#Asia Call Levels made a Bloomberg terminal for your pocket. Now it wants to take it global


Banker looking at his phone on the street

Of all the financial services that can be squeezed into your smartphone, a finance monitoring and alert tool that helps you keep track of all the different numbers you need to do business sounds like a no-brainer – what better than a mobile device that’s always on you to help you keep an eye on things?

Singapore-based fintech startup Call Levels has created just that. Its mobile app helps traders keep track of prices for financial assets and notifies them when those change or reach a desired level. It keeps track of forex, futures, US equities (with Singapore equities expected to be added next year), and even bitcoin. It’s like a particularly diligent private banker with a phone glued to his hand and a US$24,000-a-year Bloomberg terminal, all shrunk down into your smartphone.

The service stands out as a flexible, easy-to-use service on mobile that can be useful even to people with little experience in finance. The app, available on iOS and Android, is free to use, further lowering the entry barrier.

Smart money

The idea seems to be catching on, as Call Levels announced today it raised a pre-series A round led by venture capital firm 500 Startups. The round was joined by angel investors from Singapore’s financial industry, including prominent local figure Koh Boon Hwee, Timothy Teo, formerly of GIC and JP Morgan, and Gracelyn Ho, formerly of Morgan Stanley.

The company raised about US$500,000 for this round. It will be put toward expanding Call Level’s operations to key financial markets, specifically New York, London, and Hong Kong. The co-founder duo of Cynthia Siantar and Daniel Chia are visiting the British capital soon to get a feel for potential partnership and investment opportunities there, Cynthia tells Tech in Asia.

The startup went about raising its pre-series A round as it noticed a lot of its users started coming from abroad – without the team doing any kind of marketing, Cynthia says. In the early days, after November 2014, about 95 percent of the service’s usage came from Singapore. Later, those figures became 60 percent for Singapore, 20 percent from the US and Canada, and the rest from other markets around the world.

“It told us our app is very useful,” Cynthia says. “You might have a global terminal, but not on your mobile phone. The fact we got enthusiastic feedback from people, without marketing, was why we decided to raise funding.”

Call Levels mobile app for iOS, Android, Apple Watch

In order to grow the business into new markets, Call Levels will look to hire marketing and business development roles. It will also reach out to potential partners like financial institutions and similar content providers. At the moment, there is a partnership in place with financial advice and tools creator My Trading Buddy, and Call Levels is also pursuing a potential partnership with an as-yet unnamed, Singapore-based financial institution.

These partnerships are particularly important to Call Levels, as they are a major source of revenue for the startup. Partnering with financial institutions to provide them with beefed up versions of its tech and services allows the startup to keep the app free for users and develop it further. Call Levels plans to put this expected revenue toward further developing and refining the product itself, Cynthia says.

The company won’t disclose revenue right now, but Cynthia mentioned that it has seen strong traction during the most recent financial roller coasters experienced around the world. Of its current 50,000 user accounts, 10,000 were created during the last month according to the company, growing 21 percent day-on-day and 35 percent week-on-week.

Strong backing

Call Levels will look to its investors for valuable connections in its target markets. 500 Startups’ network in Silicon Valley and collaboration with managing partner Khailee Ng will help the startup cement connections with the tech space and attract talent. “A lot depends on having good tech people with us, who can help us grow effectively,” Cynthia says.

The investors with their track record in finance, on the other hand, will lend legitimacy to the startup’s efforts when it approaches larger partners. “[The investors] have been big names in the financial industry for 30 to 40 years,” Cynthia explains.

Going forward, Call Levels will also look to capitalize on the data it collects from its user base. That’s a little further down the line, once it can grow that user base enough, but it’s an exciting prospect for the team and its investors.

Do you use Call Levels or a similar service? Do you think there’s value in making this kind of information more accessible or do you believe it should be left to the experts?

This post Call Levels made a Bloomberg terminal for your pocket. Now it wants to take it global appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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