Gotrade, a Singapore-based investing platform, said Tuesday it has raised $15.5 million in a Series A round led by Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures (Velocity).

The round also saw participation from investors around the globe including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) from Japan, BeeNext from Singapore, Kibo Ventures from Spain, Picus Capital from Germany as well as returning investors LocalGlobe from the United Kingdom, Social Leverage and Raptor from the United States, Gotrade said in a statement.

The round brings Gotrade’s total funding to date to $22.5 million.

The money will help Gotrade grow its team of 40 and launch localized versions of its product in various markets, starting with Southeast Asia. Launching local versions of Gotrade will allow the company to start offering its product in local languages with local deposit methods across the region, which the company expects will unlock significant further growth.

“Investing in Southeast Asia is broken. Over 600 million people can’t access quality investment products at fair prices. They are subject to mutual funds with expense ratios exceeding 5%, savings products like gold with three percent spreads and hidden fees peppered across their portfolios – not just by the incumbents but also by the companies that are meant to be the disruptors. We believe that investing should be fair and users should not have to bear these predatory costs,” said Gotrade Founder Rohit Mulani.

Gotrade was founded in 2019 by Rohit Mulani, Norman Wanto and David Grant with the mission to make investing accessible to everyone, everywhere. Together, they developed the Gotrade app to allow users globally to buy fractional shares in global giants on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ from as little as $1.

It charges no commissions on its trades, and does not adopt the controversial practice of monetizing from payment for order flow. Instead, it generates revenue by charging 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent in foreign exchange fees (depending on the source currency) if users choose to deposit their funds in local currency that is then converted into U.S. dollars for trading.

Included in this fee, Gotrade powers instant deposits – enabling users to capitalize on trading opportunities without having to pre-fund their accounts. It is also currently testing a premium membership product called Gotrade Black that gives its users access to premium features including candlestick charts, analyst ratings, target prices and a risk measurement, all for a $2 monthly membership fee.

Gotrade has racked up over 500,000 users from over 140 countries in its first year. Its users have transacted over $400 million to date across more than 5 million trades.

The company previously raised a $7 million seed round in 2021 from LocalGlobe and Social Leverage.

“Everyone deserves the right to invest in their own future and control their financial destiny, and from the first moment we met Rohit and the fantastic Gotrade team, we knew they would succeed in delivering this power to Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and beyond. Combining a simple, safe and friendly mobile app experience with fractional trading at zero commissions is a proven winning formula around the globe. As experienced investors and operators in this space, we’re thrilled to lead this investment round and excited to support Gotrade through every step of their journey forward,” said Montanaro from Velocity, who joins Gotrade board alongside LocalGlobe’s Remus Brett.

In conjunction with its Series A funding, Gotrade also announced the launch of Gotrade Indonesia – a platform built to enable users in Indonesia to invest as little as $1 in U.S. stocks on an easy-to-use, commission-free platform.

Gotrade said it picked Indonesia as the first market to launch a local version of Gotrade simply because it was there that the problem seemed most pressing with mutual fund fees frequently exceeding 5 percent.

It also said local brokers are not permitted to offer foreign securities within Indonesia, but are permitted to offer derivatives of foreign securities.

This led Gotrade to partner with Valbury Asia Futures, the Jakarta Futures Exchange and the Futures Clearing House of Indonesia – all regulated by Bappebti, the derivatives regulator in Indonesia, to design a fully backed derivative that gives the end users market access to U.S. stocks.

Together with the launch of Gotrade Indonesia, Gotrade announced that Andrew Haryono is being recognized as a Co-Founder of the company.

Andrew is the owner of the Valbury Group, a financial conglomerate in Indonesia that owns securities, derivatives and capital management arms.

“Andrew has been involved since the earliest days of the business in 2019 and has been instrumental in helping us achieve the success we have had so far. With the Valbury partnership and the launch of Gotrade Indonesia, we’ve been able to take our partnership to a new level and everyone felt it was time to recognise him for the pivotal role he’s played in the company’s past as well as the role he will continue play in the company’s future,” said Rohit Mulani.

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