Crowdsourcing is everywhere these days, with platforms popping up to answer questions, design t-shirts and even cast films. The concept has proven highly successful in modern and media-related sectors. But what about more traditional areas, like finance? While a pure crowdsourcing model may not apply (creating a t-shirt graphic and making investment decisions carry very different weights), a nod in that direction could prove effective. Collaborative platform and Brazilian startup Meivox is betting on just that.
Meivox is a crowd trading website that organizes information on the Brazilian financial market and allows users to share their portfolios and watch the actions of others. A social network for the finance industry, it encourages collaboration and interaction between users in a way that is transparent and secure.
Launched in February of this year, Meivox currently has over 7,000 subscriptions and 1,000 active users. The platform works as a distributor of information gathered straight from its users (not from a research team or news outlet). In sum, the company is looking to become the Apple Store of the finance market and create ways of rewarding users for sharing their portfolios and reports. If successful, Meivox will become the first completely independent financial platform in Brazil, standing apart from large financial portals and brokers’ websites that offer information that, while similar, is largely incomplete. Comparable businesses include OpenTrader and eToro’s OpenBook.
Rodrigo Terni, founder and CEO of Meivox, provided us some insights on the platform and is continuing evolution.
Emily Stewart: You founded NeuralSoft as well as Meivox. How do the two interact? What was the idea behind Meivox, and what got you interested in entrepreneurship in the first place?
Rodrigo Terni: I always loved entrepreneurship. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to have my own business. NeuralSoft was the first project that I worked on. I teamed up with some of my classmates, and we started by developing trading systems for the stock market. After some success, we were asked to work with an asset management company to automate their decision process. We realized that their process was very reliant on other professionals of the stock market, and since they had lots of information about these professionals, it was fairly easy to know which ones they needed to follow. We also realized that traders that invested in the stock market also liked to follow others and discuss trades; however, they didn’t have nearly as much information as companies did. Thus, we began to work on a platform that would allow not only companies but also actual people to trade in a standardized environment and share these trades with others. This would allow them to easily decide which traders to follow and how good they are according to their profiles.
ES: Would you explain a bit about how Meivox works? There are clearly some parts that are defined and some aspects that are to come. What is already happening, and what can we expect?
RT: Meivox is a social trading platform for the financial market. We allow users to create and manage their portfolios in a simulated environment and rank them according to their performance. We don’t give an overall score because we believe there isn’t one single great trader but instead several, each with their own trading style, and we give users a chance to see that and to find traders that best suit their needs. At the moment, we are developing a new way to share entire portfolios, and very soon, the possibility to add new types of assets to the portfolio, such as fixed income assets, hedge funds, etc., will be available.
ES: Those in the financial market tend to be more conservative when it comes to sources of information, trading, etc. Do you find this to be an issue? How do you maneuver it?
RT: We believe it is an important issue to address; however, we see that the most notorious traders like to appear in places with lots of media attention, such as big financial portals. They’re always trying to prove who is best. This is why our initial strategy was to focus on a younger crowd that could attract these notorious traders. We have already two of the greatest names in the financial market participating in Meivox: Márcio Noronha and André Moraes.
ES: Right now, you seem concentrated on the Brazilian marketplace. Do you have plans to expand into Latin America or other parts of the world? How is Meivox scalable on an international level?
RT: Yes. Our first idea is to expand to the Latin America market so that later on we could expand to other parts of the globe. We believe the U.S. is a good possibility, but with a spin for Americans to enter the Brazilian market. We feel that the U.S. market is quite developed in terms of platforms, but there are few platforms explaining how to invest in foreign markets.
At just 24 years old, Terni is set to become an important figure in the Brazilian startup ecosystem, with endeavors like Meivox, NeuralSoft, and others that are surely still to come.