San Mateo based Alpaca, the fintech firm which provides APIs for developers to build and trade with various types of algorithms and bots for free has picked up $6 million in Series A round financing led by Spark Capital. Social Leverage, Portag3, Fathom Capital and Zillionize Angel, Oyster Ventures, Eric Di Benedetto, Howard Lindzon, and others also participated in the financing.
Prior to this round, the firm had secured funds from Y Combinator as part of seed capital. The current infusion takes the total amount raised by the firm to $11.8 million. The platform was founded by Hitoshi Harada, Yoshi Yokokawa, and Yuki Hayashi in 2015. Alpaca does not charge developers but makes money through for order flow, interest on cash deposits and margin lending just like the unicorn fintech firm Robinhood.
Yoshi Yokokawa, the CEO and co-founder while speaking to Techcrunch says that “I want to make sure that people even outside the U.S. have access” to a way of building wealth that’s historically only “available to rich people. The latest financing will help the firm in hiring in order to handle their bigger partnerships with bigger businesses and to support its developer community.
Yokokawa on the needs of multiple stock trading apps says that “Every single person is involved with money, so the market is huge. Instead of one-player takes all, there will be different players that can all do well. Like banks and investment banks co-exist, it will never be that Bank of America takes 80% of the pie. I think differentiation will be on customer acquisition, and operations management efficiency.”
It will be interesting to see how the firm manages to keep up with all the new opportunities in financial services as Robinhood does. One thing is for sure that the current cash infusion will help them in that direction.
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