Singapore mobile app startup gets $10M funding

Singapore-based developer of stock market simulation app, TradeHero, banks US$10 million in Series A funding which the company says will go toward expanding its portfolio and operations into markets like China.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

SINGAPORE--Local app developer MyHero has banked US$10 million in Series A funding which it says will help boost its operations and expand its portfolio. 

Touted as one of the largest Series A coups for a Singapore-based consumer tech startup, the investment comes from IPV Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers China fund. It will provide growth capital to allow the Singapore startup to expand its operations, market reach, and augment its product portfolio. 

MyHero launched in March its flagship stock market simulation app, TradeHero, which topped the Apple App Store's finance category in 75 countries. The mobile app uses real-world stock market data and allows the gamers, typically amateur and experienced traders, to exchange knowledge and expertise. 

The free app has clocked 280,000 subscribers in over 200 countries, the majority of whom are based in Thailand, Singapore, Mexico, India, Vietnam and the United States. It currently runs only on the iOS platform, but plans to include support for the Android platform are underway, according to MyHero, though it declined to give a timeframe on when this will be.

CEO and founder Dinesh Bhatia told ZDNet Asia the new fund injection will be focused on user acquisition activities and its expansion plans include markets in China, the U.S., and Europe. There are also plans to improve user experience and provide language localization for the app.  

"The timely funding will allow us to grow the reach and scale of our user base, build out the technology and drive product availability on different platforms to meet strong demand," said Bhatia. "Half of China's 170 million brokerage accounts in China today are online, and TradeHero's focus on stock tips makes it highly relevant for Asian investors. We are energized and excited by the potential to address these growing markets."


Asked about the company's revenue model, he explained that it focuses on business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). In the former structure, consumers can pay for various in-app features such as buying more virtual currency for more liquidity, to reset their stock portfolio, or to follow fellow gamers dubbed "Hero" users. These are gamers who have managed successful trading portfolios and ranked on a leaderboard in the app. "Hero" users also get a cut--in actual cash--from the amount paid by their followers.  

In the B2B model, TradeHero is used to help financial institutions run campaigns based on a contextual user base. For instance, it is currently running a warrants trading competition for the Macquarie Group, where cash prizes are awarded to winning users, Bhatia said, adding that the startup is currently in discussions with other global financial institutions. 

Wei Zhou, managing partner of KPCB China, said: "TradeHero is a unique financial engagement platform which lets users learn about trading in a controlled environment with real financial market information. It holds promise and we recognize the platform's enormous potential in the financial investment space."

Bhaia declined to provide details about the terms and conditions of the funding. 

Editorial standards