Gotrade Launches Indonesia's First Market Access to US Stocks

Gotrade is an investing platform which allows users to trade fractional shares of US stocks.

JAKARTA, Indonesia, April 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gotrade - the investing app on a mission to make investing accessible to everyone, everywhere - has launched officially in Indonesia through a partnership with Valbury Asia Futures, a Bappebti licensed broker.

  • Gotrade allows users to invest in US stocks without commissions or hidden fees
  • Gotrade Indonesia marks its first entry into a local market
  • Gotrade Indonesia, launched in partnership with local broker Valbury, the Jakarta Futures Exchange and the state-backed Futures Clearing House of Indonesia, is the first platform in Indonesia to offer market access to the US stock market through fully backed contracts
  • Gotrade Indonesia's partners and arrangements are regulated by Bappebti

Andrew Haryono, the owner of the Valbury group, a financial services conglomerate, joins Gotrade as co-founder Gotrade Indonesia mimics its flagship product Gotrade Global in that it enables users in Indonesia to invest as little as $1 in stocks like Tesla, Apple, Netflix et al. on an easy-to-use, commission-free platform.

Investing for everyone

Gotrade was founded in 2019 by Rohit Mulani, Norman Wanto and David Grant with the mission to make investing fun, fair and simple for everyone, everywhere. Together, they developed the Gotrade app to allow users globally to buy fractional shares in global giants on the NYSE and NASDAQ from as little as $1.

Gotrade raised a $7 million seed round in 2021 from LocalGlobe and Social Leverage, both early backers of Robinhood. It also received support from local investors like Kevin Aluwi and super-angel Arya Setiadharma. Once it received clearance from the Labuan Financial Services Authority of Malaysia, Gotrade rolled out an invite-only platform in March 2021, launching globally in September 2021.

Just 6 months since the launch of its global product, Gotrade has racked up hundreds of thousands of users globally and announced the launch of its first local product - Gotrade Indonesia.

Gotrade picked Indonesia as the first market for its local product simply because it was there that the problem it set out to solve seemed most pressing with investing being far from fair or simple. 

"Investing in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia is broken. Over 600 million people can't access quality investment products at fair prices. They are subject to mutual funds with expense ratios exceeding 5%, savings products like gold with 3% spreads and hidden fees peppered across their portfolios - not just by the incumbents but also by the companies that are meant to be the disruptors. We believe that investing should be fair and users should not have to bear these predatory costs," said Gotrade founder Rohit Mulani. 

Breaking barriers in Indonesia

Interestingly, local stockbrokers are not permitted to offer US stocks within Indonesia. However, local derivative brokers, regulated by Bappebti, are permitted to offer derivatives of US stocks within Indonesia. 

This led Gotrade to partner with Valbury Asia Futures, the Jakarta Futures Exchange and the Futures Clearing House of Indonesia - all regulated by Bappebti, to create Indonesia's first fully backed US stock contracts that gives end users market access to US stocks.

What this means is that all trades on Gotrade Indonesia result in a contract between users and Valbury. Valbury then enters into a corresponding trade with Alpaca Securities LLC, a FINRA licensed broker-dealer in the US. As both of these trades occur in real-time, all trades are executed at the National Best Bid and Offer as per the US Securities Exchange Commission's regulations. Gotrade does not add any spread to this price.

As the trades execute directly in the United States, all contracts on Gotrade are fully backed by real shares held in the US. For every share (or fraction of it) held by a user on Gotrade, there is a corresponding share held by Valbury in a segregated brokerage account at Alpaca Securities LLC. This arrangement is supervised by Bappebti.

Gotrade does not offer leverage to its users and passes through the dividends Valbury receives from Alpaca Securities LLC for its positions directly to users minus the 15% dividend tax withheld by the Inland Revenue Service.

Gotrade Indonesia is the first platform in Indonesia to offer this market access for US stocks. Historically, people who wanted to buy US shares from Indonesia would have had to use a foreign stockbroker or trade CFDs locally with the latter resulting in substantial hidden fees of up to 1% per trade built into the bid-ask spread on the stock.

The team at Gotrade, JFX, KBI and Valbury worked closely with the team at Bappebti to enable dollar-based investing and 9-decimal places fractional share investing - in another first for the industry. For instance, if Tesla is trading at $1,000/share, you can buy 1/1,000th of a Tesla share with $1. 

