Singapore’s Digital Start-Up Giants - TradeHero

What makes TradeHero the #1 Finance app in 91 countries? We find out.


TradeHero is a mobile app through which users can learn financial trading through a gamification process. Users can follow top traders or “heroes” and monitor their stock trades through push notifications.  All stock trades are simulated but follow real time stock data. Bite-size videos and content provided by its partners provide financial education to users. 

Monetisation Model: Freemium
Joining is free but users can pay US$1.99 to follow a “hero” on the leader board. From the US$1.99 fee, 30% goes to the app store, 35% to the company, and the remaining 35% to the trade “hero” himself.

Banks and brokerages have shown keen interest in collaborating with TradeHero to tap its pool of earnest would-be investors. Hence TradeHero charges financial institutions (FIs) a fee for access to its user base.

User Growth
TradeHero has a user base of more than 2 million, with plans for 5 million users by the end of 2015 and 30 million by 2017.

How is Tradehero Different from its Competitors?
TradeHero’s rival E-Toro is the world’s leading social investment network. It enables traders and investors to connect with each other to make smarter investment decisions. The key difference is that E-Toro does real live trading whereas TradeHero does not. This makes TradeHero stand out as a partner, rather than a competitor to the FIs.  Also, TradeHero’s gamification features are not present on E-Toro’s platform.

Growth Strategy
TradeHero is focusing on increasing its user base in China and the US. It also plans to leverage on FIs and tap on their networks.

Key metrics
a. Category leader:
Yes, in the gamified learning trading space
b. Virality coefficient: Likely to be above 1. TradeHero focuses a great deal on creating viral campaigns. An example is a campaign that was conducted for business students from China’s top 50 universities. Students were incentivised to become a trade “hero”. This was propagated via WeChat, the most prolific social networking platform in China.
c. User engagement (DAU/MAU): Approximately 15%
d. Conversion rate: Between 2% and 3%
e. Costs of acquisition: Estimated to be US$3 per customer

Key challenge: Need to be careful of “copycat” apps from China, where it has a large user base.

Report produced by: Asian Insights Office, DBS Group Research


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