Live in India, Singapore-based MarketWolf has plans to introduce stock trading to first-time investors in more markets. The platform announced today it has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Singaporean venture capital firm Jungle Ventures and Mumbai-based Dream Capital. Returning investors 9Unicorns, iSeed, Crescent and Riverwalk also participated.
This brings MarketWolf’s total raised to $17.4 million since it was founded in 2017 (it launched in India in 2020). The new funding will be used to build product suite and on hiring for its product, marketing and engineering teams.
MarketWolf wants to making trading accessible to first-timers with low minimum investment amounts and a risk management system, as well as modules for practicing and learning about investing. They can invest in options, futures, ETFs and stocks, starting at $5. Most of its users are in the 18- to 35-year-old age bracket.
MarketWolf’s risk-management features include setting mandatory risk and reward levels, listing only liquid instruments, preventing selling of options to avoid unlimited risk and its practice and learn module.
Founded by Vishesh Dhingra and Thomas Joseph, MarketWolf says it has seen more than 1.5 million app downloads in India over the last 18 months and that its number of trading accounts and retail active clients has grown 10x year-over-year. It was listed among the top 15 brokers in terms of trades by India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2021.
Before co-founding MarketWolf, Dhingra worked at Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital, building quantitative models and strategies for algorithmic trading in capital markets.
He told TechCrunch that he and Joseph wanted to launch an investment app because “we saw that existing products were focused on investing for long-term only, and short-term trading was overlooked. Thomas and I have worked at trading desks in Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, etc. and understood that there could be an easier, more engaging and risk-managed way of trading made available to people globally.”
The startup is among a number of investment apps based in Southeast Asia that have raised funding — and are continuing to raise). Just over the past month, wealth management platform PINA, Indonesian crypo trading app Pintu and Vietnam’s Anfin, also for first-time investors, have all raised venture capital.
Dhingra said MarketWolf differentiates from other investment apps with its gamified interface (many of its users come from mobile gaming communities) and a trading-first approach.
“Most brokerages in the market are investment-first products, whereas MarketWolf is a trading-first product creating its own new market segment — people who can trade well in all market conditions, bullish, bearish, flat or volatile,” he said.
In a prepared statement, Jungle Ventures principal Arpit Beri said, “Retail participation in the stock market in India continues to remain abysmally low at ~3-5% and we believe that MarketWolf has the right product, as well as the right team and expertise to break-through this market.”