Payouts: now ten times bigger!

We’ve been live with our new rules for two weeks now and very happy to announce that everything is working even better than we’d hoped. So well in fact, that we can lift our lifetime payout limit, from $10 to $100.

That’s enough to kickstart anyone’s trading career. You know what to do next: sign up here!

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A New Chapter for Spark Profit

After more than two years spreading opportunity around the world, we’ve had to make some important changes to Spark Profit. Please read carefully!

Change #1: All withdrawals via TIQL

We built Spark Profit, the first app of its kind in the world, to ① help you safely and easily learn how to trade, and ② provide an income to fund your new hobby or career. That vision hasn’t changed! But Spark Profit is not regulated, unlike its sister app “TIQL“. Regulation is a good thing for customers, so until we are able to get Spark Profit regulated you will only be able to cash out Spark Profit earnings in TIQL.

Change #2: Skill rewards are limited to $10

Spark Profit has paid over $350,000 in awards since 2014. This money came from our own and our investor’s pockets, as we worked hard to find a way to generate the profits necessary from the games you were playing. No-one had ever done this before because it is a very hard problem! In addition we noticed that it often took several months for players to start earning more than a few cents a week.

As a result we will now restrict skill earnings to a lifetime maximum of $10. Once you have earned $10 you should be skilled enough to use TIQL to grow the $10 we’ve given you into $30, or even a lot more!

Incidentally, your income from supporters remains unaffected, and is unlimited. Just don’t forget to log in to TIQL or Spark Profit each week to ensure you get it.

TIQL is a fully regulated product with strong consumer protections. If you have any difficulty registering a TIQL account please check that you are registering for the correct country, the one where you live. If you live in a country where TIQL is currently unavailable due to laws or regulations, we are sorry for the delay but we do expect that you will be able to access your credits in the future, as we add additional licences over time.

We thought very hard about the best way to continue with our mission of making financial markets safe and fun. The changes will result in more people receiving awards than before, giving more opportunity to a larger number of people.

Press Release: Nous secures US$600,000 in first financing round

Monday 20 October 2014, London, UK. For immediate release.

Financial sentiment data feed company Nous secures US$600,000

Start-up financial data company Nous, which crowdsources currency, stock indices, commodities and bitcoin data from its ‘Spark Profit’ virtual trading game, has raised over US$600,000 (£375,000) of external funding.

The investment is an important milestone and a validation of Nous’s business model, which to date has been entirely self-funded. Nous’s goal is to increase its Spark Profit user base to 250,000 users in the next six months.

Nous is using the funds raised to add new markets and social features to the Spark Profit application. All of the funding has been raised from private investors, predominantly senior finance and technology professionals at global investment banks.

Justin Short, CEO of Nous, says:

“This investment is fantastic news for Nous. All of our investors will contribute not just capital, but also their considerable industry experience. We now have even stronger connections to the forward thinking hedge-funds that can make the most of our unique data feeds.”

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.

In January 2014, Short and his colleagues launched their free-to-play virtual trading game – ‘Spark Profit’ – which enables players to predict currency and liquid instrument movements in return for cash prizes. Spark Profit has already 84,000 users in 200 separate countries, with several players expected to earn over a thousand dollars in annualized prize money through their accurate predictions.

Nous collects and processes the price prediction data, weighing in at 250,000 predictions per week, using its own proprietary software, and has created data feeds which it is marketing to hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions. It is in discussion with potential clients about pilot schemes to assess how Nous’ data can enhance their internal systems and strategies.

A key strength of Nous’s crowdsourced data is that it is generated without interpreting natural language responses, unlike some firms that analyze text such as comments on Twitter and Facebook to monitor consumer sentiment. Nous describes its product as “perfectly quantified intuition”.

The greater the player base, the higher the value of the data generated from its data feeds. The feeds give financial institutions the ability to understand – and even accurately anticipate – market price changes at multiple time scales, including much shorter ones than are served by traditional analysts.

Contacts

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

Neil Boom / MD, Gresham PR / +44 7866 805 108 / [email protected]

About Nous

Nous was founded in 2012 by Justin Short and four other former high flying Merrill Lynch traders and technologists, who saw an opportunity for professionals to better understand and predict financial markets, and to empower people around the world to discover their trading talents. It launched Spark Profit, the free-to-play virtual trading game, in January 2014.

www.nous.net

www.sparkprofit.com

Spark Profit’s Origins

This post is by Justin Short, CEO and Founder of Nous.

