Social trading is a theme which seems to rise and fall and rise again in the online trading world. A number of attempts have been made at creating pan-broker social networks in which traders can do everything from exchange information to copy each other to try and learn from ‘the crowd in the cloud’. However it seems that, to date, other than a few popular websites such as Seeking Alpha not too many of these attempts have been built into successful and thriving businesses.
The latest attempt which caught our eye at LeapRate is Tradebird, founded by Ivan Ashminov. Ivan was also a founder of Sofia, Bulgaria based brokerage Trading 212, although his LinkedIn profile describes him as an Explorer.
We’re pleased to present our recent conversation with Ivan on what he’s trying to do differently with Tradebird, and how he plans to make money with it.
LR: Hi Ivan, and thanks for joining us today. Please let our audience know a little more about Tradebird and the idea behind its launch.
Ivan: Tradebird is a social app for traders and investors. It’s for digital natives interested in markets and finance who want everything a minute ago and at their fingertips. Where you previously had tv, news sites and forums, you now have one single access point which finds and shares valuable content for you through a collaborative approach.
LR: There are a number of community-based investment sites out there, with names such as Stocktwits and Seeking Alpha coming to mind. How is Tradebird and its value proposition different?
Ivan: All sites add some value, but we are specifically designed to deliver news, opinions and analyses to a mobile audience. Others might have issues with too much noise, bulky texts or hiding valuable information behind costly and outdated subscriptions whose days are numbered in a modern, sharing world.
Our approach is to provide an open platform, limiting such problems from design inception to release and everyday use by the trading community. This way understanding what is going on in the markets and how others are trading them happens at a glance. We can also accommodate those that want to delve deeper, but the information is always tailored to someone accessing it through an app.
LR: Will all the content and analyses on Tradebird be generated by its user community? How do you address issues like the quality of posts, spamming, spreading of rumors, etc.
Ivan: All posts and comments will indeed come through the trading and investing community that has already started to build up. Quality and reliability of what is shared will be self-regulated through votes and number of followers, providing an independent measure of the conversations.
We are also working on our own media content which will provide a snap view of what’s happening on the markets in a dynamic, visually stimulating way.
Regarding spam, rumors and misleading information – they are something we have predicted and we’ve created both technological and human filters to limit their exposure.
LR: A new business never launches without a plan as to how to make money. What is Tradebird’s planned business model?
Ivan: Businesses are indeed created to eventually make a profit, but all our efforts right now are focused on creating the best possible experience for those accessing the markets through their phones. Growing the user base on this foundation will make any subsequent monetization a whole lot easier.
LR: Can you let us know a little more about your background, as well as that of the rest of the team at Tradebird.
Ivan: I’m an experienced entrepreneur with a focus on technology and investing on a global scale. My previous and current projects revolve around trading and mobile apps and I’ve always been on the lookout for trends and shifts in how people consume information and change their behavior. This is what Trading 212 and Tradebird are built on – the change in the outdated investing model, its democratization and opening up to anyone who has a smartphone.
The team we’ve built is a mix of developers and designers with proven track records in mobile-first projects and trading professionals that add their knowledge of the markets. Together the two provide the best of both worlds and make Tradebird beautiful, functional and even groundbreaking in some aspects.