Kuants- Algorithmic Trading Made Easy for Retail Traders

Algorithmic trading is quite a buzz word among the stock traders community. People are excited about it as to how a computer program can replace a manual trader in a disciplined, scalable, and automated manner to place trades in the stock markets. Being a technology-heavy method of trading, terms like HFT, arbitrage, NSE server racks, etc often meet the eye of the retail traders. SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India allowed algorithmic trading in India in 2009 and since then it has captured over 50% of the trading volumes in India. A major contribution to this is the HNIs and big brokerage and investment management firms who have access to the technology required to perform algorithmic trading.

Retail traders are not able to exploit fully the advantages of algorithmic trading due to the costs of technology involved, that can amount from anywhere between INR 1 to 5 lacs per year. But Thankfully now many startups are coming up that are allowing retail traders also to reap the benefit of algorithmic trading.

Kuants, a Fintech based in Gurugram, is making algorithmic trading easy for those who cannot code themselves and even those who are no comfortable in using the readymade algorithms available in the platform. StartupTalky interviewed Kuants co-founder Ayush Gangwar to get an insight about the startup.

Startup Name Kuants
Headquarter Gurugram
Founders Ayush Gangwar & Mohit Bansal
Sector Fintech
Founded 2017
Parent Organization Meanbox Technologies Private Limited

About Kuants
Kuants Founders/CEO
Kuants - Name, Tagline and Logo
How was Kuants Started
What is Kuants
Kuants - Launching Startup
Kuants - Revenue Model
Kuants - Funding and Investors
Kuants - User Acquisition
Kuants - Startup Challenges
Kuants - Competitors
Kuants - Awards & Recognitions
Kuants - Growth

About Kuants

Kuants is a startup that is enabling retail traders to do algorithmic trading in the Indian stock markets in a cost-effective manner through its AlgoLab. Founded in Dec 2017, by Ayush Gangwar and Mohit Bansal, the vision of the startup is to ensure that technology never acts as a constraint ever to a stock trader in exploring the domain of algorithmic trading.

People can write their own algorithms through the web-based AlgoLab, test it on years of historical data and live trade automatically through a single click from the lab itself. For those who are not tech-savvy, Kuants takes care of the trading on behalf of the users so that the users can gain most out of their investments.

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Kuants Founders/ CEO

Kuants is co-founded by two IIT Kharagpur graduates Ayush Gangwar and Mohit Bansal.

Ayush Gangwar is the CEO of Kuants. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from IIT Kharagpur. Prior to founding Kuants, he used to work as a part-time Research Consultant at WorldQuant LLC, successfully developing trading algorithms for the US stock markets for a period of 3 years.

Mohit Bansal is the CTO of Kuants. Prior to joining Kuants, Mohit worked as a data scientist at EasyRewardz.

The name Kuants is a derivative of quantitative researches and IIT Kharagpur. Ayush credits a lot of his work to his alma mater and the idea of attaching the initials with what the company software does looked convincing enough and also acted as a small gesture to IIT Kharagpur from the founder.

The tagline, being ‘Where Trading meets Technology’, represents the vision and approach of the company.

The logo has been designed with the concept of two different vertices being combined together at the single platform that is Kuants.

How was Kuants Started

Kuants was instituted with a view to solving the hassles that the founders themselves faced while doing algorithmic trading.

“Algorithmic trading needed a lot of programming, and utmost accuracy needed to be maintained in the entire process from start to end and. The maintenance of the code also was a task in itself which took away the focus from trading to developing the technology behind trading. From this experience, it was decided to create a common platform that trades and quantitative researchers can use focusing only on the trading part rather than technology infrastructure” says Ayush.  

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What is Kuants

The product is a web application that people can simply log in via Google at algolab.kuants.in. Just after login, they are presented with their dashboard from which they can navigate to different sections like the Backtest page, the help center, an upcoming SMART marketplace and their previous strategies.

Kuants lets users do algorithmic trading through two ways-  

  1. Algorithmic lab: Here users can create their own trading algorithms,  and Backtest on Equity, Futures, Commodities and Forex without any code.  Algorithm lab comes with In-Built Live Execution system with top brokers across the globe. Besides it also offers the users a chance to earn by sharing the algorithm.
  2. Smart Algorithms lets the users Live trade on verified Algorithms developed by peers. Users are given the flexibility to change the algorithm anytime without any locking period.

