Alpaca grabs $6M for stocks API so that anyone can create a Robinhood

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Stock trading app Robinhood is estimated at $7.6 billion, but it just works in the U.S. 

The Introduction of Alpaca

Freshly funded fintech startup Alpaca does the dirty work, so developers worldwide can start their competitors to that investing unicorn. 

Like the Stripe of stocks, Alpaca’s API manages the investment, safety, and administrative complexity, providing other startups to build brokerage apps on top for free swiftly. 

It has previously passed $1 billion in transactions in a year of launch.

The potential to control the backend of a fresh generation of fintech apps has drawn a $6 million Series A round for Alpaca managed by Spark Capital. 

Instead of charging developers, Alpaca makes its money through payment for purchase flow, interest on cash collaterals, and margin lending, remarkably like Robinhood.

In The Words of the CEO

Alpaca co-founder and CEO Yoshi Yokokawa describes that he wants to make sure that people also outside the U.S. have access to a way of creating wealth that is historically only “accessible to rich people.” 

Addressing from Japan, Yokokawa followed his companions into the investment banking industry, where he served at Lehman Brothers until its breakdown. 

After his grandmother became sick, he transferred into day-trading for three years and realized “all the broker-dealer industry tools were pretty bad.” 

However, when he learned of Robinhood in 2013 and saw it truly is catering to users’ needs, he thought that he needs to be included in this new change of fintech.

Yokokawa ended up initially developing a business selling deep learning AI to banks and selling firms in the foreign exchange market. 

Seeing clients strive to integrate new technology swiftly showed the lack of accessible developer tools. 

By 2017, he was turning the business and appealing for FINRA approval.

Alpaca began in late 2018, allowing developers to paste in code to let their users purchase and sell securities.

The startup intends to use the cash on hiring to manage partnerships with bigger businesses, helping its developer community, and assuring compliance.

The CEO believes that Alpaca will one day rule broader access to the U.S. stock market back in Japan, remarking that if a modern society still lags in fintech, the rest of the planet certainly fares even worse.

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