Press Release: Nous aims to raise over £350,000

Wednesday 18 November 2015, London, UK. For immediate release

Note: also available at

Nous aims to raise over £350,000 from the crowd in its second seed round

Nous Global Markets is raising funds to bring an ultra-low-risk trading service to millions of customers around the world.

London-based start-up Nous Global Markets was created to educate people about the enjoyment and the challenges of financial markets. It has already raised over £190,000 (US$290,000) of funding in this round and expects to reach a total of over £350,000 via a network of Angel investors.

The investment is an important validation both of Nous’s traction since going live in 2014, having reached over 300,000 users at a cost of under 50p per unique user, and of their future plans. Nous will use the funds to release a revolutionary trading application designed for individuals that are excluded by current financial products.

All of Nous’ funding to date has been raised from private investors, predominantly senior finance and technology professionals at global investment banks. This seed round has now been opened up at those same terms to Angel and HNWI investors, via the Syndicate Room investment platform.

Justin Short, CEO of Nous, says:

“With the great success of our Spark Profit application we realised that there were millions of people with discretionary capital and the desire to trade in financial markets, but no economically sensible way for them to actually do that. We will put the world’s most low-cost and consumer-friendly trading system into their pockets.”

Nous Global Markets was founded in September 2012 by Justin Short and four other former high flying Merrill Lynch traders and technologists. Originally based in Tokyo it has since relocated to London and has received EIS Advance Assurance.

In January 2014, Short and his colleagues launched their free-to-play virtual trading game — ‘Spark Profit’ — which enables players to predict financial market movements with no risk, in return for cash prizes. Spark Profit’s uniquely visual, beginner-friendly interface and weekly cash rewards have already attracted over 300,000 users in 200 separate countries.

At the beginning of 2015, while learning more about their customers’ needs, they found that 95% of regular players wanted to start real trading, ideally inside Spark Profit itself. A thorough review of the competition showed that there was indeed a very large opportunity to create a simple, low-risk way for people to trade — which would be a natural progression of the existing app and a validation of Nous’ “profit together” ethos. The new trading application will feature several consumer-friendly features that are unique in combination. It is due for soft-launch in Q1 2016.


Justin Short / CEO, Nous Global Markets / +44 207 117 2942 / [email protected]

About Nous

Nous, positioned at the intersection of Finance, Gaming and Education, was founded in 2012 by Justin Short and four other highly experienced traders and technologists. They saw an opportunity to empower people around the world to discover their own talents and benefit from access to global opportunities, via their smartphones. Nous launched Spark Profit, the free-to-play virtual trading game, in January 2014.


Getting paid in the UK? Great news!

If you pay UK income tax, you probably didn’t realise that there is a much better use for your hard-earned money than lining the tax-man’s pockets. EIS is a government scheme designed to encourage investment into high-growth startups, by removing a whole lot of the risk from investing and also by adding extra returns on top. That means you have an unbeatable risk/reward combination that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world – and it certainly beats paying tax!

First Off: 30%

Let us quickly show you the benefits in a worked example, using a worst-case / best-case comparison. Suppose you are planning to invest £10,000 in a company with EIS Advance Assurance. The first bit of good news is that you can immediately take 30% of the investment value (£3,000) off your income tax, either for the current tax year or the previous one. So really you have just paid £7,000 for £10,000 of shares. Very nice work!

Worst case: Losses Under Half

Suppose things don’t go to plan and a year later the company goes out of business. Those shares are worth nothing now… except that you can actually claim the additionally lost value against your income. Since you’ve already claimed 30% this means you can claim the remaining 70% against your income. Assuming you’re paying the 40% tax rate, you’ve paid £10,000 for shares, received a total of £5,800 in tax credits, resulting in a net loss of just £4,200! (Higher-rate taxpayers only lose 38.5%). For a worst case scenario that’s really good.

Best case: Far Better ROI

Now suppose instead that things go to plan and your shares are now worth 10x what they were – £100,000. Normally you’d have to pay 20% capital gains tax on that, so your profit would be £72,000 = 80% * (100,000 – 10,000). You invested £10,000 so your ROI – return on investment – is 720%. That sounds great until you compare it to EIS, where your returns are £93,000 and your ROI is an eye-watering 1,329%.

Expected Returns

Let’s recap. In the worst case you’ve lost 42% of what you invested. The stock market is not nearly so forgiving! But in the best case you’ll get way better returns, on what is already a great investment.

EIS is probably the best investment scheme in the world right now.

Next Steps

Now you need to find a few potential investments, ideally companies with EIS Advance Assurance and an excellent chance of big returns. Nous is currently fund-raising in an EIS round – we have a strong team, proven traction, a consumer-friendly, defensible product, and potential for a 30x increase in company valuation over the next 5 years. (As you can see from our handy-dandy EIS calculator that is a risk:reward ratio of over 48x!). Go forth and multiply, friends!

Remember that you should only invest as part of a diversified portfolio and that your capital is at risk. The availability of EIS tax relief depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future. You should obtain independent tax advice before proceeding with your investment.