Today we have Subash Atreya of InvestFly for our weekly profile insight.
“InvestFly is a cloud-based platform that provides trading tools and services to develop, automate and share trading strategies”
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
I’m a software engineer turned entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and creativity. I got a degree in electrical engineering from Caltech, worked as software engineer in Silicon Valley for about ten years, and finally ended up founding InvestFly to enable traders to leverage technology to make better trading decisions. I have personal interest in the financial market and have successfully deployed many automated trading strategies.
I am the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer. I oversee overall project execution to ensure that everyone in the team is working towards a common goal. I am also quite hands-on with product development. I interface with our customers, talk to potential investors, and follow other start-ups in the same space.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
InvestFly is an online trading platform and community where members can build, automate and deploy customized trading strategies. With easy-to-use suite of trading tools, InvestFly makes creating automated trading strategies easier than ever before. Founded in 2014, InvestFly seeks to remove the complexity from trading, allowing anyone to take their idea and turn it into an investment strategy. With strong community and social network, members can interact with each other to share ideas and participate in simulated stock market games. InvestFly can be utilized by users from any background, whether they are just starting out as novice investor or an experienced professional looking to refine their ideas.
Tell us how you are funded.
InvestFly is bootstrapped and self-funded.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
Working in the tech-industry, I witnessed a huge advancement in technology from big-data to cloud computing in the last decade. These technological advancements are still far from the reach of retail investors. For example, over 75% of equity trades in the market today originate from automated trading system, yet very few retail investors deploy automated trading strategies. Hedge funds can collect and utilize social media data to create trading strategies based on market sentiment, but hardly any individual investor can do something similar. I started the company to bridge this gap and help retail investors leverage modern technology to make better trading decision. We solve this problem by providing information, data, and technology platform that can be utilized by our members to develop effective trading strategies.
Our target customer is any user looking to develop profitable investment strategy. InvestFly can be utilized by users with different levels of experience and skillset, from a college student majoring in finance to an experienced stock trader. We are committed to helping users develop profitable trading strategy. Our revenue model reflects this commitment. We will charge users a monthly fee when they become successful in developing a strategy that they are happy with and finally connect their trading strategy to their brokerage firm.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
FinTech start-ups have their own challenges that start-ups in other sectors do not. With government regulations and expensive market data, every step that FinTech startup takes forward is filled with unique obstacles. I would make FinTech sector more start-up friendly by eliminating unnecessary regulations and providing cheaper access to market data.
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
I would request them to push for more innovation in the FinTech sector. I see a lot of start-ups coming up with new products, but not as many in the FinTech sector, mainly because of the lack in funding and bootstrapping challenges. Large players can be a powerful force behind driving innovation in the finance industry.
What phone are you carrying and why?
I have a Samsung Galaxy S5. I had IPhone before. I think Samsung Galaxy is not as polished as IPhone, but it’s more flexible in terms of its features and capabilities. For e.g., I like the Widgets that I can place on my home screen.
Where do you get your industry news from?
I use the Flipboard app to get all the news. It is a news aggregator app that allows me to subscribe to different topics – World News, Venture Capital, Software Security etc. It is very slick in terms of look-and-feel and I like the content they deliver.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
1. Howard Lindzon @howardlindzon of StockTwits.
2. Greg Neufeld @gregneuf of ValueStream Labs
3. Matthieu Soule @matthieusoule of L’Atelier BNP Paribas.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
I like Motif Investing. It allows users to invest in ideas (e.g. invest in solar energy) instead of stocks. They have built an awesome product that is useful and changed the way people think about investing.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
Large players will continue to dominate the sector but we’ll also see a few smaller companies making their name with unique product and services. We’ll see many new companies in mobile payments, BitCoin and network security.
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If you’ve any suggestions for other hot FinTech companies (startup, or established ventures) that we should be profiling, I’m all ears. Don’t hesitate to drop me a note at email@example.com. There’s more information on this page.