BUX is an app that makes trading stocks super easy, ultra-affordable and above all, fun and exciting.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Categories: Finance & Payments Digital B2C
BUX is a tech company that's rocking the world of finance. Our mobile app makes trading financial instruments like stocks, currencies and commodities super easy and ultra affordable. Launched in 2014, BUX now has 1.2 million users across Europe. By removing the barriers to the financial markets and reinventing the trading experience, we're helping new generations of first-time investors to discover the financial world.
Our app has taken something that’s traditionally been complex, and made it simple for a new audience. Our brand, with its unique tone of voice and visual appearance, appeals primarily to young people and the young at heart.
Because no other financial brand has achieved this before in the way BUX has done, we’re planning to launch a family of apps under the same umbrella. Ultimately, by 2020, BUX aims to be the destination for those who would like to do more with their money: for every investment need, there will be a BUX solution.
During his 17 years in the stock-brokerage industry, Nick Bortot, founder of BUX, got to know the self-directed investor. He also found out that there were many people who wanted to do more with their money, but never really got started with investing because they found it so complex. He recognised the enormous untapped potential of this group of people that just needs the right guidance.
According to Nick, both banks and brokers have made their investment platforms way too complex. Onboarding is cumbersome and investment platforms are full of confusing and unnecessary bells and whistles. For many young people, trading and investing is just too expensive. Commissions across Europe vary from €2 to even €10 (or Pound Sterling) per transaction.
By offering an intuitive, educational and fun app, and by offering commissions as low as 25 cents/pence per transaction, BUX has reinvented online brokerage. That's why it's now one of the fastest growing financial apps in Europe.
Substantial accomplishments to date
BUX enables users to trade with 'funBUX' - virtual money - or 'seriousBUX' - real money. They can practice with funBUX before starting to trade with real money. (Inexperienced users are required to practice with funBUX first before they are even allowed to switch to seriousBUX.).
SeriousBUX users are charged a commission when they buy or sell. The commission amount depends on the size of the trade: they start at just 25 cents/pence and are higher for larger trades.
Users can use a 'Multiplier' when trading. This allows them to multiply the invested amount. Basically, they borrow money from BUX and we charge interest on the amount of money borrowed.
The revenue split between commissions and interest is roughly 85% - 15%.
Please note that BUX only offers to lend users conservative amounts. We attach a lot of value to 'safe trading': https://www.getbux.com/safe-trading.
Use of proceeds
Recently, BUX received €5.3m as part of a 10.6 million euro funding round. The remaining €5.3m is contingent on Bux hitting certain performance milestones within the next year. Two of our largest shareholders (Germany's Holtzbrinck Ventures and the Netherlands' Velocity Capital) both increased their shareholdings in this round.
We’re now carrying out a crowdfunding round on the back of this institutional round. Firstly, to allow our most loyal users, who have helped us to get where we are now, to benefit from the growth of BUX. Secondly, for everyone else who believes in what we're doing.
The proceeds will be used to:
1) Further develop our current app and roll it out across Europe.
2) Launch new apps: Mid 2018 we intend to launch a long-term trading app.
Finally, we’re also aiming to launch an app that enables people to invest in cryptocurrency much more easily and responsibly. There’s huge demand for cryptocurrency investing, but the investment process is still very awkward. At BUX, we're good at eliminating the complexity. We've already done this with stock trading and next, we’ll do it with crypto trading.
As mentioned above, BUX has recently secured a total of €10.6m in funding from investors including Holtzbrinck Ventures and Velocity Capital, to be invested over two tranches. Investors should note:
- €5.3m of the round has already been invested in Bux and is counted in the pre-money valuation for this round.
- The remaining €5.3m will only be invested if certain conditions/milestones are met. It will then be invested at the same share price (and in the same share class) as the funds raised via Seedrs. This portion of the investment has not been counted in the pre-money valuation as the shares have not yet been issued.
- Investors should note that they will not be offered pre-emption rights over the second €5.3m investment tranche, so shareholders will be diluted by this investment tranche.
- Pre-emption rights will be applicable for other future funding rounds, subject to the terms of the shareholders agreement.
Investors in this campaign will receive Series C Shares, which are currently the highest ranking shares the company has issued.
On a distribution of profits, exit or winding up, the Series C Shares have a 1x non participating preference, meaning they will first receive (in priority to other shareholders) the higher of (i) the original subscription price for such shares; or (ii) their pro rata share of the proceeds available for distribution.
From experience, we know that there are lots of people who'd like to do more with their money, instead of putting it into a savings account; especially young people, who still have the largest part of their life in front of them. Unfortunately, existing investment products and stock brokerage platforms are often very complex and have high costs.
Therefore, BUX targets young Europeans (and the young at heart!) who require a financial product to help them invest in a contemporary way: focused on mobile, great UI/ UX and a product that speaks their language. Also, a product that fits their spending power by being very affordable. And, last but not least, a product that educates them. The financial world can be complex and off-putting, so financial service companies have a duty to make their clients understand how things work.
Characteristics of target market
Roughly 25% of the European population is in the 'millennial' age. Research shows that this group hardly saves nor invests. With governments pulling back on financial support, this is a scary thought.
If the right conditions are met, the market for millennials and their finances is huge. Especially as there are hardly any dedicated millennial financial services companies. Think of mobile first (or mobile only) services, products adapted to the millennial's spending power and a brand that speaks their language.
The foundation of our BUX marketing is our brand. We’re absolutely convinced that by building a unique and attractive brand, we’ll make the difference. Especially in the world of finance, where branding wise things are traditionally a little dull.
BUX generates awareness by using instruments like video and TV advertising. After having created awareness, we explain to potential users about how to invest in general and how to invest via BUX specifically. For example, via our blog and through our educational videos. Potential users are drawn to our posts and the videos using SEA/SEO (search engine advertising/ optimization).
Once we have our audience’s attention, we use performance marketing, such as video ads on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to encourage potential users to download the BUX app.
Apart from paid app installs, about 50% of our users arrive organically (via word of mouth) and through the BUX referral program.
Looking at our current app, product wise, we believe that BUX doesn’t have direct competition. There are many other trading apps out there, but most are complicated, aimed at sophisticated traders, and don’t focus on ease of use, social interaction and education.
Next year, we intend to release a long-term investment app. This new app will compete with existing online brokers throughout Europe. As these brokers are still very much focused on web - instead of mobile - we expect that our deep knowledge of mobile app development and marketing will give BUX a competitive edge.
We're also planning to launch an app that enables users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in an easy and responsible way. As for our current app, the same is true here: there are lots of crypto apps on the market, but none of them is easy to use or help users to understand what they’re doing.
Ultimately, by 2020, BUX aims to be the destination for those who would like to do more with their money. For every investment need there will be a BUX solution.
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