GUGU announces “APAC Robinhood” powered by Alpaca and JB Markets

Rick Steves

As GUGU gears up for its Q4 2023 launch, its innovative approach and focus on user experience and education could redefine retail stock trading in Asia Pacific.

Taiwanese fintech company GUGU has announced strategic partnerships with U.S.-based Alpaca Securities and Australia-based JB Markets.

This move aims to expand its U.S. stock trading app across Asia Pacific markets. These collaborations are pivotal for GUGU, enabling the integration of Alpaca Securities’ and JB Markets’ robust brokerage capabilities into its platform.

GUGU offers a gamified mobile UX for the new generation

GUGU’s initiative is geared towards offering young investors across the Asia Pacific an intuitive, social, and educational app to trade U.S. stocks. The company is focused on developing services akin to Robinhood, targeting the APAC region and beyond. “GUGU focuses on creating a user-friendly product for the new generation, with a strong emphasis on gamified mobile user experience,” says Owen Huang, GUGU founder.

The neobroker’s app offers several key advantages, including the ability to invest with as little as US$1, quick account opening, no handling fees, and real-time quotes.

Its gamified designs are tailored to make investing fun and easy for users. The startup’s innovative approach is praised by partners like Peter Aardoon, Director of JB Markets, who notes, “Their product experience design is impressive, and their bold and innovative approach can quickly catch the new generation’s attention.”

GUGU’s focus on education is evident through its GUGU Knowledge Hub and GUGU Academy investor-training service, attracting significant attention and over 5,000 students. Its free investment articles and content are widely featured in Taiwanese media, establishing GUGU as both a trading service and an educational platform.

Alpaca powering brokers across Asia Pacific

Alpaca Securities, already active in Asian markets like Indonesia and Japan, sees the partnership with GUGU as an opportunity to further expand its services in the APAC market. Tarun Ajwani, Alpaca’s SVP of Sales and Corporate Development, expressed excitement about leveraging GUGU’s brand strength and market experience in Southeast Asia.

“In recent years, Alpaca has been actively expanding into the Asian market through partnerships in Indonesia, Japan, and more. We are delighted to have GUGU on board and hope to leverage its accumulated brand strength in Asia, as well as the team’s extensive market experience in Southeast Asia, to expand Alpaca’s services in the APAC market,” said Ajwani.

GUGU’s partnerships with Alpaca Securities and JB Markets represent a significant step in democratizing stock trading in the APAC region. By offering an accessible, user-friendly platform with educational resources, GUGU is positioned to attract a new generation of investors.

This venture also highlights the importance of strategic collaborations in the fintech sector, enabling companies like GUGU to leverage established expertise and expand their reach effectively.

As GUGU gears up for its Q4 2023 launch, its innovative approach and focus on user experience and education could redefine retail stock trading in Asia Pacific, potentially influencing the global fintech landscape.

Alpaca raised $15 million from SBI Group to expand in APAC

Last month, the developer-first API brokerage platform for stock and crypto trading, announced a strategic partnership with Japan’s SBI Holdings. The collaboration aims to expand Alpaca’s business operations and extend its services to enterprise financial institutions in Asia for the clearing and execution of U.S. securities.

As part of the partnership, SBI Group invested $15 million in Alpaca, bolstering the latter’s plans to expand its footprint in the Asian region. Both parties have committed to collaborative business development efforts and the introduction of innovative products tailored to the local markets.

Further solidifying its presence in Asia, Alpaca recently acquired a broker-dealer license under the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA). The license enables Alpaca to offer U.S. stock investing services in Japan, broadening its infrastructure for enterprise financial institutions and startups.

Alpaca’s API brokerage platform already supports hundreds of businesses in nearly 30 countries, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Thailand, and India. To date, the company has raised more than $120 million in funding from leading industry investors worldwide.

Alpaca is a California-based fintech firm that offers stock and crypto trading, real-time market data, and end-to-end brokerage infrastructure through modern APIs. SBI Group, established in 1999, is a Japan-based financial services conglomerate with more than 400 billion yen in assets under management for venture capital and private equity investments.

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