Startup Kapitall Wants to Treat Stocks Like a Video Game

Startup Kapitall Wants to Treat Stocks Like a Video Game

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“If you can drag and you can drop, you can trade,” states the motto for Kapitall, a new online interactive trading platform that makes trading stocks look like a fun new game for the iPad. “I wanted to create a great user interface that could make the stock market a place for the rest of us,” said cofounder David Neubert at the New York Tech Meetup in Manhattan last night, where he presented the interface to an audience of over 700.

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In an effort to make trading stocks easier and more engaging, Kapitall lets users sign up for free to “play before you pay” with pretend stocks. Users can get a detailed analysis of each company and watch how their picks perform over time. They can get suggestions from the experts at Kapitall and follow investing trends, news, and even famous investors. Kapitall offers a portfolio with the same picks as Warren Buffett, for example.

Cofounder Gaspard de Dreuzy presents Kapitall to the New York Tech Meetup audience on February 28, 2012.

Once users are comfortable enough to play for real, each trade costs $5 if they sign up before March 1, and $9.95 for users who register after that. In comparison, Charles Schwab, for example, charges a flat fee of $8.95 per online trade. Incorporating elements of game design into the development, the platform has many social aspects as well, allowing users share their portfolios on Facebook and Twitter.

The New York City-based company was founded back in 2008, releasing a prototype in 2009, but it wasn’t until three weeks ago that investors could begin trading with actual dollars. Neubert has a background in international finance and worked on Wall Street for many years, and the other cofounder, Gaspard de Dreuzy, worked in game production. Their team consists of designers, producers and developers from Apple, Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley and Pearson and Electronic Arts, and the company has raised more than $13 million from investors so far.

In the future, Neubert envisions the product being used in classrooms as a tool to educate a younger generation about the stock market. In an age of Angry Birds and Xboxes, any investment platform that can hold the attention of America’s youth is sure to be a hit.

Blaire Briody is a contributing editor at The Fiscal Times. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, Publishers Weekly, among others.