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Algorithmic trading is quite a buzz word among the stock traders community. People are excited about how a computer program can replace a manual trader in a disciplined, scalable, and automated manner to place trades in the stock markets. Being a technology-heavy method of trading, terms like, arbitrage, NSE server racks, etc., often meet the eye of retail traders. SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) allowed algorithmic trading in India in 2009 and since then it has captured over 50% of the trading volumes in India. A major contribution to this is the HNIs and big brokerage and investment management firms who have access to the technology required to perform algorithmic trading.
Retail traders are not able to exploit the advantages of algorithmic trading due to the costs of technology involved, that can amount from anywhere between INR 1 to 5 lacs per year. But thankfully, there are startups, that are allowing retail traders also to reap the benefit of algorithmic trading.
Kuants, a Fintech based in Gurugram, is making algorithmic trading easy for those who cannot code themselves and those who are not comfortable in using the readymade algorithms available in the platform.
Kuants - Company Highlights
- Startup Name-Kuants
- Founders-Ayush Gangwar & Mohit Bansal
- Parent Organization-Meanbox Technologies Private Limited
About Kuants and How it works
Kuants is a startup that is enabling retail traders to do algorithmic trading in the Indian stock markets in a cost-effective manner through its AlgoLab. Founded in Dec 2017, by Ayush Gangwar and Mohit Bansal, the vision of the startup is to ensure that technology never acts as a constraint ever to a stock trader in exploring the domain of algorithmic trading.
People can write their own algorithms through the web-based AlgoLab, test it on years of historical data and live trade automatically through a single click from the lab itself. For those who are not tech-savvy, Kuants takes care of the trading on behalf of the users so that the users can gain the most out of their investments.
The product is a web application that people can simply log in via Google at algolab.kuants.in. Just after login, they are presented with their dashboard from which they can navigate to different sections like the Backtest page, the help center, a SMART marketplace and their previous strategies.
Kuants lets users do algorithmic trading in two ways-
Algorithmic lab: Here users can create their own trading algorithms, and Backtest on Equity, Futures, Commodities and Forex without any code. Algorithm lab comes with an In-Built Live Execution system with top brokers across the globe. Besides it also offers the users a chance to earn by sharing the algorithm.
Smart Algorithms lets the users Live trade on verified Algorithms developed by peers. Users are given the flexibility to change the algorithm anytime without any locking period.
Some attractive features offered by Kuants are-
Simple Process of starting Algorithmic trading: Users can backtest anytime and from anywhere simply by logging in to the account
Easy Result Analysis: Thorough Quantitative coverage is done for every algorithm tested
Professional Tools are provided which facilitates optimization, stress testing, paper trading and large scale backtesting within minutes.
Ready to Trade: each time a backtest is complete, the algorithms are automatically converted to trade ready format.
Differing from the conventional backtesting system, Kuants has integrated all the individual components like data feed, backtesting code, result metrics in a prebuilt format.
Kuants - How it works
The Key USP is that people can write trading algorithms without having to learn any programming language like C, Python Java, etc.
Emphasizing on uniqueness of the Platform Ayush says, “We have developed an expression based format that automatically converts simple English language based format into a code. This enables traders and quant researchers don’t need to focus on getting the programming right and they can just focus on the code algorithm development and testing”.
Kuants Founders/ CEO
Kuants is co-founded by two IIT Kharagpur graduates Ayush Gangwar and Mohit Bansal.
Ayush Gangwar (CEO) and Mohit Bansal (CTO)
Ayush Gangwar is the CEO of Kuants. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from IIT Kharagpur. Prior to founding Kuants, he used to work as a part-time Research Consultant at WorldQuant LLC, successfully developing trading algorithms for the US stock markets for a period of 3 years.
Mohit Bansal is the CTO of Kuants. Prior to joining Kuants, Mohit worked as a data scientist.
Kuants - Name, Tagline and Logo
The name "Kuants" is a derivative of quantitative researches and IIT Kharagpur. Ayush credits a lot of his work to his alma mater and the idea of attaching the initials with what the company software does looked convincing enough and also acted as a small gesture to IIT Kharagpur from the founder.
The tagline, being ‘Where Trading meets Technology’, represents the vision and approach of the company. The logo has been designed with the concept of two different vertices being combined together at the single platform that is Kuants.
How was Kuants Started
Kuants was instituted with a view to solving the hassles that the foundes themselves faced while doing algorithmic trading.
“Algorithmic trading needed a lot of programming, and utmost accuracy needed to be maintained in the entire process from start to end and. The maintenance of the code also was a task in itself which took away the focus from trading to developing the technology behind trading. From this experience, it was decided to create a common platform that trades and quantitative researchers can use focusing only on the trading part rather than technology infrastructure” says Ayush.
Kuants - Startup Launch
Kuants launched the first version of Algolab, then simply known as backtesting system through a press release in June 2018.
"Algolab’s launch garnered a lot of attention and was instrumental in getting the awareness of our product to the correct target audience. After months of hard work put in by the tech team of developing the backend architecture, it was good to see the amount of traffic we were able to handle that day" Ayush recounts.
Again, for the first 3 months, the company offered all services on a free-trial basis, which helped it acquire customers and customer feedback.
Kuants - Revenue Model
Kuants has taken a freemium approach to its Algolab, with basic features free and premium features of a monthly charge of INR 1999. In the premium version, people can do extensive backtesting as well as live trading on their algorithms in the stock markets, by opening a DEMAT account.
Kuants has tie-ups with Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd (MOSL) as a sub-broker, so the users need to open the DEMAT account with MOSL for trading through Kuants. Besides earning revenue from the users, Kuants also earns revenue through Brokerage sharing model with MOSL and by trading its own captive money.
Kuants - Funding and Investors
Kuants raised two round of seed funding till date.
Kuants - User Acquisition
For Kuants, organic marketing techniques have worked really wonders to attract customers while interesting email campaigns are created to retain these customers.
As Ayush says - “The money we have spent till date is only for the email campaigns and that’s because our user base grew exponentially that our email services provider refused to handle that many volumes of email ids and content for free. We would say it's a problem we loved to have”
Kuants - Startup Challenges
A major challenge was to keep the pricing of the Algolab well within the reach of a retail trader. Transforming a technology that costs around INR 1,00,000 to something that will cost around INR 16000 per year, that is an 84% drop, needs innovative technology methods and implementations that provide a better experience. After numerous sessions of brainstorming, the Kuants team was able to develop the product which is affordable for retail traders.
Kuants - Competitors
Streak, Quantopian, Quantconnect, Amibroker are a few competitors of Kuants.
Having a competitor is always a blessing as it always enables a startup to do something bigger and better, that repeats as a positive and growth-oriented vicious circle for the industry. - Ayush
Kuants - Awards & Recognitions
Kuants was selected by Morgan Stanley, the global financial technology giant for its CTO Summit, held in Oct 2018. The company was selected from among over 120 startups across Asia working in the fintech domain. The team presented its products and offering to the reveiw committee and was well lauded for its efforts and technological innovation.
Kuants - Growth and Revenue
Kuants launched the first version of the backtesting system in July 2018 and has seen an impressive month on month organic growth of 17% in users. Over 20,000 algorithms have been back tested till date(2019) on over 45000 years of data and have generated a trading turnover of INR 30 crore till date through its platform.
Kuants aims to achieve monthly recurring revenue of Rs 67 lakhs and Rs 3.7 crore in the financial year 2019 and 2020 respectively.