eToro raises $15 million
Retail Forex broker eToro announced this morning that it had raised an additional $15 million from its existing investors, led by Boston-based VC Spark Capital. Spark previously (in January 2011) led an $8 million round in eToro. This brings the money raised by eToro since inception to more than $30 million.
Spark Capital has a fairly good track record investing in “disruptive” web-based technologies and services, backing companies which include Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
eToro has been around for a while, but only recently has seemed to hit its stride by integrating its own social network OpenBook, which it bills the world’s “largest investment network” with more than 2 million registered users. Other Forex social networks, such as Currensee and FX Junction, are independent of other Forex firms and allow their members to register and trade (following “expert” traders on the network) with one of several Forex brokerage firms, and earn money essentially as IBs of those other firms. OpenBook funnels clients only to eToro.
To the best of our knowledge, the only other Forex firm with its own integrated social network is IBFX, which white-labels FX Junction’s solution. (IBFX is owned by Tradestation which itself was acquired last year by Japan-based Monex Group). It will be interesting to see if other Forex firms follow eToro and IBFX’s lead and develop their own social network / follow-the-leader type program, either by developing the software in-house or (more likely) licensing third-party systems, as IBFX did.
eToro raises $15 million Conclusion
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