Mohammad Naimur Alam Piash, a Dhaka-based undergrad student, is a professional trader. He has been trading consistently for more than five years now. After trying out almost all the prop firms (a firm that puts its own capital to work in the markets and supports traders with funding) around the world, he recently landed on FundedNext, a hyped trading platform.
"The platform is user-friendly, well organised and reliable. And the best part is, they bear the losses. Trading is a risky business. No matter how good your calculation and prediction is, you are still susceptible to loss. And for people like us, who are still students and have no backup fund, the loss is very discouraging. We actually needed a platform like this where someone has our back," he added.
An income source to many people, stock trading comes with its own thrill involving the buying and selling of companies' shares based on the daily changes in price. Even though Piash's trading at FundedNext has not been very favourable, he still loved the experience.
FundedNext is a Bangladesh-origin proprietary trading firm that assists trade enthusiasts with individual funding up to $200,000, backed by a solid strategy to minimise risks.
Global traders who remain consistent and profitable on the platform can eventually access up to $4 million in trading capital, with the freedom to employ any type of trading strategy, and the opportunity to split up to 90% of the profits.
The calculative beginning
FundedNext is a subsidiary of a fintech company called Next Ventures. It is a brainchild of Syed Abdullah Jayed, who is currently pursuing his undergrad degree at North South University.
Next Ventures has been building numerous B2B products and solutions (mostly apps and websites) for the trading community and financial institutions for several years now.
"Involvement with trade business is calculative and risky which needs a whole other level of planning. Hence, I took my time, and planned this venture meticulously from scratch," said Jayed.
"Working closely with traders made me realise the hardship that they face. I personally know a good number of traders who have the calibre of earning millions, but the only thing that holds them behind is access to capital. Hence, I built a funding platform that is technologically robust and reliable," Jayed said.
Jayed formed the umbrella company back in 2016, just after he was done with high school. The company was a single-room business back then.
"I think I was born for the tech business. I might have launched Next Venture officially in 2016, but my association with fintech dates back to 2010, when I was just a seventh grader. I started developing my expertise in digital and affiliation marketing, and sold tech solutions to different companies," he added.
As his business grew larger, Jayed hired virtual executives for the first time in 2014. And recruitment has not stopped since then. Now, Next Venture is a team of around 120 people. Currently, they have around 9,000 square feet of working space divided in two workstations, one in the capital's Karwan Bazar and other one in Progati Sarani.
The aggressive journey
It has only been five months since the company debuted in the market, and its revenue is doubling up with each passing month. In the month of July, the company crossed $1 million in revenue, and more than 3,000 subscribers, which is the highest since its inception.
Jayed is expecting a $10 million turnover by the end of this year.
FundedNext is registered in the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Southeast Asia and also has its operational offices there. The venture has been featured in several international journals like Bloomberg, Yahoo News, Benzinga, etc.
Being the first one in the market, FundedNext does not have any local competitors in Bangladesh. FTMO, MyForexFunds are its biggest international competitors.
How it works
FundedNext aims to provide funds to traders with the best possible trading experience and to maximise the opportunity to unleash their true potential.
To get funded from this venture, a trader needs to subscribe to its platform first ($99-$990 subscription fee, depending on the account size and funding model) to sit for a test. The test takes the trader to a trading world simulation, where everything is real, except for the money. The task is to follow the rules, and ensure profitable trading.
Once the budding traders perform satisfactorily and prove their skills, only then they become eligible to receive real funding. Surprisingly, only one out of 10 traders, on average, makes the cut for funding.
There are two funding models at FundedNext: Evaluation and Express. The evaluation model offers traders up to 90% profit split based on their performance, but the trading has to be done under a fixed timeframe.
On the other hand, the express model offers the traders time flexibility, but that cuts down their profit share to 60%.
And what happens when a trader faces losses? "Both of our models come with some strong rules and regulations. The algorithm in the models restrict the traders from exceeding 5% loss in a day. As soon as they reach the threshold, our system will automatically disable their accounts for the day," explained Jayed.
The 5% loss is taken care of by the company, which it balances out through other successful tradings. The company has its own risk management team for this.
The key challenge Jayed faced while building this platform was inadequate IT expertise in the country. He believes that the IT sector of Bangladesh is flourishing day by day, but it has a long way to go.
"While we were developing the website, we needed a C+ solution for a particular problem. I reached out to all the top-tiered IT companies in the country, but none of them could help me solve it. Eventually, I had to seek foreign expertise," said Jayed.
Reluctant to disclose the names, Jayed shared that five different international companies have helped him build this platform from the backend.
However, the problem FundedNext currently faces is scalability. A lot of technology the company uses regularly is operated by a third-party firm. With the exponential growth in their web traffic, the company is in need of troubleshooting at times to keep up with the servers.
The current trading leverage at FundedNext is 1:100, which basically means, for every $1 of their capital, traders receive $100 to trade with. Jayed is trying to raise it to 1:500.
He believes that as soon as the company gets its own brokerage firm, this will be sorted out and there will be better control on everything.
Since the company has been profitable since its inception, Jayed has refrained from partnering with external investors. FundedNext has debuted with bootstrap funding. The company is making profit, exponentially, since its inception and the revenue is rolling in.
The company has some liquidity partners for additional help with the funding, however, they do not have any stake at the company.