As a part TWO of my post yesterday take a look at Robinhood.com. Here is a great sit down with one of the founders yesterday:
I met Baiju and Vlad (founders of Robinhood) through AngelList (I am an investor) and was ready to invest after a quick meeting in San Francisco (Social Leverage did invest, along with Google and Andreesen, Horowitz).
At Stocktwits, the only thing our users can’t do, is execute orders. FINRA and the SEC make the combination of social and trading almost impossible. Another portfolio Company of ours, ETORO, is thriving in the rest of the world with ‘copy trading’ – social and mobile, trading. No FINRA to slow them down.
In 2008, my vision for Stocktwits was as a lead generation for all the brokerages. Stocktwits would be the water cooler and the brokerage API’s would allow our users to enter orders right from their web or mobile conversations to their favorite broker. Roger Ehrenberg would join me on brokerage pitches back in the day. It was not a lot of fun explaining our vision.
The big online brokerages are ruled by the compliance departments, not API’s. Legacy lawyering.
I figured, much like I figured web video advertising would be solved in 2006 when I started Wallstrip, that one broker would break ranks and do something innovative.
The good news is things are changing in 2014. I was only 6 years early. The guys at Robihood are solving a big, but simple problem and they have a hungry, young, mobile and social group of loyal customers banging on their door.
It is my belief that with API’s and the likes of Robinhood and Stocktwits, that people will be able to turn messages into trades/investments in three clicks from whatever device they are using and from whichever app they choose.
It also brings to light the importance of the Stocktwits $ CASHTAG.
Stay tuned and sign up and start thinking about our API’s both at Stocktwitys and Robinhood.