FINANCIAL SERVICES | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Learn why this price alert app is attracting funds from some Asian finance titans

Call Levels raised US$500,000 at Pre-Series A funding.

The importance of setting price alerts to avoid losses during down times continue to play a crucial part in keeping investors stay informed and reactive. However, despite innovations powering finance, ex-finance professionals Cynthia Siantar and Daniel Chia argue that relationship managers, sales people and trade representatives find themselves until today monitoring price alerts for clients to inform them when levels hit. Also, while the market is plenty of price alerts, some are typical via email, which is not ideal on mobile if you receive multiple emails everyday or they might go to spam, or SMS which bears a nominal fee, they add.

Frustrated with what they call ‘needlessly complex’, ‘unwieldy’ finance and trading apps, the two founded in 2014 Call Levels, which offers a market monitoring and immediate price notification service app. Built and optimised on the mobile cloud, the founders claim that it delivers a simple but critical service; in retaining flexibility for users, matched with a wide range of assets covered - 10,000+ and growing. “Indeed, as price alerts provided by brokerages are often automatically executed, we focus on alerting our users on price movements and giving them the advantage of "making a decision" to execute the trade or not,” said Cynthia.

Call Levels is a FinTech player in the region, focused on simplifying the process for trading and investment. Specifically, Call Levels seeks to leverage on its capacity to disrupt and drive innovation by empowering its users by allowing them to focus on one primary need, that is: to be alerted when specific assets held hit pre-selected price levels.

“From the onset, we have prioritised accessibility and sought to deliver the immediate alert notification service to "prosumers" (defined by Alvin Toffler, as user individuals from other general and professional sectors), consequently enabling them to stay ahead in volatile markets,” noted Cynthia.

According to Cynthia, Call Levels' USP lies in its commitment to empowerment across global financial market participants through secure and reliable services for users, provided with the capability to set, track and share alerts with their network. Further, they expect this commitment to users to not only meet user needs for immediate alerts but more importantly, re-define the conventional standard and elevate it through FinTech startup-financial institutional coordination.

Cynthia, was previously a Hong Kong-based ECM associate at HSBC for nearly three years; preceded by an investment analyst role at Mercer Investment Consulting Singapore.
Daniel, previously held the Vice President role at Ortus Capital Management for seven years, preceded by his role as Investment Manager at the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC).

"We aim to empower not only financial institutions, professionals, traders investing heavily in technology but also everyday participants to give everyone that edge," says Daniel and Cynthia, who are driving FinTech innovation through Call Levels globally.

How it works

A summary of their problem-solving services are as follows:

1) Live and Independent price monitoring to inform users before they action on the markets
2) Really simple alerts on intuitive interface such everyone can use. (In fact, we have a significant number of users who are above the age of 60 and this is pretty rare for any finance apps out there). And it's so simple that its available on Apple Watch
3) Reliable (we source data directly from the exchanges and the technology powering the monitoring system is patent pending)
4) Push notifications straight to mobile home screen (Not emails or SMSes)
5) Free (no hidden costs to users)

According to Cynthia, Call Levels is considered an "un-app" – they work in the background and monitor price alerts for their users. “We are actively watching the markets for our users even if they don't launch the app frequently (all depends on their own investment strategy and horizon),” she said.

Call Levels' unparalleled focus and commitment to consistency has seen close to 100,000 call levels created thus far. While most users set an average of 3 - 4 levels at any given time, Cynthia said that their top users can set up to 50 new levels every day. As such, they believe the conventional success and retention metrics must be redefined with respect to the immediate user need a firm’s service delivers on.

The humble beginning

To outsiders looking in, the startup world seems to be unicorns and IPOs galore. While this may be true eventually, the grittier side of the startup world sees the successful founders hustle & muscle from the onset to see their vision through.

Cynthia and Daniel's story is a testament to the necessary grit and hustle to succeed. Having first founded BlastOut, a geo-located social network, 3 years ago, which didn't quite take off for a variety of reasons - from losing focus on the product after too many suggestions from different stakeholders. Though the lesson they both took away from this -- that is, to focus on one problem and deliver an unparalleled, comprehensive solution, that continues to drive their commitment to FinTech innovation till today.

It all started in a car ride conversation between the two: as Daniel asked "What do we do now?", with Cynthia response "Back to Finance, where we came from?" initiated their thought process on what was the one thing that all financial market participants needed but never had a solution to?

Call Levels, referring to the market term 'Call me when the price reaches this level' was something Daniel used to set with his salespeople during his days as a hedge fund manager. More often that not, it continues to be a very manual, expensive process within the industry and hardly provided to non-premium clients. From this, they both decided to focus their considerable skills and experience to provide the best, most reliable price alerts for multiple assets and empower everyone watching the markets.

At present, the firm raised $500,000 USD ($703,000 SGD) at Pre-Series A funding led by prominent VC 500startups, with Asian finance titans such as Koh Boon Hwee and Timothy Teo (ex-GIC and JP Morgan) as angel investors. More recently, Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group has just made a strategic investment in the FinTech space with an initial injection of funds into Call Levels.

Having seen tremendous growth of over 400% in the past 3 months, Cynthia told SBR that the funds will be used to accelerate the implementation of their growth plans - that is, to connect with users from global financial markets and empower them in the face of volatile market movements by delivering reliable, immediate price alerts.


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