Earlier this year, Nomura has agreed to fund 8 Securities to the tune of USD25 million. 8 Securities group and Nomura will now launch new digital wealth management services including a robo-investing solution for the (latter’s) new generation of investors. The two parties also intend to work together on other new fintech initiatives in Asia, a statement said at that time. “The addition of Nomura Asset Management as a strategic investor is very important to us,” he says. “Not only because they bring cash into the business, but also because they bring an element of credibility.”
According to Helleu, the Nomura project will prove that the firm can build B2B solutions for third parties. “We considered Japan as obviously a massive B2B customer,” he says, adding that for many Asian institutions, collaborating with a company like 8 Securities to build their digital web solution versus buying or making it them themselves is faster, more efficient, and cheaper.
8 Securities was founded in 2012 by Helleu and Mikaal Abdulla, who previously led E*TRADE’s international business across 14 countries. The firm has offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo and has raised USD60 million since its inception. In Hong Kong, the firm offers Tradeflix, a zero-dollar commission trading app.
According to Helleu, outside of building the product for Nomura, the firm will look to continue to grow its brokerage and robo-investing business here in Hong Kong. “There is a lot that can be still done in the brokerage space,” he says. “Only 10% of the population trades stocks directly; for the remaining 90% percent remaining, there is an obvious need for digital solutions.”
“We feel that by offering brokerage next to a robo-investing, we can serve pretty much any customer, from the active to the passive ones,” Helleu claims.
8 Securities is also looking for potentially different strategic partners in the different countries to help them build mobile-based robo-investing or brokerage solutions for the retail investor, according to Helleu.