aims to remove fear factor from personal finances

“There is so much fear in the world regarding money, and we want to help people help themselves so that money becomes their friend,” said Biger. co-CEOs Shlomi Biger (L) and Mickey Winitsky (photo credit: ALMOG SUGAVKER) co-CEOs Shlomi Biger (L) and Mickey Winitsky
(photo credit: ALMOG SUGAVKER)
Once dubbed the “Robin Hood of market data,” Tel Aviv-headquartered has quietly been carrying out a financial revolution.
The online financial portal’s current co-chief executives, rather camera shy to date, have guided it to become the second largest financial market platform in the world, exceeding one billion monthly views and second only to Yahoo! Finance.
Operating in 42 international editions and 25 different languages, the company says it has users in all of the world’s 196 countries.
“We understood that financial information should not only be for those with higher education, understanding of the financial markets or who can buy into all the expensive systems,” co-CEO Mickey Winitsky told The Jerusalem Post.
“The vision here is to truly democratize financial data on a global scale – and make sure we do it for free and in real-time on any device.”
Traditionally, the portal has sought to make financial markets data and insights accessible to all, providing an increasingly broad multilingual offering since its establishment in 2007 by four co-founders, including former CEO Dror Efrat.
In 2012, the company purchased the domain name for a staggering $2.45 million, one of the most expensive ever acquired.
Israel’s rich multilingual society makes it a perfect source of talent, Winitsky said. The company currently employs 200 workers at its Tel Aviv headquarters, including many recent immigrants, and also has offices in Madrid, Tokyo, Seoul, São Paulo and Shenzhen.
“Personally, I felt the need for accurate, real-time financial data during the crisis in 2008, when I was an active trader. I paid between $100 to $2,000 to different providers to get real-time charts, data and news and gain an immediate advantage,” said co-CEO Shlomi Biger.
“It was unbelievable how much I paid for content. The vision was to provide any trader in any place in the world with the data, and enable them to make an educated decision. They still won’t have an edge over professional traders, but will not be in such a worse-off position.”
While outperforming the likes of other financial portals including Market Watch, Bloomberg and CNBC, Winitsky and Biger are now eyeing a significantly larger market – those uninterested in financial markets, but concerned about their personal finances.
“We are here to help people take clever decisions about their financial future, and we want to transform it into a mass market product,” said Winitsky.
“The majority who aren’t interested in financial markets are interested in credit cards, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts and more. The ultimate goal is to offer personal finance guidance in at least the same amount of languages, in all the possible verticals. Today, that’s quite a vision.”
The company’s personal finance platform – Investing Money – is now being rolled out, and is already available in English and Italian. Its Spanish-language edition is set to launch soon.
The new platform is home to a range of personal finance-related guidance relevant to individuals and families, ranging from articles on personal loans to traveling on a budget. It also provides 10 financial calculators and budget planning tools for a variety of needs.
“There is so much fear in the world regarding money, and we want to help people help themselves so that money becomes their friend,” said Biger.
“We’re probably the richest generation to date, and we really believe that financial information ought to be for the people. We want to democratize financial information.”