Some attractive features offered by Kuants  are-  

  • Simple Process of starting Algorithmic trading: Users can backtest anytime and from anywhere simply by logging in to the account  
  • Easy Result Analysis: Thorough Quantitative coverage is done for every algorithm tested  
  • Professional Tools are provided which facilitates optimization, stress testing, paper trading and large scale backtesting within minutes.  
  • Ready to Trade: each time a backtest is complete, the algorithms are automatically converted to trade ready format.  

Differing from the conventional backtesting system, Kuants has integrated all the individual components like data feed, backtesting code, result metrics in a prebuilt format.

The key USP is that people can write trading algorithms without having to learn any programming language like C, Python Java, etc.

Emphasizing on the uniqueness of the Platform Ayush says, “We have developed an expression based format that automatically converts simple English language based format into a code. This enables traders and quant researchers don’t need to focus on getting the programming right and they can just focus on the code algorithm development and testing”.

Kuants - Launching Startup

Kuants launched the first version of Algolab, then simply known as backtesting system through a press release in June 2018.

"Algolab’s launch garnered a lot of attention and was instrumental in getting the awareness of our product to the correct target audience. After months of hard work put in by the tech team of developing the backend architecture, it was good to see the amount of traffic we were able to handle that day" Ayush recounts.

Again, for the first 3 months, the company offered all services on a free-trial basis, which helped it acquire customers and customer feedback.

Kuants - Revenue Model

Kuants has taken a freemium approach to its Algolab, with basic features free and premium features of a monthly charge of INR 1999. In the premium version, people can do extensive backtesting as well as live trading on their algorithms in the stock markets. By opening a DEMAT account. Kuants has tie-ups with Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd (MOSL) as a sub-broker, so the users need to open the  DEMAT account with MOSL for trading through Kuants.

Besides earning revenue from the users, Kuants also earns revenue through Brokerage sharing model with MOSL and by trading its own captive money.

Kuants - Funding and Investors

Kuants raised two round of seed funding till date.

Funding Date Funding Stage Funding Amount Investor
November 2017 Seed Undisclosed India Accelerator
Jaunary 2018 Seed 50 Lacs Mr. Pankaj Chpra & Mr. Ankush Gupta

Kuants - User Acquisition

For Kuants, organic marketing techniques have worked really wonders to attract customers while interesting email campaigns are created to retain these customers. Kuants’ email campaigns have been quite successful, as Ayush says-  “The money we have spent till date is only for the email campaigns and that’s because our user base grew exponentially that our email services provider refused to handle that many volumes of email ids and content for free. We would say it's a problem we loved to have”

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Kuants - Startup Challenges

A major challenge was to keep the pricing of the Algolab well within the reach of a retail trader. Transforming a technology that costs around INR 1,00,000 to something that will cost around INR 16000 per year, that is an 84% drop, needs innovative technology methods and implementations that provide a better experience. After numerous sessions of brainstorming, the Kuants team was able to develop the product which is affordable for retail traders.

Kuants - Competitors

Streak, Quantopian, Quantconnect, Amibroker are a few competitors of Kuants.

Having a competitor is always a blessing as it always enables a startup to do something bigger and better, that repeats as a positive and growth-oriented vicious circle for the industry. - Ayush

Kuants - Awards & Recognitions

Kuants was selected by Morgan Stanley, the global financial technology giant for its CTO Summit, held in Oct 2018. The company was selected from among over 120 startups across Asia working in the fintech domain. The team presented its products and offering to the review committee and was well lauded for its efforts and technological innovation.

Kuants - Growth

Kuants launched the first version of the backtesting system in July 2018 and has seen an impressive month on month organic growth of 17% in users. Over 20,000 algorithms have been back tested till date on over 45000 years of data and have generated a trading turnover of INR 30 crore till date through its platform.

Kuants aims to achieve monthly recurring revenue of Rs 67 lakhs and Rs 3.7 crore in the financial year 2019 and 2020 respectively.

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About Chayanika Goswami

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