Hong Kong-based 8 Securities, an investment service for the average Joe, announced the launch of its first product Monday. The company’s inaugural product is a web app where investors can buy and sell stock, research investment strategies, and connect with other investors via Facebook and Twitter.
Co-founders Mikaal Abdulla and Mathias Helleu created 8 Securities after working at E*Trade’s global division. They took their online investing knowledge with them from E*Trade and created a competing product that they feel is easier to use than other services out there.
8 Securities wants to make investing easier for people who don’t have a stock-trading background. Account holders are given a customizable space in the app (shown above) with widgets that display trading information, graphs, videos, and stock tickers. From your space, or “financial dashboard” as the company calls it, you can watch stock trading prices, research trading techniques, and purchase or sell stocks on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and American Stock Exchange.
The dashboard is cutesy and simple, to not overwhelm the average person trying to get into investing. 8 Securities also offers an open API to encourage developers to create new widgets and integrate other services into the service.
Beyond investment information and trading, 8 Securities is trying to inject social media into its service. You can connect with friends and other investors through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Chat. The hope is that you will connect with other investors near you and get advice on investment decisions.
Because the company is based in Hong Kong, it has a special focus on Asian investors. According to the company, investing in Asian stock markets can be difficult for the average person because there are a lot of barriers to overcome, so its tried to make it as easy as possible for the average person to buy and sell stock.
8 Securities use of the number eight is also a nod to its focus on Asian investors. The number eight is related to prosperity and wealth in Chinese culture. Its uses the number eight in its name, charges an 0.18 percent fee for trading Hong Kong stocks and an $8.88 fee for U.S stocks, and has raised $8 million in funding.
8 Securities is hoping to be a simpler alternative to the more complex investing portals currently out there that cater to savvy investors. The company competes with other online investment services such as E*Trade, StockTwits, and Scottrade.
The company closed an $8 million dollar round from Velocity Capital B.V. and Full Global Investments in January 2012. 8 Securities debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt in October 2011.