Alpaca, a Silicon Valley based API-first stock broker, has added some leading fintech execs as investors including Nate Roland, Robinhood ex-COO, and the company also unveiled its new Alpaca Broker API, and said it is already being deployed in more than 50 countries through platform partners Gotrade and Midas.
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Roland joined other Fintech entrepreneurs including Jacqueline Reses, Executive Chairman of Square Financial Services; Asiff Hirjii, ex-President and COO of Coinbase and currently President of Figure; and Brett Huneycutt, Wealthsimple COO as new investors in Alpaca.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge shift in the financial industry to allow more equitable access to markets and it is being driven by startups like Alpaca,” said Roland, who is now a General Partner at Elefund.
“What is more, much of today’s modern financial system is still running on technology from the 1990s that prevents the accessible future that we’re trying to create. The industry is desperate for a modern financial service provider and we believe that Alpaca is the answer. We have been extremely impressed with both the vision and execution of Yoshi and Hitoshi and are thrilled to join the team as investors in the company.”
Alpaca’s global expansion arrives as individual and retail investment has soared. According to the Federal Reserve, American households bought roughly $211 billion in individual stocks last year — the highest level since 2014. Analysts say that retail trading now accounts for almost as much volume as mutual funds and hedge funds combined.
Last year, Alpaca was approved by FINRA to custody customer funds and to offer fractional investing of US stocks. They started a stealth mode offering of Broker API at the end of last year, which allows developers and apps around the world to offer each component of the brokerage service including opening accounts, booking money movements, giving out rewards, commission-free trading of U.S. stocks, fractional shares trading, and more. Today, Alpaca announced Gotrade and Midas as the first international fintech trading apps to launch on Alpaca. Already, Alpaca has seen new accounts opened in more than 50 countries.
“A coordinated, innovative entrepreneurs group that is disrupting the way stocks are bought and sold, will be able to extend its reach to a global audience as we together roll out commission-free stock trading around the world,” said Yoshi Yokokawa, Co-founder and CEO of Alpaca. “We are extremely excited to partner with leading international fintech innovators from Gotrade and Midas to power their retail stock trading apps.”
Alpaca also announced that it has onboarded more than 100,000 API developers to their API platform, demonstrating excitement across the developer community in building fintech apps on top of its API.
Gotrade is a Delaware based group that enables users in 150 countries to invest commission free in fractional US stocks. Founded by Rohit Mulani, Norman Wanto, David Grant and Andrew Haryono in 2019, Gotrade is backed by some of the top investors in the industry globally including LocalGlobe, Social Leverage and Y Combinator.
Midas is the first zero commission, fully digital stock brokerage in Turkey; providing access to Turkish and US stock markets. Midas is the only broker in Turkey with direct access to US stocks through its own technology. The company is backed by one of the largest private banks of Turkey, DenizBank.
Alpaca, an API-first FINRA registered broker-dealer, plans to continue to strike partnerships that will make US stock trading widely available. Alpaca is focused on building a developer-friendly API that offers developers an opportunity to easily integrate commission-free trading within their own applications. Alpaca’s path to growth and deployment is similar to the developer-first focus that led to the legacy business disruption from both Stripe, Plaid, and Twilio.
Alpaca announced in October 2020 the closing of a Series A round of $10 million. The company also said it recorded more than $10 billion in stock transactions in 2020. Investors in Series A included Portag3, which led the round, and existing investors Spark Capital, Social Leverage, Fathom Capital and Abstract Ventures. These investors have a track record for picking fintech and API winners having invested in early rounds of Robinhood, Plaid, Wealthfront, Wealthsimple, and eToro.
Alpaca is a Silicon Valley based API-first stock brokerage that allows developers to build apps, services, and trading algorithms that can access the US stock market. The company’s products enable financial services, fintech apps, and broker-dealers globally to offer US stock trading to their users. The company is backed by some of the top investors in the industry globally including Spark Capital, Portag3, Social Leverage, and Y Combinator. Securities are offered by Alpaca Securities LLC.