Building Freetrade

Freetrade just dropped in the App Store

Adam Dodds

April 16, 2018

Adam Dodds

Things are about to get real.

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Me right now

I started Freetrade in my tiny London bedroom two years ago. Back then, investing in the stock market meant high commissions, complicated platforms and stodgy service.

With a small team and only £1m in funding, we’ve become a regulated financial institution poised to change all of that.

We’re celebrating the app rollout but the truth is the tougher part was building the stockbroker behind it.

At the start of this process, André and I had a choice.

We could take a shortcut: build an awesome user-facing app and use 3rd parties to do the heavy lifting on the technology and stockbroking operations side.

Or we could do it the hard way and burrow through all the operational, technological and regulatory complexity of creating a full stack stockbroker. And then build the awesome app.

I guess you all know what we chose!

We built a new stockbroker from scratch using the latest tech.

The hard way took longer. But it also means that we can offer free stock trading with a real, sustainable business model (😲 What! In fintech!?)

We aren’t just building a user base while we work out if we can make money. We’re in it for the long haul and are building a relationship with our customers that will last decades.

There are plenty of features to come, but the foundation is built.

Thanks to everyone in our community for your patience and loyalty. Thanks to my co-founder, André, our incredible CTO who masterminded every aspect of the tech. Thanks to our Head of Design, James, for ensuring the user-facing app is awesome. And thanks to the rest of our amazing team for getting us here.

We’re all so proud to see the release of our first product and show you what we’ve been working on!

2018 is the year that free stock trading comes to the UK.

Rollout plan:

  • Today: the Freetrade Beta app is live in the App Store
  • In the weeks ahead: We’ll be doing the first live trades with a very limited number of customers
  • In the months ahead: We’ll be onboarding all our waitlist in queue order (Crowdcube investors first!) We’ll start slowly but accelerate as much as we can.

What you’ll see next

In v.1 we’ve shipped an app that will let you open a basic account, fund it through a UK bank transfer, and buy or sell UK stocks and ETFs.

We’re hard at work building new features that will ship iteratively during the Beta. Can’t wait to hear your feedback.

US stocks, fractional shares and ISAs will be added soon.

A major priority is helping our customers discover and understand new investment opportunities. We are also focused on providing really good tools to understand your whole portfolio and make better investment decisions.

Crypto too.

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Today’s exciting for us, but really it’s just the start. With the app in place, 2018 will see us growing our features, markets and community. And if you want to help build the world’s best stockbroker, we’re going to need plenty more talented people on board too.

Stick with us, it’s going to be an amazing journey.

We’re on a mission to bring fee-free investing to Europe and beyond. 🔥

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