ayondo - A strong brand for a unique business model, made in Germany
ayondo can look back on an exciting, eventful and sometimes turbulent company history. You can find a small excerpt - especially of the more recent history - in this timeline. In our opinion, this is definitely helpful for a better understanding of the present. Well: The ayondo brand is undoubtedly inseparably linked with the business model of social trading. Reduced to its very own characteristics, ayondo even stands for an extremely innovative business model that has not only created but even decisively shaped a completely new financial market. The pioneering work that has been done, both technically and in terms of regulation, is in any case unique. All the more bitter that a domino effect within the globally ramified network of the parent company also dragged the German brand ayondo down with it in 2019. However, even the collateral damage that could not be prevented by the economic upheavals within the group of companies cannot cloud either the potential of the business model or the vision of the minds behind it.
ayondo Ltd (former parent entity of the Social Trading Tech Unit) gets delisted
Singapore Exchange (SGX)-listed ayondo Ltd has announced that it has received a notification from the SGX regarding the final delisting of ayondo's shares from the Singapore Exchange. The listing of ayondo Ltd. had already been suspended since February 2019. Important: RSQ as the rights holder of the ayondo IP and brand portfolio is not affected by the delisting of the former parent company of the social trading technology company ayondo GmbH.
Regardless of the COVID-related restrictions, the current management is intensifying its efforts to inspire venture capitalists for the revitalisation project of the ayondo brand. Various constructs, including crowdfunding and participation in the future success of the company, are being considered conceptually. The option of financing via ICOs is also being evaluated. In the meantime, the company is in advanced negotiations with several potential investors
Contact with investors
The developments regarding the massive increase in stock market activity among millenials and the planned IPO of e-toro are also increasingly drawing attention to ayondo. At the end of Q3, there are initial non-binding enquiries from capital providers interested in the business model. The industry has long since coped well with the negative effects of the restrictions on CFD trading from 2018 to 2020. Market leaders such as CMC Markets and IG report record sales and record revenues. Publications of the CFD Association prove the unbroken popularity of trading with contracts for difference (CFD).
General Administrative Act regarding Contracts for Difference (update: Guidelines)
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) issued guidelines in terms of the restriction the marketing, distribution and sale of contracts for difference (CFD)
Proof of concept – Revitalisation
After the distortions caused by the pandemic have subsided, the development of concept ideas is resumed with the aim of revitalising social trading under the 'ayondo' brand.
COVID19 - Social trading marketplace is taken offline
The stock market turbulence caused by COVID19 and the increase in further uncertainties make a rethink necessary from a strategic point of view. In order to minimise the costs of maintaining the systems, the marketplace is set to offline mode and is no longer accessible to the public. The ayondo.com website will be gutted, but will continue to function as a communication interface to signal providers and followers.
Exctended customer support
Even after the discontinuation of the operational business, care is taken to ensure that customer relationships do not come to nothing. It is ensured that enquiries from the social trading user group are answered immediately. Initially, the majority of enquiries relate to the changes at ayondo markets/BUX and their consequences. More and more frequently, customers express their regret that ayondo, as one of the leading players to date, has decided to withdraw. Many users motivate the management to stick to the concept of revitalisation and social trading "Made in Germany".
Termination of operational (supervisory) business activities
Due to the legal uncertainties - especially in connection with the imminent Brexit and the associated regulatory changes - the management of the social trading provider ayondo has decided on the only possible option: the discontinuation of business operations. There are no alternatives to this, as BUX does not have an EU financial services provider licence and is therefore no longer authorised to accept new clients after Brexit. For ayondo portfolio management GmbH, i.e. the social trading service provider, this means that no more trading signals may be routed for execution
The deadline for the announced exit of the United Kingdom is approaching. With the UK's departure from the European Union, British financial services providers are no longer allowed to approach new clients from the EU. For a short period of time, there is an exemption to serve existing clients. EU passporting will also be terminated. To continue to provide services in the EU, authorisation by an EU supervisor is required.
The new owner of the former London sister company is no longer available as a cooperation partner due to Brexit. The time span to connect an alternative broker is only short. In the end, even too short: due to various imponderables, the management of ayondo portfolio management GmbH takes the decision to pause the services that fall under regulation. The aim is to gain time and to reorganise technically and organisationally. The process turns out to be extremely complex and time-consuming throughout, which, in the tense situation and taking into account the industry under pressure, ultimately makes it unavoidable to schedule the operative business units and activities in an orderly process. Parallel to this, the technical prerequisites are being met so that the customer relationships built up in social trading can be continued at BUX.
Safeguarding corporate values
In order to prevent the risk of the ayondo asset portfolios being broken up or misappropriated by external third parties, the management of the regulated company decides to acquire all the assets of the IT service provider ayondo GmbH i.L. from the insolvency administrator. In a combined asset and share deal, all assets relating to social trading, including all corresponding rights, are acquired. The aim is to protect the interests of the existing users in the long term and to create the conditions for a resumption of business activities. The commitment of the management demonstrates the confidence associated with the revitalisation.
Insolvency of the IT-Business Unit - Continuation of the business activities
In the wake of the economic difficulties of its London-based sister company, ayondo GmbH comes under pressure and is forced to file for insolvency. Restructuring measures initiated by the holding company are unsuccessful. Business operations are continued under the company's own steam. This is possible because the social trading service provider, ayondo portfolio management GmbH, is not directly affected by the events.
