Call Levels to follow “local markets, local partners” strategy as it expands

Call Levels graphic.

Founded by Cynthia Siantar and Daniel Chia, Singapore-based Call Levels monitors live exchange data and provides free immediate price alerts to users globally, providing automated price notification calls for investors across portfolios of stocks, commodities, forex and indices, with users being able to share alerts with peers in order to extend tracking and monitoring.

Since concluding an investment round from the Lippo Group, Siantar shared that it had seen a surge in growth. She commented: “We have seen tremendous growth in the number of users of over the past year and currently have over 145,000 users in Call Levels, and while most users set an average of 3 levels, our top users can set up to 50 new levels every day.”

In email communications with DEALSTREETASIA, Siantar discussed the origins of Call Levels, recalling: “It all started in a car ride conversation between Daniel and I when we were discussing about the ONE thing that all financial market participants needed but never had a good solution to?”

According to Siantar, the decision to brand it as Call Levels refers to the commonly used trading floor lingo ‘Call me when the price reaches this level‘ – related to “something Daniel used to set with his salespeople during his days as a hedge fund manager (client).”

She elaborates: “More often than not, it continues to be a very manual, expensive process within the industry and provided only to premium clients. The unscalability of this process meant that most non priority clients do not have access to this service. From this, we both decided to focus our relevant skills and experience to provide the best, most reliable price alerts for multiple assets and empower everyone watching the markets.”

Speaking on further features planned for the app, Siantar told DEALSTREETASIA that their venture plans to further enhance the app with the addition of more assets and building in-app services that can connect users to preferred brokerages or trading platforms the moment an alert is triggered.

Speaking on their current business model, she explained: “Currently, we have a multi-year partnership with DBS Vickers which is revenue generating, and we are developing API for monitoring services as part of our B2B monetisation strategies and we aim to secure more partnerships with financial institutions, other fintech startups, etc.”

Siantar explains that they eventually plan to implement a monetisation model enabling users to access to additional features, such as a monthly subscription for unlimited Call Levels quota, a tiered usage basis or a combination of the two.

When asked about cryptocurrencies, she remarked: “As for cryptocurrencies, we are currently offer Bitcoin price monitoring in USD, EUR and SGD and they represent about 1% of our Call Levels created.”

Edited excerpts:

Where do you see it expanding to, in terms of geography? 

Call Levels is currently focused on the global financial centres including Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York with the assets we currently offer optimised for users in these markets.

We have intentions to expand into other local markets like China, Japan, Southeast Asia etc. but we would need to source for reasonably priced data and would much prefer to work with local partners who understand the markets well.

In terms of the investment ecosystem, do you see any funding gaps locally and in the region?

Fortunately, as a fintech startup, Call Levels is thankful for the support and funding received from institutional investors like 500 Startups and Lippo Group, as well as private individuals with vast experience in finance. These will help connect us with more users within the Asia Pacific region and beyond, and empower them in the face of volatile market movements by delivering reliable, immediate price alerts.

In addition, government support is especially strong in Singapore as authorities such as MAS has also set up funds of S$225 million over the next 5 years to the use of technology and innovation in the finance industry that will definitely boost the local Fintech scene.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has also set aside S$40 million for a scheme that will incentivise large local enterprises (LLE) to partner with promising technology startups, S$10 million of which are set aside for Fintech

What’s your experience with venture capitalists in Singapore and Southeast Asia region? As an entrepreneur, what improvements, if any, would you like to see? 

I would like to see from the VCs more familiarity across a wider range of fintech verticals, so that subject matter expertise and expectations for innovation can then be better aligned.

Lots of VCs here seem to extend their footprint into more retail/consumer banking fintech services like payments/p2p lending. It would be great if VCs are able to expand their horizons into working with startups who have innovative ideas that exist in other fintech verticals like wealth management, data analytics and research.

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