Last year, in July, Amsterdam-based BUX announced that it has become the largest neobroker in Europe. In a recent development, the neo-broker has raised $80M (approx €66.47M) in a fresh round of funding.
Besides the funding, BUX has also announced that its founder and CEO Nick Bortot will step down and the company’s COO Yorick Naeff will be appointed as the new CEO. Bortot will remain involved with BUX as a member of the non-executive board.
In an exclusive conversation with Silicon Canals, Naeff says, “8 years after founding the company, Nick is handing over the helm to me as BUX is now entering a next growth phase. During BUX’s early years, Nick’s focus as CEO was very much on creativity, inspiration and building the foundation for making it possible for all Europeans to start investing. BUX has now entered a phase of hypergrowth in which the focus is shifting from building to execution and acceleration.”
“BUX has a very clear ambition; becoming Europe’s number one neo broker. In order to get to this number one position, execution is key. Nick asked me, as the person who has been with BUX from the very early days, to succeed him. I have a great track record of execution and which is key for this next growth phase. I’ve been responsible for BUX’s operations and was in charge of building BUX’s entire brokerage systems from the ground up,” he adds.
Investors in this round
The round was led by Prosus Ventures and Tencent, with participation from additional new investors ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital. In addition, existing investors including HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures also participated in the round.
Use of the capital
BUX, which recently welcomed its 500,000th customer, says it will use this investment as an additional impetus to expand its commission-free investment app BUX Zero.
Naeff, BUX’s new CEO says, “Younger generations in Europe now realise that investing is one of the few viable ways left to create a stable financial future. With this new funding, BUX will continue to spearhead innovation by implementing advanced features to further shape the future of how Europeans invest. We are extremely grateful to have top tier investors like Prosus Ventures and Tencent onboard to support us in our mission.”
“Our ambition is to offer our services to every European. Therefore, in contrast to other neo brokers, we’re rolling out internationally with the speed of light,” says Naeff.
In order to make this happen, Naeff says that the company is investing in people. ‘People who build these great products and features, people who educate our customers, people who localise our products for the different markets etc. This is what we will use the majority of the money for. Especially software developers will be needed for the expansion of BUX.”
BUX is a neo broker and has been making it easy and affordable for Europeans to do more with their money since 2014. The company was founded by Egbert Pronk, Joost van de Wijgerd, Nick Bortot, and Robbert Bos.
With over 500,000 customers, BUX claims to be Europe’s fastest-growing neo-broker. It currently offers three apps to explore the financial markets, including BUX Zero, its flagship platform that is making commission-free trading possible, allowing users to invest in the brands and companies they care about. BUX Zero is currently available in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, and Belgium.
The full range of BUX products, including BUX Crypto which allows users to invest in real cryptocurrencies, and BUX X, where users can trade in contracts for difference (CFDs), are available across Europe. The services of BUX Crypto are offered by BUX Alternative Investments BV.
In January this year, the company announced that BUX Crypto has witnessed explosive growth in the number of new user signups on its platform. The crypto platform of neo broker BUX saw a 500 per cent increase in average daily trades in January 2021 compared to December 2020. In addition, a 50 per cent increase of new users since December 1, 2020, also shows that new crypto investors are finding their way to the platform.
According to the company in the past three months alone, BUX Zero has more than doubled its assets under management. With interest rates at all-time lows and struggling pension systems, there is a fast-growing appetite to start investing especially amongst the younger generations.
With launching services in Germany, France, Austria, and Belgium in the past year, the company will continue to further expand globally throughout 2021.
Plans & goals
Talking about his immediate plans for BUX as its new CEO, Naeff tells SC, “We aim to become the leading neo broker in Europe, therefore rolling out to new European countries is a big focus. By being present in five different countries, we’re already the fastest growing neo broker in Europe. Within the coming weeks we’ll be introducing BUX Zero to a sixth European country.”
On being asked about BUX’s expansion plans in the Netherlands, Naeff replies, “In the Netherlands, we are the leading neo broker and we have many more plans in store for our home country. A big focus will also be on providing educational content for our clients. You don’t give someone a car who doesn’t have a driver’s license, that’s why we want to make sure that our clients also have access to educational content about investing. To make sure that they will make informed decisions. We have a blog with educational articles, an ETF knowledge centre and a BUX broadcast on YouTube. And there’s more to follow soon!”
In April 2020, the company had announced a partnership with payments facilitator, Tikkie. This development made BUX the first broker in the Netherlands to offer Tikkie as a payment method. The partnership will result in a new payment method available for BUX Zero customers.
Prior to that in January 2020, BUX announced the acquisition of Blockport, a European social cryptocurrency investment platform. With this acquisition, Blockport was rebranded to BUX Crypto and was fully integrated under the BUX brand.