Hot 100: Race to Grace winner, Fastura Technologies’ MCX Market Tracker app is like a personalised stock broker at your beck and call. By Shweta Gandhi
The Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) is the number one commodity exchange in the country, with a yearly turnover of over Rs 51 lakh crore. No wonder Karthikeyan Krishnan, founder of Fastura Technologies, chose to engineer an app dedicated to the same. The app, called MCX Market Tracker, provides live data, resistance and support levels, customer support calls and charts for users looking to trade in commodities like gold, silver, lead, copper, oil and agricultural commodities like wheat and coffee.
“Earlier, most of the commodity trading was done over the computer,” explains Karthikeyan. “Only equity trading mobile apps were available. We found a gap and sought to capture the huge trading market by creating this app.” Created in December 2013, the app has been downloaded over 50,000 times till date.
“Unlike the stock market, the commodity market is open for 13 hours from 10 am to 11.30 pm. It’s impossible for an individual to watch it all the time and predict the market value and commodity value. And that’s where our app comes in. It updates the user on live news with tips and suggestions provided by our research team of market analysts,” says Karthikeyan. Subscribers receive four to eight calls every day, with SMSes and follow-ups. Exclusive relationship managers are also available to council all customers for free. The app’s intuitive live data screen gives subscribers information about the current market movement so they can decide how and if they wish to trade.
So what gives MCX Market Tracker an edge over its competitors, which include big financial companies and other financial apps? “On researching the market we realised that, as a customer, the data available on these forums was not user friendly,” says Karthikeyan. “So we focussed on how to provide information and values in an understandable manner, and my engineering skills were useful in creating an easy-to-use application.”
MCX Market Tracker is free to use for a trial period of 15 days, post which subscribers can choose a monthly subcription plan—they range from Rs 500 to Rs 6,000. Premium services like the Energy Premium Plan, Bullion Premium Plan and the Base Metals Premium Plan are also available for those who want specialised services.
One of the biggest challenges Karthikeyan initially faced was listing the Android app in the Google Play Store so that it came right on top. “We had no idea about how the Google Play Store worked and we struggled to show our app on the top. Listing is important, we had to make it easy for our users to search for us. It took us considerable amount of time figuring out the right keywords to achieve the same,” he says. He adds that MCX Market Tracker is now one of the top three mobile MCX apps in the Google Play Store, among 200+ other similar apps.
Since its inception in 2013, the app has seen a 20 per cent growth. In 2014 it was downloaded 23,000 times, 2015 saw 32,000 downloads and 2016 has seen 4,500 till date. The app started out as Android-only, and has recently launched a version that is compatible with Windows. The app currently has about 2,890 active users and has generated revenue of around Rs 18 lakh through the paid subscription model.
For two years in a row (2014 and 2015), Fastura Technologies has won the Hot 100: Race to Grace award, been shortlisted for Microsoft BizSpark, Google Launchpad, Code For The Next Billion, and the FBStart Program. And just recently the company was also selected for the ICICI Appathon Phase 2.
Karthikeyan says that his team is also working on developing a user-friendly application for the NSE, which he’s hoping to release by May 1, and they have recently released an Android app for the NCDEX. Other expansion plans include offering services to advisory and brokerage companies to help them develop customised apps, and taking Fastura’s services to other countries. “The commodity and stock market are big in India and abroad, and we’re looking to just get bigger and better!”