Spark Profit sunrise

Hi! I wanted to explain why we built Spark Profit and why it’s so special. So let me start with a bit of personal history.

Before I and four very smart people quit our jobs to found Nous together, I was working at a large Investment Bank as Regional Head of Electronic Trading Strategy. I’d been working in that industry for 14 years and judging by my performance reports, I was pretty good at it. So why quit?

One of the reasons was that I saw an unbelievably huge opportunity – not just for me but for literally millions of people. Working in the financial markets, I knew first-hand how important technology and quantitative skills are to trading profitably. After all, I commissioned and built strategies that helped our customers shave valuable basis points from their costs, improving their efficiency and ultimately benefitting their customers, the public.

But I also saw that human intuition was still very much alive. Certain colleagues at all the financial firms I have worked at: UBS; Deutsche Bank; and Merrill Lynch / Bank of America, were fantastically good at understanding the rhythm of the market. They could sense when the tide was about to turn, and make a lot of money by being one of the first to jump in and by riding the movement all the way. They naturally understood the psychology of the market.

I have a lot of respect for these people.

But one thing bothered me. They were to some degree all from a common mould. They were all university graduates, mostly male, all speaking English. They were comfortable wearing a suit and living in the city. Of course, they’d all made it through interviews with similarly demanding firms: they had to fit a mould. But was all that really necessary, in order to be a great trader?

I didn’t think so. Not at all.

Which begs the question, how many other people never got the chance to find their calling, just because they failed to fit the mould?

When I had my Eureka! moment, I found a way to connect everyone in the world to the markets and give them the right tools and incentive to win, without requiring anything from them in return. That is Spark Profit. Of course, I was happy that the system would be profitable for us, the creators. But I was ecstatic that at the same time it would be such a tremendous force for equality. Unlike Investment Banks, Spark Profit doesn’t care where you are or what you look like. Spark Profit doesn’t even mind if you have another job!

We like to say that Nous is an “opportunity factory” – because every day, a thousand more people experience that opportunity. Which is why when we started out, back in 2012, we created the Nous company vision:

THE NOUS VISION:

A world in which millions of people are living richer, happier lives thanks to their talents and our assistance.

Nous was the first company in the world to truly make trading free — and then even cheaper! Only Spark Profit offers you, and everyone in the world, a chance to test and refine your trading talents, while guaranteeing a skill-based payout that requires no payment and no deposit. We’re incredibly proud that we’ve never taken a single penny from any of our 80,000 players and yet we’ve already been able to award $60,000 in prizes.

We hope you like what we’re doing too. If you do, please spread the word (and maybe earn yourself a little extra income at the same time!)

Skrill

Good news for our friends in Pakistan and a few other countries: we’ve added a Skrill payment option. At the moment both PayPal and Skrill options are completely free to use because we’re being nice and don’t pass on all the charges we have to pay to use their services.

Payment Options

It’s pretty simple, just go to your Profile page and choose Skrill. It automatically sends the money to the same email address as registered in the app, so do be sure to change (and re-verify) your email if you need to.

Skrill payments

 

When you have enough money in your account to make a withdrawal, you’ll see a button like this one. Click and the money will be sent as soon our additional security checks have passed, usually within 24 hours.

Withdraw via Skrill

We’ve awarded over USD $22,000 in prizes now. How much have you earned?

Solving your problems

When we’re out talking to investors and VCs we’re often asked “what problem are you trying to solve”? Our app is designed to be educational and entertaining but we know that it’s the third reason — an income — that is most important for the majority of our users. Now you really can earn cash in your spare time, on your phone or PC. No investment, no experience required, and definitely no downside.

For many people that’s a life-changing opportunity.

To make an example, the average income in India is $100 a month, so the chance to earn an additional $120 per month is a very big deal. And in fact, the average Indian earns noticeably less than that because a few Indians are earning a lot more.

So Nous offers the chance to double or triple the average income for billions of people – for just a few minutes effort per day. We think that’s pretty good solution to a pretty big problem!