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Alpaca Launches Broker API That Lets You Build Your Own Robinhood

Alpaca Launches Broker API That Lets You Build Your Own Robinhood

Alpaca, a stock brokerage that allows developers to build apps, services, and trading platforms, formally announced the launch of Broker API, as well as an expansion of its investment and leadership team.

What Happened: With the onset of pandemic restrictions, retail investors hungry for engagement with the outside world fueled a rise in trading activity. This was a boon for Alpaca, which delivers technology and access capabilities that are fueling on-demand finance trends.

The firm has witnessed increased demand from the supply side — emerging fintechs looking to capitalize on increased demand for transparent access to markets. In light of this, Alpaca unveiled Alpaca Broker API, a tool to enable entrepreneurs the opportunity to quickly build and scale their own commission-free brokerage.

"The Alpaca Broker API allows developers to come and build brokerages like Robinhood," Alpaca co-founder and CEO Yoshi Yokokawa told Benzinga. "You can make the app look like whatever you want, and the API [addresses] account opening, funding, banking, sending statements, and journaling.”

Thus far, in a stealth pilot, the API has been deployed in more than 50 countries through platforms like Gotrade and Midas which have been onboarding nearly 500 new investors a day, for the past two weeks.

Additionally, the fintech added Nate Rodland, Robinhood’s ex-COO, to its investment team. Other entrepreneurs apart of Alpaca’s team include Jacqueline Reses, Executive Chairman of Square Financial Services; Asiff Hirji, Asiff Hirjii, ex-President and COO of Coinbase and currently President of Figure; and Brett Huneycutt, Wealthsimple COO.

Why It Matters: Investing is a global phenomenon. With that, though, global users want tools that are tailored to their level of understanding and investing culture.

“Robinhood launching in Japan is not going to be successful because it’s in English and, then, how [users] approach investing and trading is different from the United States, as well,” Yokokawa noted.

That’s the reason why Alpaca introduced the API — to enable entrepreneurs to create brokerage solutions that best fit their target’s persona.

“We were thinking about how to create an infrastructure where each of the developers and entrepreneurs can do their own style of the Robinhood app and retail investing applications.”

Innovation Outlook: Yokokawa says recent trends will persist.

“This is a global market where everyone on earth wants to have access to U.S. stocks,” the cofounder said in a discussion on the pandemics’ positive impact on retail trading activity.

Going forward, within the next year, Alpaca aims to build out the Broker API and enable access to different asset classes like options, cryptocurrencies, alternative assets, and equities listed in different countries.

“There’s huge demand,” Yokokawa said.


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