Do You Bug Your Friends For Investing Advice? Matador Would Like A Word
Peter Quinn’s friends would not stop bugging him for investing advice. So much so that in early 2016 he and his friend Matthew Kennedy got together to build a way for people to see what they were doing without having to ask.
The result was Matador, an app launched in June that allows users to watch other trades people are making, and trade alongside them within the platform.
Benzinga caught up with Quinn to discuss the app and, and what he wants people to gain from it. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Benzinga: What exactly is Matador?
Peter Quinn: Essentially, we are a commission-free trading app that lets users trade U.S. equities and ETFs commission-free. You don’t pay $7 [per trade] as you would at a traditional discount brokerage firm. We also have a social component [that] allows you to see the trades of people you specifically follow and also the community at large.
Benzinga: What’s the goal here? What do you hope the app accomplishes?
Quinn: A big part of this is really about education and people learning, whether it’s from their more experienced friend who has been in the investment world for a while, or a professional trader who is on the platform that they specifically follow. This is really designed so novice investors can learn about the stock market through real live trading.
Benzinga: There are some other trading apps with social components. How are you different?
Quinn: Our main point of differentiation is we allow live trading directly in the platform, so you’re not seeing trades posted from another brokerage firm. On Stock Twits, for instance, you can trade on RobinHood or E-Trade and you can post your trades to Stock Twits. On our platform, it’s all housed on the app.
Benzinga: Tell me about your genesis. What’s your background, and what inspired you to create Matador?
Quinn: Myself and the other founders, we started about a year and a half ago. We started a traditional wealth management firm just in retail wealth management, and...essentially what was happening was we were working at this firm and all of our friends were coming to us, asking us for stock tips and asking us what we were investing in.
We were using all these other portals. We use Facebook Messenger, we use texts to communicate about our stocks and our holdings. So we figured why don’t we essentially streamline this and create a platform that allowed our friends to see in real time what we were investing in, how we were reacting to market news, how we were reacting to stock news, and how we were allocating our portfolios so our less experienced friends who really didn’t know much about investing in the stock market could really get a quicker grasp of what it was all about and how it works.
Benzinga: How’d you get funding?
Quinn: We’re mostly internally funded at the moment. We partnered with a large prop trading firm, T3 Securities. At the moment, we’re not going out to investors. We’re almost completely internally funded, but we might be looking to do a series A over the next six months or so.
Benzinga: Who is your target demographic? And who’s using the app?
Quinn: Millennials. We launched a couple weeks ago actually, so we’re relatively new, but we’ve seen some exciting early growth. We’ve had thousands of app downloads, and it’s growing pretty quickly right now. I’d say primarily in terms of what we’re seeing now, it’s like 20-30 year old millennials, primarily men but there are also some women getting involved too.
Benzinga: What’s your plan for the company five years out?
Quinn: Currently, we are obviously focusing on building out our social features because that’s our main focus and the major point of differentiation of our platform. Over the next year or so, we’re really focusing on that. We’re also in the midst of building our Android platform. We’re expecting that to be available within three to six months, so short term that is a major focus of ours. Then longer term, we are going to be building out some premium paid features that allow clients to access things like leverage and maybe additional data on the platform.
Benzinga: Considering what you’ve already gone through, can you give any advice to millennials or budding entrepreneurs?
Quinn: I would just say have a good game plan, know the core value offer that you’re trying to give to people, and focus on that early. Don’t build massive amounts of extraneous features off the bat. Just get your product to market, especially considering how tough it is, especially in the finance space and the brokerage space, there is a massive barrier to entry to get the product to market
This article is exclusive to Nasdaq.com.