As per Bappebti regulations, funds are sent to the state-backed Futures Clearing House of Indonesia with trades made through Valbury and registered on the Jakarta Futures Exchange.

"Gotrade Indonesia is the first investment platform in Indonesia that has been built around the core principles of transparency, fairness and low fees. I'm excited about the launch of Gotrade Indonesia which is the best way for Indonesians to access the biggest capital market in the world, something we've been unable to do for far too long," said Felicia Putri Tjiasaka, the co-founder Ternak Uang, Indonesia's leading investment education application.

"A core part of the Jakarta Futures Exchange's vision is to produce innovative products as an alternative means of investment. We are very excited to announce our partnership with Gotrade that would allow Indonesians to invest in names like Tesla, Apple and Netflix for as little as $1. The ability to invest in US stocks will greatly complement the existing investment landscape in Indonesia so users can have a balanced and diversified portfolio both globally and across asset classes," said Stephanus Paul Lumintang, President Director of the Jakarta Futures Exchange.

Fajar Wibhiyadi, President Director of Kliring Berjangka Indonesia (Persero) said "We of course appreciate what Valbury Asia Futures is doing with this new initiative. We hope the launch of Gotrade Indonesia could be a positive catalyst for a better investment climate in Indonesia. We also hope that Valbury Asia Futures would, at the same time, educate the market to understand this new financial instrument better. KBI, as a clearing institution, will play our part as per the existing regulations, namely related to the Guarantor role and Transaction Settlement.

Creating a new standard for transparency

In line with its bid to bring transparency to the industry to make investing fair, Gotrade promises no hidden fees, ever and publishes all its fees openly. 

Whilst Gotrade Indonesia does not add spreads or commissions on its trades, it does pass on a PPN fee of $0.10 and Jakarta Futures Exchange transaction reporting fee of $0.02 per trade.

It generates revenue by charging 1.20% in FX fees when users deposit their funds in Indonesian Rupiah which is then converted into US dollars so they can be traded on. Included in this fee, Gotrade powers instant deposits - enabling users to capitalise on trading opportunities without having to pre-fund their accounts. Gotrade is also currently testing a premium membership product called Gotrade Black that gives its users access to candlestick charts, analyst ratings, target prices and a risk measurement for a $2 monthly membership fee.

A new-old co-founder

Together with the launch of Gotrade Indonesia, Gotrade announced that Andrew Haryono was being recognized as a co-founder of the company. Andrew is the owner of the Valbury Group - the same Valbury that is powering the Gotrade Indonesia platform. The Valbury Group is a financial conglomerate in Indonesia which owns securities, derivatives and capital management arms.

"Andrew has been involved since the earliest days of the business in 2019 and has been instrumental in helping us achieve the success we have had so far. With the Valbury partnership and the launch of Gotrade Indonesia, we've been able to take our partnership to a new level and everyone felt it was time to recognise him for the pivotal role he's played in the company's past as well as the role he will continue play in the company's future," said Gotrade founder Rohit Mulani. 

"The team at Gotrade is on a mission to completely reinvent investing for millions of Indonesians. I've been in the industry for over 20 years but as soon as I met the team in 2019, I knew that this was the team that would transform the industry. I am thrilled to be a part of the team at Gotrade and am excited to be a part of the next phase of the company's hypergrowth," said Gotrade co-founder Andrew Haryono.

Industry veterans jump onboard

Gotrade is rapidly building one of the most experienced teams in the wealth management space in Southeast Asia. 

In addition to incoming co-founder Andrew Haryono who boasts over 23 years of financial services experience, David Grant was the former CEO of Charles Schwab Singapore, also boasting over 20 years of retail brokerage experience. 

Gotrade also announced 2 senior executive hires with Tan Hui Lynn and Jeremy Ng joining Gotrade as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer respectively.

Tan was a former partner at Zaid Ibrahim & Co, Malaysia's leading law firm prior to joining Gotrade whilst Ng was previously the financial controller for Asia Pacific at Oanda prior to taking up his new role.

About Gotrade

Gotrade Financial Inc. provides an innovative app-based investing service to retail investors, to invest as little as $1 in fractional shares of US stocks on an easy-to-use, commission-free mobile platform. Gotrade launched in 2019 with the vision of making investing fun, fair and simple for everyone, everywhere. Instruments on Gotrade are offered through Gotrade Securities Inc. Instruments on Gotrade Indonesia are offered through PT Valbury Asia Futures, a Bappebti licensed broker-dealer established in 1999 in Indonesia.

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