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We are proud to collaborate with some of the most innovative and impactful entrepreneurs and businesses, and we’re delighted to showcase their leading-edge work in our blog. Intrinio's Customer Success Spotlight series will focus on a client that has used our powerful technology to build something revolutionary.
Meet May's Customer Success Spotlight, Pickhaeju! Pickhaeju is a Korean based social investing platform that specializes in providing US stock data, valuable insights, and user-friendly tools for a range of retail investors. The social investing platform is dedicated to becoming Korea’s “one-stop solution” for all retail investors. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Andrew Lee, the Co-founder and CEO of Pickhaeju, and spoke about his inspiration on starting the investing company, discussed what sets them apart from competitors, and explained their biggest challenges and successes so far.
Hi, we are Pickhaeju, a social investing application based in Seoul, South Korea. We aggregate valuable opinions on and analysis of US stocks from retail investors in Korea. Despite the fast-growing retail investor base that invests in US stocks here in Korea, investments are usually made without sufficient information, inevitably resulting in irrational and emotional choices. Through our platform, we not only provide easy-to-understand tools and information required by retail investors to make informed investment decisions, but also an avenue for where users can interact with each other and discuss and validate their investment thesis. We aim to become the one-stop solution for all Korean retail investors, meeting the increased demand for trusted information provider on their potential investments.
At Pickhaeju, we have 6 team members with varying backgrounds, including investment banking, asset management, public relations, venture capital, and education. Despite the various professional experiences, our passion and love for investing brings us together as a team and helps us leverage our group’s collective intelligence to solve many problems that copious Korean retail investors face today.
While studying at NYU, we would spend hours talking about whether Tesla was overvalued, or whether Apple hit its peak (In retrospect, these so called ‘debates’ seem silly given their share price performance since). Yet, the process of researching and talking about US stocks has granted us a strong knowledge base and foundation upon which we conceptualized our application. Along the way, we discovered that some of our friends who are less comfortable with English struggled to find information they could easily digest, which ultimately deterred them from investing in US stocks. Digging into this deterrent, we identified three key problems for Korean retail investors who wanted to be invest in US stocks. Firstly, information critical to investing were thinly disseminated across various platforms and websites. Secondly, there wasn’t a clear way of distinguishing false rumors from news and bogus opinions from good analysis by veteran investors. Thirdly, 99% of the news on these US companies were in English, making it nearly impossible for Korean retail investors to comprehensively understand. Pickhaeju strives to solve these three problems for Korean retail investors with the goal of helping retail investors make informed decisions with their capital allocation.
The biggest challenge that we had up to this point was that none of us had experience with developing an application. We frankly underestimated the importance of planning every detail that goes into an application and that inevitably delayed our launch. We now have a thorough plan in place with at least 3-4 updates planned and tested with a predetermined update schedule.
Our biggest success so far has been taking our application to the finish line. Developing a large-scale social app is not an easy task (a reality we learned the hard way). But after a couple of setbacks, we were able to focus on the critical functions of our initial application and what our true value is in the market. We have many updates already planned, but we successfully made our MVP (minimum viable product), which is ready to be tested in the market.
We are set apart because we focus on the social aspect of investing. People inherently want to express their thoughts, reactions, and analysis of a specific company, much like what we did together in college. Right now, there isn’t a single avenue that allows retail investors in Korea to share their thoughts and be validated by peers. The network of users and our users’ reactions would later become a key indicator in assessing sentiment for a certain US company. The bilateral communication between users will allow these retail investors to not only gain insights from the expert analysis on our application but also understand the sentiment of fellow investors in Korea and share personal ideas.
The Intrinio team was tremendously helpful from the very start in guiding us through their full product offerings and making sure that we choose the products that fit our requirements. Needless to say, the data that we get from Intrinio is as good as it gets, and we have been thoroughly satisfied with the full support from their team both from technical and commercial perspectives. Lastly, as is the case for all start-ups, financial flexibility is a luxury. However, Intrinio helped us in navigating through tough times by providing us with flexible options that perfectly suited our requirements.