The journey of Vectis, the investing app that has your interests at heart!
Everything started back in 2020 when we, as retail investors ourselves, were unhappy with the banks and brokers available in Europe. Lack of transparency, over-complicated interfaces, hidden fees and limited choice of stocks were just some of the aspects we wanted to see changed.
It was frustrating to see how most overseas brokers were (and still are) far superior to what Europe has to offer. This is what we plan to change by developing the ultimate platform for the new generation of investors. Ultimately, we want people to invest easily with a broker that has their interests at heart.
From that moment of realization, we fell in love with our idea and created a solid multi-year business plan, including a freemium business model that could generate sustainable revenues, with the goal of bringing commissions down to zero whenever possible. It was crucial for us to make sure that every aspect of the company was covered by a professional team member. For this reason, we teamed up with a combination of experts from all over Europe with huge domain expertise in finance, tech, investing and marketing. Finally, in order to become a trustworthy broker, we needed to rely on well-capitalized financial institutions such as banks, asset custodians, execution venues and exchanges. That is why we managed to create relationships with numerous top-tier financial institutions and lay the foundations for future partnerships.
Our team comes from various European countries and we needed to find the right place to set up our headquarters. To make this decision, we considered several aspects: access to capital, bureaucracy, access to talents and ultimately the quality of the local financial market authorities. We ended up choosing Amsterdam as a starting point for the conquest of Europe for two reasons:
- A combination of a strong financial sector; a growing tech ecosystem; and an incredible startup scene.
- The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) (arguably one of the best regulators in Europe).
Once the choice was made, we needed to start working on the regulations and documentation. We are a tech startup but the goal is to get licensed as a proper financial institution, thus allowing our customers to benefit from high-level protection while enabling us to operate in every European country. That is why we decided to hire a team of experts to help us achieve this goal. We in fact selected a Dutch firm that specializes in risk management, regulations, and licenses. This team helps banks and big institutions daily with regulations and has vast experience in the industry.
After having laid down the (boring) legal foundations, it was time to have fun; and this is where the magic began: at Vectis, we are obsessed with User Experience, and before developing any application or piece of software, it was crucial to define the proper UX for our future users. This is why we created what we believe is the optimal investing experience.
The first task of this current year is to turn our UX into a real mobile app prototype. And this is where all of you, the community, come in. We want you to be part of the building process and see the investing ideas you always wished for being implemented for real. We are going to actively involve you, hear your opinion, adapt and improve. Once the prototype is completed, we will turn our interfaces into real Android and iOS applications able to connect through APIs to the brokerage systems.
In the meantime, we are going to keep working on the documentation required to get licensed. This includes: assessing the reliability and suitability of our team, drafting client agreements, defining anti-money-laundering policies and so on. As soon as everything is ready we are going to formally apply with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets. They will assess the documentation and ultimately grant us a license.
As we said, in 2020 we created flourishing relationships with many top-tier financial institutions. This is the year when we are going to implement them into our systems. We are planning to connect to one or more custodians (entities designated to hold assets such as stocks and ETFs and protect them in the unlikely case in which Vectis goes bankrupt or fails), execution venues (institutions able to provide our customers with the best execution quality possible), cash handling providers (banks and e-money providers able to offer real bank accounts to our users without the need for Vectis to handle their money directly) and so on. Last but not least, we will prepare our pre-launch marketing plans, making sure that we get the word out and have Vectis get the attention it deserves.
This is where it all comes down to. As soon as we receive our licenses, we will allow our community to access our mobile app and create an account with Vectis. Until then, we invite everyone to join our communities on Discord and Reddit, to share ideas, feedback and concerns.