Freetrade strikes German stock deal to bring Adidas and BMW to the masses

·2-min read
Freetrade founders Viktor Nebehaj, left, and Adam Dodds (Freetrade)
Freetrade founders Viktor Nebehaj, left, and Adam Dodds (Freetrade)

Stock broking upstart Freetrade has struck a deal to plug directly into the German stock market to give clients fee-free access to names like Adidas and BMW.

The app-only trading platform has signed a deal with Equiduct to let British clients access the German exchange. Freetrade customers can now buy and sell most German stocks with no commission or charges, only foreign exchange fees.

CEO and founder Adam Dodds said: “The addition of European stocks to the platform is a key step for us as we begin our expansion into Europe and beyond. Our mission is to get everyone investing while keeping prices low.”

Freetrade, which has over 1 million customers, lets people trade shares for free on its app, akin to the wildly popular US business Robinhood. Freetrade started life in London in 2016 and launched its app in 2018.

Like Robinhood, Freetrade targets young first-time investors, mainly in the millennial demographic. It makes money through a “freemium” model, encouraging users to sign up to monthly subscriptions that offer extras like an ISA account and interest on cash balances.

Many rival brokers let customers buy and sell European stocks but do so by working through a third party that charges a fee. Most also charge their own platform fees on top.

Plugging directly into exchanges is technically challenging and expensive to build but Freetrade believes the investment will pay off.

Dodds said: “Freetrade’s unique direct to market access and proprietary brokerage platform helps to unlock cost-savings that we can pass onto our customers through a simple and low-cost investment experience.”

Major German companies like Adidas, BMW, Mercedes, Deutsche Telekom, Puma, and Siemens will now be available to Freetrade customers at no charge. Smaller companies will be tradable commission free for customers who sign up for a subscription.

Freetrade already offers Finnish stocks on its platform and plans to add markets in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden soon.

Dodds said: “We will continue to add more European exchanges to the platform as we expand across Europe.”

Freetrade’s fast growth and aggressive business plan has prompted rivals to take action. AJ Bell, itself a challenger not that long ago, is launching a commission-free investment app of its own called Dodl.

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