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Voleo is changing the game of retail investing by making it digital, social and fun

September 24, 2019

Source: BNN Bloomberg

Don Hauka, special to BNN Bloomberg from Market One Media

Voleo is creating an environment that breaks down the barriers of investing and empowers novice investors to take control of their f inancial future.

• Investing just became more accessible and fun for the next generation

• Voleo is revolutionizing retail investing by promoting financial literacy through collaboration

• Financial institutions are able to leverage and co-brand on Voleo’s platform

While many apps on the market make life easier for users — from finding new recipes to booking tickets to renting a cab and even downloading music — there is still one crucial segment that could use a boost: financial literacy.

Fortunately, with the growth of the fintech sector in concert with technological innovations, the world has seen new apps and platforms come online that cater to financial pain points young professionals face. Instead of wondering, “How does this work? Is this even for me?” people now have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what they can do and how to do it.

As a result of these new technological innovations, the fintech sector has seen tremendous growth in a short period of time; the sector grew by 120 per cent last year, from USD$50.8 billion in 2017 to USD$111.8 billion in 2018.

Widespread discontent with traditional banking systems and general financial illiteracy are also driving enthusiasm to embrace novel, educational, and interactive platforms. One survey has shown that 67 per cent of the millennial demographic is unhappy with how they currently invest, signalling a need for change.

Voleo believes in collaboration in the markets

Although younger people may not completely understand their financial potential, they are seeking platforms that put investment power in the palm of their hands, meaning if they find an app that is user-friendly and easily digestible it just might do the trick. With so much financial jargon out there, the sector can be quite daunting for newcomers, especially when they’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of financial markets.

This is where Voleo Trading Systems Inc. (TSX.V: TRAD) comes in. The company’s mission is to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with making financial decisions alone and dipping one’s toes into the investment world. Voleo is an app that makes it easy to make investment decisions with people you trust.

“We’ve seen a massive shift in the way people interact with and share media. More and more, it’s all about ease of use and having the services that you’re looking for in the palm of your hand.”

— Thomas Beattie, CEO

Founded in 2013, Voleo tackles all relevant pain points, making investing more accessible, more social and more fun. The company's cutting-edge stock trading platform operates on mobile applications available on iOS and Android, plus a companion web app.

"We've seen a massive shift in the way people interact with and share media," says Beattie. "More and more, it's all about ease of use and having the services that you're looking for in the palm of your hand."

The value of social interaction

Nicky Senyard, who is a member of Voleo’s board of directors, comments, “I see a wide range of opportunities for Voleo and am excited about my role as Voleo’s newest board member.”

“Voleo has the core technology elements to be a market leader, and this, combined with the company’s value focus on contribution, growth and collaboration, will help the business provide the strategic element that financial institutions are looking for.”

With an extensive background in SaaS, Nicky sees potential in the app’s unique ability to break down barriers to investing and increase financial literacy among users.

Voleo’s role in the U.S. banking system with the FIS Fintech Accelerator program

As Voleo continues to grow in the U.S. market through its consumer application, the company has opened up its offering to financial institutions looking for new digital innovations that will assist in acquiring and retaining banking customers.

Supporting Voleo’s growth, Fidelity Information Services chose Voleo as one of 10 firms globally to participate in the fourth annual FIS Fintech Accelerator. As the only Canadian company, Voleo participated in an intensive 12-week program designed to accelerate the development of their financial innovations. The company received in-depth mentoring and training from FIS’ Venture Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as a monetary investment into Voleo.

"Fidelity Information Systems is the largest provider of tech solutions to financial institutions. We’re humbled to see their interest in our technology and for their introductions to some of their clients and partners as part of the accelerator,” explains Beattie.

The selection put Voleo in elite company and showcased their growth potential. The 2019 program received 225 applications from fintech companies across the U.S. and 31 other countries. The selection also allowed Voleo to spend time with companies that would traditionally be too early in their development to meet with the big players.

Bret Berta, FIS SVP, Innovation and Design, says that Voleo’s unique solution is aligned with the strategic direction of FIS and that these face-to-face interactions will help transform Voleo from a start-up into a company that can make an impact on their business and scale alongside FIS.

Through the completion of the FIS Accelerator Program, Voleo has met with over 50 small-to-mid-sized U.S. banks and credit unions. The company is now in discussions with several executives and changemakers to adopt a white label solution for social investing.

Focused on financial literacy — and fun

Moving ahead, the company is looking forward to executing on their learnings. Beattie says while the company's focus for the year will be on the financial services space, they're still staying true to achieving their core mission: boosting financial literacy.  A big part of the appeal is the app's educational power.

"The app really promotes financial literacy. We have people who have never invested in their lives who tell us that they're now paying more attention to who makes the products they're buying, and what they hear in the news," says Beattie.

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Voleo was started because investing doesn’t have to be difficult, intimidating or overwhelming.

Voleo is currently is in the midst of kicking off the third iteration of its annual community event, the Voleo Student Competition. In collaboration with Nasdaq, Voleo helps students across the U.S. learn how to invest for the long term. Through Voleo SimuTrader, teams compete for cash trading credit, while learning and testing their investing strategies, in a safe and fun environment.

"Once you are in the game, you start seeing a bit more in focus and bit more of the investing world around you. And it's not just good for your financial future. It’s fun — really fun."

The fun comes from Voleo’s one-of-a-kind social investing platform that’s completely novel in the marketplace, setting them up for continued growth across North America.

Through creating and engaging brand-new communities of retail investors, Voleo is effectively raising the financial literacy rate while giving users autonomy and knowledge to make informed financial decisions. The result? 80 per cent of Voleo’s investment clubs have outperformed the average of their members.

As more people take notice, Voleo will play a massive role in changing how all generations see their money and understand its full potential for the future. With 17 invitations going out on every funded club, and roughly sixty per cent of users making recurring contributions, Voleo’s proven to hit the mark.

It’s an exciting time to be Voleo as the company continues to scale and address multiple market challenges.

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