Backed by $8 Million, Hong Kong Trading Site Aims to Go Global

March 22, 2012

9:43 am

Trading portal 8 Securities launched in Hong Kong this Tuesday, backed by $8 million in funding.

The TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing finalist has built a web app that makes trading social: you can read news and research right within the platform, trade stocks on Hong Kong and US exchanges (with a slightly high fee of $8.88 per trade on US stocks), and follow other traders and their activity. 8 Securities is reporting average transactions of $5,000.

Besides the social component, 8 Securities stands out with its complete customization: you can choose widgets to include (like People Watchlist, Top 8 Traded Stocks, and Trending Topics), move them around, and drag and drop traders into categories.

The startup is eyeing Greater China, which they report has over 35 million online brokerage accounts. And Asia is a ripe market in general because many investors still work through financial advisers:

“Investors in Asia are not as self-directed as their counterparts in Europe and North America,” says CEO Mikaal Abdulla. “Institutions control the flow of research and trading ideas and we want to shatter that convention by building a smart network of peers to exchange ideas directly.”

But that means a host of challenges – not the least of which are different regulations in different countries.

“There is an enormous amount of complexity in building a global trading platform as it must be able to handle multiple financial products, geographies, currencies, and language,” explains Abdulla, who spent 11 years at E*TRADE launching and running businesses.

8 is a lucky number in China, so with their name – and the $8 million in funding – perhaps 8 Securities can break through these barriers.

What financial platform do you use, and would you try 8 Securities to get more customization?

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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