Bux a startup form Amsterdam that lets people invest in shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without paying commissions has picked up some investment of its own, a $80 million round that it.
Alongside this, the company is announcing a new CEO. Founder Nick Bortot is stepping away and Yorick Naeff, an early employee of the company who had been the COO, is taking over. Bortot will remain a shareholder and involved with the company, which will be using to expand its geographical footprint and expand its tech platform and services to users, said Naeff in an interview.
“Since we started, Bux has been trying to make investments affordable and intuitive, and that will still be the case,” he said. The average age of a Bux customer is 30, so while affordable and intuitive are definitely priorities to capture younger users, it also means that if Bux can earn their loyalty and show positive returns, they have the potential to keep them for a long time to come.
The funding is coming from an interesting group of investors. Jointly led by Prosus Ventures and Tencent , it also included ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital all new investors as well as previous backers HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures.
Naeff said in an interview that Bux isn’t disclosing its valuation with this round. But for some context, he confirmed that the startup has around 500,000 customers across the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France and Belgium, using not just its main Bux Zero app, but also Bux Crypto and Bux X (a contracts for difference (CFDs) app).
Crypto remains a niche but extremely active part of the wider investment market and Naeff described Bux Crypo formed out of Bux acquiring Blockport last year as “very profitable.” The company had only raised about $35 million before this round, and it’s been around since 2014, so while he wouldn’t comment on wider profitability, you can draw some conclusions from that.
For some further valuation context, another big player in trading in Europe, eToro, in March announced it was going public by way of a SPAC valuing it at $10 billion.
At the same time, some of the more traditional ways of “growing” one’s capital, by way of buying and selling property or opening savings accounts, are not as strong these days as they were in the past, with the housing market being too expensive to enter for younger people, and interest rates very low, leading those consumers to considering other options open to them. Social media is also playing a major role here, opening up conversations around investing that have been traditionally run between professionals in the industry.