Robinhood-inspired startup wants to ‘democratize’ the market in Latin America – Markets

A Colombian startup is offering simplified and cheap stock trading in an attempt to “democratize” access to Latin American stock exchanges, following in the footsteps of the US Robinhood Markets platform.

Trii, a Bogotá-based financial services company that launched in March, allows individual investors to buy and sell shares in Colombian companies – and some US and Chilean companies – through a mobile application, for just 11,900 pesos (combians) ( 2.67 euros) per negotiation.

The startup sees an opportunity to challenge traditional Colombian brokerages whose clients are high net worth investors and charge fees of $30 (26 euros) or more, Carlos Guayara, one of Trii’s founders, said in an interview.

“Robinhood revolutionized the financial securities industry in the United States and we realized that no one was doing that in Colombia,” he said.

Trii is already looking to expand into Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia, where investment options for individuals are also limited, Guayara said.

Although inspired by Robinhood, Trii differs in that it focuses on investors who buy and hold investments, rather than the high-frequency trading that popularized the American platform. In the long term, it intends to offer loans guaranteed by the clients’ portfolios, he declared.

Since launch, your application has been downloaded 130,000 times. It has 75,000 users and 13.5 million dollars (11.6 million euros) in assets under management, which Guayara said was above its expectations. We are proving our thesis that Colombians want to invest in the stock market,” he added.

Guayara believes that the increase in individual investors will bring the necessary liquidity to the capital market. Colombia’s MSCI Colcap benchmark index accumulates a 14% year-on-year decline in dollars, one of the world’s worst returns, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the total value of the Colombian stock exchange, less than 5% belongs to individuals.

Guayara and partners Esteban Peñaloza and Luis Patt developed Trii in part when they worked at the famous American startup accelerator Y Combinator. The company recently closed an initial round in which it raised 4.5 million dollars (3.9 million euros) in capital and 1 million dollars (865,000 euros) for the loan unit, valuing the startup at 40 million dollars ( 34.5 million euros).

Among the firm’s investors is the Bogotá-based brokerage Acciones y Valores, which operates back office services, Guayara said.

Trii sees potential in the stock exchange that integrates the markets of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, known as MILA. Although Brazil and Mexico are interesting markets, competition in these countries is fiercer, added Guayara.

Source: Jornal de Negócios by

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