Tencent Holdings and Prosus,are investing in European online-trading group BUX

Tencent Holdings and its biggest shareholder, Prosus,are investing in European online-trading group BUX, giving the two internet giants a greater foothold in the fast-growing sector.

A new wave of apps have democratized the concept of investing, bringing the ability to trade in stocks and currencies to a wider pool of users who can use these platforms to make incremental, or much larger, bets in the hopes of growing their money at a time when interest rates are low. In the latest development, Bux — a startup from Amsterdam that lets people invest in shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without paying commissions (its pricing is based on flat €1 fees for certain services, no fees for others) — has picked up some investment of its own, an $80 million round that it will be using to grow its business.

The neo broker business is booming. After the successful launch of BUX Zero in Belgium and Germany, Europe’s largest neo-broker is set to continue its geographical expansion and roll out its commission-free investment app BUX Zero. With interest rates at all-time lows, young people are especially eager to start investing. Over the past four months, BUX Zero saw its assets under management more than triple. Last year, the number of active users grew six-fold.

Additional new investors included ABN Amro Ventures, Citius, Optiver, and Endeit Capital. Existing investors HV Capital and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures.

The zero commission brokerage, which turned to Royal Park Partners to act as an exclusive financial advisor on the drive, recently welcomed its 500,000th customer, and will use the new capital to expand operations and enhance services on its popular investment app, BUX Zero

Prosus, majority owned by Cape Town-based Naspers, invests in e-commerce companies around the world, with food delivery, payments and education among its favoured industries. The Dutch firm holds a 29 per cent stake in Tencent and the companies have a track record of co-investing.

“We are excited about backing BUX as they are the leading neo-broker in Europe and have been able to build a platform that is sustainable and scalable. BUX is the only neo-broker in Europe that offers zero commission investing without being dependent on kickbacks or payments for order flow. This ensures that its interests are fully aligned with its customers. We will support BUX in its journey of pursuing consistent growth for the years to come”, said Alex Leung, assistant GM at Tencent, Strategic Development, in a statement.

The funding round makes Tencent and Prosus the largest investors in BUX. Others include ABN Amro Ventures and Optiver Holding

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