More VC being thrown at casual trading startup Bux. The app, which turns stocks and derivatives trading (via CFDs) into a game-like and social experience, thus potentially broadening the market to include a greater number of people who have never traded before, has pulled in a further $6.9 million in funding.
The round, led by Germany’s Holtzbrinck Ventures and following $1.9 million raised last September, will be used to accelerate growth in Europe — specifically expanding to Germany, but also in the U.K., Netherlands and Austria, where Bux is already active.
Bux CEO and co-founder Nick Bortot also tells me the Amsterdam and London-based company plans to invest significantly in product development, in particular bolstering its social features that, he says, are already seeing a spike in growth and increased engagement with the app.
Currently those social features include the ability for traders to create WhatsApp-style groups, where trading tips and information can be shared and discussed. There are also ‘channels’, a Twitter-style follow mechanism that lets users follow other traders who can blast out their insights.
But it’s the game-like on-boarding experience that perhaps makes Bux stand out. Crucially it lets users trade in virtual currency, either before they switch to real money — and the inherent risk that involves — or indefinitely.
“We set-out to re-invent online trading with a great gamified trading app, making trading incredibly easy and above all, great fun,” Bortot told me in September.
To that end, Bux claims 330,000 registered users in total, 20,000 or so who have traded using real money. That, I’m told, has seen over $3 billion in ‘trade value’ processed in total.