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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
LeapRate Exclusive Interview… We had reported a few weeks ago about a very interesting partnership brewing in online trading, with some very well-known names in some new places. Specifically, former CMC Group CEO Roger Hynes and his new consulting firm Black Lake Financial have become engaged to help get off the ground a new trading app called SwipeStox, put together by Varengold Bank founder and former CEO Yasin Qureshi, and his new company, The Naga Group.
So what exactly is Yasin Qureshi up to at Naga?
And what is unique about Naga’s first product, a mobile trading app called SwipeStox?
We went right to the source, and are pleased to share with LeapRate readers our exclusive interview with Yasin, who seems to always be thinking ahead of the curve when it comes to retail trading.
1) Hi Yasin. Please let us know some more about the establishment of The Naga Group, and your decision to focus on mobile trading apps.
My passion for founding dynamic and fast FinTechs started very early. In 1995 I founded Varengold Bank, went public in 2007 and obtained a full banking license in 2012. From the start I wanted to simplify trading and foster respective innovations. It was a very exciting and important journey for me, but over the years it became more and more apparent that the current banking system is non-transparent, overregulated and way too complex. And actually treating clients often, yes, unfairly.
With today’s technology, the hunger for new and user-oriented platforms, as well as given the fact that we see large groups of mobile-users conducting their financial activities more and more on the go, I felt that for the finance sector this should be an opportunity that someone should grasp – and open the sector further to the mobile world. When I met Benjamin Bilski, Managing Director of our SwipeStox GmbH, who had programming experience and the same notion for the user experience in mind, we joined to build Naga after I stepped down as CEO of Varengold Bank AG last summer.
2) There are a number of trading platforms and apps out there already. What makes SwipeStox different?
SwipeStox wants to simplify trading and foster access to market knowledge – anywhere and anytime.
We are completely mobile-first and also mobile-only. Moreover, the user and connectivity amongst users are our main focus. We connect traders all around the globe and let them communicate, share and copy trades. With a simple swipe, a user can browse through the most promising trading deals around the planet. Moreover, people only share single trades and not a portfolio or strategy. If users share a trade and get copied by others, they receive volume-based bonuses which also gives the entire platform a win-win character.
In addition, SwipeStox is the first platform that transparently shows risk and chances to trade originators or trade copiers. Every trade originator has to provide a Stop Loss and a Take Profit. Of course you can trade with neither a Stop Loss, or Take Profit, or none of both – but then the trade will not be published and exposed to others. Based on your own quotes and the limits you set, the platform calculates and displays the risk and chance – latency optimized in real-time – when hitting a Stop Loss and the Take Profit respectively. Given the exciting and simple user interface and innovative mobile elements such as peer-to-peer chat, the Trader Radar (to actually see who is investing locally around you) and a highly-data driven approach, we are truly different to every concept in Social Trading out there.
3) Can traders having accounts at any broker still trade / copy-trade using SwipeStox?
As a user-oriented company our mission is to ease the access to knowledge and allow a seamless integration and distribution. For this purpose, we always wanted that people with an existing brokerage account, as well as new clients to be able to start trading on SwipeStox in seconds. We are working very hard on the integration of every trading platform or broker out there. And, indeed, if you have an existing broker account you simply provide your account number and password and you are linked.
If you plan to create a new account with a partner broker, as mentioned, we are offering customized client on-boarding procedures. All on your phone – anywhere and anytime. The platform itself is build in such a way that users can share and copy “cross-broker”. So no matter if you are with a different broker than the people you want to copy. You see your price and transparently where you enter and where the trade originator entered.
4) There have been a few attempts at pan-broker social trading but they seem to either fail (Currensee comes to mind) or morph into a broker offering social trading. An issue, for example, is that traders at different brokers might be offered different quotes and trading conditions, making it impossible to really ‘copy’ traders at other brokers, or even at the same broker. How can you overcome these issues?
Yes, some concepts failed or struggle. Well, you need to be innovative and push hard on given boundaries. In SwipeStox, users are connected with their own brokers seeing their own price. In fact, if you want to copy a trader you will always enter after the trade was executed. So in reality we target a more directional approach. We do not allow auto-copying or auto-following. You always copy a single trade that has been opened before. As a copier you transparently see: a) what the trade originator entered (and at what price), b) how the trade performed since opening and, c) at what price you will enter.
In addition, as explained above, the risk and chance levels are also calculated on your entry price. Thus, through smart logic, a strong focus on the user, as well as clear focus on industry-wide inclusion of all leading brokers, we feel SwipeStox for both traders and brokerages is an innovative and smart way to trade mobile. FX, CFDs or Indices – we will also soon include physical stocks and are already working on the integration with major international stock brokers and banks. Do not forget, they need a tool like SwipeStox to activate dormant and potential traders.
5) Roger Hynes, as well as his business partner Marc Aspinall, are very well-known names in the online trading world, but have been ‘out of the game’ for a while. How did you get them involved in Naga and SwipeStox?
I have worked with both Roger and Marc for more than a decade and value their advice and outstanding track-record in the industry. Talking to them about Naga and SwipeStox, both immediately saw the same potential and massive opportunity.
In addition, Roger and Marc also share my vision of mobile-first technologies and the opportunity for brokers and traders. We see the advantage of working together and especially with our intention to launch mobile trading projects primarily in the UK I guess they are the perfect addition to our strategic positioning.
6) What’s next for Naga?
With our European-wide presence in London, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Nicosia + our own Technology Centre in Sarajevo we plan an aggressive and fast rollout plan for our FinTechs. SwipeStox is our start and we want to make it a big success. We will definitely scale up our staff and work heavily on smart additions to the SwipeStox platform, build our own brokerage eco-system and also drive our fundraising strategy for 2016. Also, we are working on very promising partnerships that will drive the business of Naga even faster.