Market Overview

Venom Trading Takes a Bite out of Big Box Brokers


With $5 flat rate stock and option trades, Venom Trading aims to outperform traditional online brokers with a fully customizable platform and dedicated service.

"When you log in for the first time, there is a simple, elegant design," said founder Chadd Hessing. "From there, clients can customize the platform layout to suit their trading style. It puts us on par with Scottrade, E*Trade (NASDAQ: ETFC), and TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ: AMTD)."

During our discussion, Hessing told Benzinga that "what then sets us apart is our fully dedicated team of support people, which caters to those who enjoy a closer relationship with their customer service representative."

"We have live chats on the website and instant messenger where traders can IM a broker," he said. "We also have no-added fee broker-assisted trades. That's our philosophy. A client is going to call and they're going to get a broker first thing – no phone queue. Even though it's an online, $5 broker, there's a lot more hand-holding for clients who want it."

Another point, Hessing said, "is that we're on a very simple-to-use platform."

"It's loaded with features and so forth, but it's on a fairly simple platform," Hessing explained. "It's not intended to be overwhelming. It's intended to be simple and straightforward, where, if you want to do a trade, within a very short period of time, you are able to build your layout and place some trades. I think that's a key of all these features, the ease of use."

More Than Filling a Void

When designing Venom Trading, Hessing noticed that there were a lot of firms out there that were only in business for the purpose of placing low-budget trades. "Many of our competitors have cheap trades but they lack the elegant interface to make it simple," said Hessing. "I think that while Venom does not have the lowest commissions – it's very close to the lowest – and yet it's also a fully-functional trading platform."

"Another piece about the platform," Hessing continued, "is that it's a browser-based platform, so you can log on from any computer. You don't have to download software. It's just an easy, Web-based platform that can be accessed from any computer."

Venom Trading is currently working on an app for the iOS platform that will allow iPhone and iPad users to take full advantage of the service.

"Venom was just launched in the last month," said Hessing. "We've spent a lot of time and effort developing the website. We took a simple and easy theme so that you go to and it's laid out perfectly. The whole thing is less than 20 pages long, as opposed to the 200 or so pages you're going to find on TD Ameritrade."

Hessing said that Venom is easy, concise, "and we're looking for the average investor that wants to place trades in the market and doesn't want to be overwhelmed; yet, at the same time, wants to have a fully customizable layout and not be disadvantaged by a traditional browser-based multiple-screen execution."

When it comes to the future of Venom, Hessing said that he would like to get a "small segment of the 10 million online customers that are out there."

"Our goal is to provide that middle-ground customer that doesn't want to pay $150 for a monthly software platform but doesn't want to be constrained with the non-trader-friendly platform and service you might find with a traditional low-cost broker," he said. "We want to capture that trader that still trades on a daily or weekly basis but still wants a nice, clean, elegant interface."

Finally, when it comes to promoting the new site, Hessing said that Venom is talking to various vendors. "We also have a couple radio spots," he said. "We don't have a million-dollar ad budget, so we're probably, in the short-term, not going be advertising on Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) Finance. But the key is to let everyone know about Venom and how it might benefit them."

Venom Trading was created by Cobra Trading, a leading online broker that offers a choice of multiple direct access platforms that caters to active traders.

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Posted-In: Chadd Hessing Venom TradingLong Ideas Success Stories Startups Tech Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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