As a result of the changes under company law, the Singapore-based holding company ayondo Ltd. will be separated from its German corporate holdings. From this point on, the holding company is no longer a shell with no operational business. ayondo GmbH i.L. and ayondo portfolio management GmbH will henceforth operate autonomously and detached from third parties.
A continuation and revitalisation concept is being developed. The aim is to secure the company's continued existence. All previous business partners support this plan.
General Administrative Act regarding Contracts for Difference
Reference: VBS 7-Wp 2000-2020/0026 The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) restricts the marketing, distribution and sale of contracts for difference (CFD)
Sale of the Brokerage Unit
The London-based sister company ayondo-markets Ltd. runs into financial difficulties at the end of 2018. The British Financial Market Authority becomes involved. KPMG is mandated with an audit of the company. In the course of a consolidation and restructuring, the company is taken over by BUX. After completion of the transaction, the broker trades under the name BUX Financial Services.
Joint Venture receives asset management License
The licence application of Social Trading Netzwerk GmbH is approved. The company begins preparations for going live.
IPO of ayondo group
In March 2018, the group of companies will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). The holding company ayondo Ltd., founded specifically for this purpose, becomes the first FinTech company to be offered for trading on the Catalyst electronic exchange. At this time, the stock market value of the social trading provider is around 100 million US dollars.
New EU-regulation (GDPR)
GDPR comes into force. For companies in all sectors, this results in a various of new requirements that must be implemented technically and organisationally
Start of development work on the 4th generation of the social trading platform
In order to drive further growth and maintain technological leadership, preparations for the 4th generation of the social trading marketplace have begun. Components include an open interface, the integration of MetaTrader and Ninjatrader as well as a multitude of innovative functions that benefit followers and signal providers. The completion of the software is planned for the beginning of 2020.
New EU-regulation (MiFID2)
MiFID 2 comes into force. For financial service providers, this results in a multitude of new requirements that must be implemented technically and organisationally
Third generation of the social trading marketplace launches
Due to MiFID 2 and other regulatory and organisational changes, the third generation of the social trading marketplace goes live. ayondo meets all regulatory requirements at the time of MiFID implementation, including KYC, trade monitoring, suitability testing and loss threshold monitoring. The new generation allows trading strategies to be managed according to the performance and management fee model. A unique selling point is the Individual High Watermark.
ayondo Facts and Figures (Pre-IPO KPIs)
The increase in turnover and earnings of the previous financial years show the potential of the business model. The strategic course is set to improve the attractiveness of the marketplace function and to further develop the high regulatory standards. The focus remains on innovation and digitalisation as well as the development of further unique selling propositions. A major focus is on improving customer satisfaction. A large number of new ideas are on the roadmap. The planned IPO is intended to accelerate the growth strategy.
EoY Figures 2017:
> than 100K registered users
> than 1.500 active trading strategies to subscribe
> 2 digit growth rate every quarter
> first German regulated digital asset manager
> Social Trading is the lead revenue driver
> 60K Social Media Follower
ayondo receives asset manager licence
The business model previously operated by ayondo GmbH will be continued by the subsidiary ayondo portfolio management GmbH. From now on, ayondo GmbH will act as a technology provider, while the subsidiary will provide the regulatory framework for the provision of the service. The social trading concept now unites three companies under the 'ayondo' brand: ayondo GmbH (social trading technology), ayondo portfolio management GmbH (social trading service, customer relations), ayondo markets Ltd (social trading account management, execution of trading orders).
General Administrative Act regarding Contracts for Difference
Reference: VBS 7-Wp 5427-2016/0017 The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) restricts the marketing, distribution and sale of contracts for difference (CFD)
New Anti Money Laundering regulation (AML)
The new Money Laundering Directive requires various technical and organizational amendments financial service providers must consider in future. In Germany, stricter regulations apply to the onboarding (KYC) of new clients.
Change in supervisory practice
Social trading is classified as asset management for regulatory purposes. Providers of the service must have a corresponding licence.
FinTech gets en vogue - Various investment rounds
In the following years, the company succeeds in attracting the attention of investors, including renowned venture capitalists such as ProSieben Ventures. There is an exclusive partnership with Google Inc. In 2014, ayondo GmbH is integrated into the investment portfolio of Next Generation Finance AG. The main investor is the Singapore-based Luminor Fund.
Joint Venture with one of the Top Tier Banks in Germany
The joint venture serves the goal of integrating the technology developed by ayondo and the Top Trader community into the CFD ecosystem of a major German bank.
ayondo - Forming a global brand
The umbrella brand ayondo is transferred to all divisions and will be globally branded with immediate effect. Next Generation Finance AG becomes ayondo Holding AG. London-based Gekko Markets Ltd. becomes ayondo markets Ltd. The ayondo group's portfolio includes holdings in Oanda, 2iQ and Stockpulse. Later, additional holdings in Asia are added. Among them is TradeHero, a popular chinese TradingApp. Social Trading is revenue driver N#1. The development roadmap is is full of innovations. Exciting collaborations are nearing completion.
First Version of the Marketplace Application
In 2010, the first generation of the marketplace is available to those interested in social trading. Subsequently, Oanda, Alpari and AvaTrade, among others, are connected as partner brokers. The popularity of the platform and thus also the number of users grow rapidly. In 2012, the next generation is rolled out.
2008 - Foundation of the company (ayondo GmbH)
Foundation of ayondo GmbH as a technology company. The business activity is classified as investment brokerage at this time. The legal/regulatory framework required for this is provided by a company of the Donau Capital Group.