Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Interview: “We intend to operate as an ally rather than to compete with banks”

5 min read

By Neeti Aggarwal

Call Levels has shown remarkable growth and has carved a niche for itself in the Asian fintech space with its mobile App for financial asset monitoring and alert. Its co-founder Cynthia Siantar shares the business model and plans for the company.

In a rapidly growing fintech sector success revolves around the ability to leverage innovation and disruptive technology to solve real world business issues and problems. Call levels, a Singapore-based fintech, has shown notable success by riding on a simple and yet powerful capability of real-time monitoring of prices of financial assets through its mobile app. The cloud-based app alerts users on pre-selected levels of an asset class, bringing financial monitoring to the mass market and equalising the difference between daytime traders and the professionals.

Since its incorporation in September 2014, the company has expanded to its portfolio to about 10,000 global assets and boasts 100,000 individual users today. Most of its users come from Asia but the share of global customers is gradually increasing with 30% currently coming from the US and UK. But interestingly, the user segment is not the main revenue model for the company as it intends to focus on partnership with financial institutions for its bread and butter. 

“Our app is more like a user acquisition channel to go direct to user. Our revenue model however, is focused on service to business and service providers through a revenue generating partnership,” its co-founder Cynthia Siantar explained.

The company’s co-founders, Daniel Chia and Siantar, have both worked previously in the financial industry - Siantar at HSBC and Mercer Investment Consulting and Chia at the Singapore Government Investment Corporation and Ortus Capital Management. The ten-member management team is based out of Singapore and is currently targeting key global financial centres - Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York, but its future plans encompass many more markets. “We are looking to extend partnerships beyond Asia. It will be function of adding more asset classes relevant to local need and build presence in countries we want to go in,” said Siantar

“The markets that we are choosing to target in our first phase are also reflected in the asset classes we chose i.e. the most liquid financial market assets such as forex, US equity, selection of commodity and index futures and bitcoins. We have just added Singapore equity via a partnership with DBS Vickers. The next phase will be more local markets like Japan and China," she added

The company recently announced a partnership with DBS Vickers Securities to introduce a co-branded app that will be offered to more than 300,000 of Vickers’ clients and will enable them to directly access proprietary market monitoring services and price alerts for SGX equities.

Many institutions providing this automated real-time monitoring of prices and alerts to customers face the challenges of grappling with legacy technologies and manual processes. Call Levels leverages open API technology to overcome these challenges and build scale across markets and asset classes to differentiate the company. “Call levels offers this solution on a cloud without the need of transfer of customer sensitive information onto this cloud, a key requirement for banks on account of data security,” she stressed.

The company intends to operate as an ally rather than to compete with banks. As the company plans on future partnerships it is careful in choosing its investors to maintain a ‘neutral’ status. The company has so far successfully raised $500,000 from some known names such as Indonesian Lippo group, American VC 500 Start-ups and other private investors.

Call Levels has plans in place for additional ‘Series A’ funding which should further assist it in achieving its long term vision. “We want to empower individual users to be better informed investor and to open up monitoring service to a lot of people, and it could be monitoring of any data point not just price”, said Siantar.

Keywords: Call Levels, Fintech, DBS, SGX, API, Mobile Applications
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