react to the product.
TradeHero CEO Dinesh has 16 years of IT ventures in mobile/online/TV under his belt founding Iternu.net, BowTie, Wireless Intellect Labs along the way. He also has experience wearing the investor hat at Matrix Partners, Vickers Venture Capital, and more. Meanwhile, his partner and CTO Dominic has 14 years of experience in engineering and management positions at Microsoft, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Standard Chartered Bank. The team now has eight people including the two founders.
There are four engineers and designers, one business development person, one intern, and one legal person. The legal person, as Dinesh explains, “is generating intellectual property (IP).” The company has two patents pending.
TradeHero is now looking for investors for its next financing round, so be sure to hit them up if this startup interests you.