When you hear someone reference social trading, they are more commonly referring to ‘copy-me’ platforms. A ‘copy-me’ platform is where users auto-copy a stranger’s trades. The problem with the social trading name is that it’s not that relevant. A social network, such as Facebook, is a platform where you socialise with people you know. Copying strangers is in fact ‘anti-social’; you will never meet or know the trader you choose to copy.
So when we get asked “What is Pelican?” we curse, because the best one-liner appropriate to what we do has been stolen by these inherently ‘anti-social’ trading platforms.
So why do we think we are a the only ‘real’ social trading platform? Let’s start from the beginning where the Pelican idea originated. Mobile trading was hot and people were trusting their smartphones to place the majority of trades. Platforms were becoming overly complex and everyone was sharing their ideas in chat groups. So we built Pelican, a simple mobile only trading platform, that integrated the functionality for chat and trade sharing with friends.
Central to the Pelican experience is the ‘social’ interaction between people you know. Key to profitable trading is qualifying trades with people whose opinion you trust. That could be your brother, your football team, Warren Buffett (if he happens to be a friend), or a colleague who claims only ever to call the market right.
You can’t do this on eToro; the quintessential ‘social trading’ platform. And you certainly can’t do this on IG either; the quintessential ‘execution only’ platform.
Therefore, we approach our launch as a concept without category. We could attempt to coin an expression and hope that success ensures that it engrains itself in the world of FinTech diction. But I think we are comfortable with ‘Trading Network’. There isn’t one around like Pelican yet. And it also helps channel our proposition on becoming the retail traders’ Bloomberg.