Spark Profit: Fantasy trading game promises rewards with no risk



A few days ago we told you about Hong Kong-based online brokerage service 8 Securities which just recently made moves to expand its business to Japan. For aspiring traders out there who might need a little practice, or for someone looking to make some money on a slightly smaller scale, you might want to check out the fantasy trading platform Spark Profit.

Launched by Tokyo-based Nous back in January, Spark Profit lets you simulate trading in your browser (pictured above), using an iOS or Android app. Just yesterday the company announced that it has added Nikkei 225 support, as well as a new global sentiment indicator for all markets.

One of the more interesting claims that Nous makes about Spark Profit is that even if you have never traded before, you can learn and develop strategies to outperform the market. Nous CEO Justin Short explains the advantage of their new indicator in the announcement:

The purpose of our new free sentiment indicator is to help market participants improve their trading strategies by showing them the average person’s viewpoint, from right now all the way back to Spark Profit’s launch in January.

How does the company pay high-performing fantasy traders? I noticed on their site that Nous started out by trading based on player data, essentially copying what the good players do to earn money. But Short tells me that they’ve since moved to a different idea:

We’ve changed the business model slightly since [then]: rather than find and trade on the signal ourselves, we are concentrating on user (= data) growth at this time. Instead we will sell the data to large hedge funds for them to build a signal from.

I’m told they have started trials of this feed, called ‘Spark Data’, with some funds already. I understand that the company previously raised is in process of raising an angel round of about $600,000, and to date $30,000 in prizes have been paid to fantasy traders on Spark Profit.

The platform has 29,000 users spanning 194 countries, with 3,000 new users signing up every month.