Cryptocurrency is being traded across hundreds of exchanges globally. Frequent traders and institutional investors trade multiple assets manually on exchanges. These exchanges run 24x7x365 and have thousands of markets, which makes trading stressful and futile in the long term. Manual trading cause them to miss out on about 70 per cent of trading opportunities.
To make things convenient for themselves, traders create and employ bots, which can trade.
“But there is one big problem. Most traders understand trading and logic but don’t know how to code,” Edul Patel, who has been closely monitoring the crypto and blockchain industry for quite some time, tells me. “Building reliable infrastructure is cumbersome and expensive, and it can take up to US$100,000 and six months, not something that everyone can afford. We have created a platform to address these grievances.”
Mudrex is a platform that helps crypto traders automate their trading without writing a single line of code. The Bangalore-headquartered startup’s mission is to level the playing field for traders and investors by democratising access to the best infrastructure, support, and capital, says Patel.
How it works
Launched in mid-2018, Mudrex basically provides the user with a drag-and-drop based visual editor to create strategies, the ability to backtest on historical data and trade live with dummy money. Once confident, traders can go live with real money using the API key-based integration with Bitmex and Binance — two crypto exchanges that it has partnered with.
Here, the user starts off by building her strategy on the visual editor. She uses the drag and drop tool, something similar to Zapier, to build the strategy. This strategy is then tested on historical data and optimised. Once she has spent enough time on optimizing and is reasonably sure of her strategy, she deploys it on paper trading, where traders trade on live markets with dummy money to see the performance.
She then connects the API keys off the exchange, where she has her funds, with Mudrex. This gives Mudrex the ability to execute trades when the user’s strategy triggers a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ event.
“If the strategy makes money in paper mode, then the user deploys her strategy with real money on the asset of her choice. The strategy continues to buy/sell and trade live. The user can monitor her strategies actively and deploys funds if she seems fit,” Patel explains.
Mudrex was founded by a team of five entrepreneur friends — Edul Patel, Prince Arora, Snehil Buxy, Rohit Goyal, Alankar Saxena. Patel and Arora previously co-founded Niffler, a SAIF Partners-funded startup which was acquired by Tapzo.
Buxy is Co-founder of Housing.com, a SoftBank-funded proptech startup. Goyal previously co-founded Sabjiwala.com, a doorstep grocery delivery service. Saxena earlier founded a grocery-on-credit startup.
In early 2017, the team built a crypto exchange and launched a closed beta version in April 5. On April 9, India’s central bank RBI banned cryptocurrency, forcing the team to halt the launch.
“All this while, we were trading on other exchanges and we found manual trading very cumbersome. We realized that building an exchange is not the problem anymore, but building tools that help traders improve the quality of trades is more important. Hence Mudrex,” Patel notes.
According to him, there are a few platforms offering research for traders, including TradingView, Quantopian and QuantConnect. “TradingView is the largest platform when it comes to research for traders but users need to know how to code if they want to trade. Quantopian and QuantConnect, on the other hand, are platforms that provide users the ability to test their strategies. However, users can’t trade without writing codes. There are some visual based strategy creation tools like FXPro, but it is very complicated,” shares Patel.
“Here is where Mudrex assumes significance. Our platform solves the ‘coding’ problem for traders. Traders now don’t need to learn coding to build their strategies which solve their biggest pain point,” he claims.
The beta version of Mudrex was launched in November 2018, and it ran until February 1, 2019. During this time, the founders reached out to users individually.
In Patel’s view, crypto traders are a small but very active community and are present on three main channels — TradingView, Reddit, and Discord. Mudrex started off with Discord and reached out to the users individually to understand their issues.
“We spoke to around 1,500 users and of them managed to get around 300 to register with us and try our platform. As we grew, we got to know our users more and their requirements even better. We now have a very active community that gives us feedback before we launch anything. This user-driven approach has helped us come a long way in rapidly iterating and improving,” he explains.
The startup is single-mindedly focused on traders, who understand trading some bit and have been doing it for at least a few months. At present, 30 percent of its users are from India, while the rest come from other parts of the world. The startup expects the distribution to end up being more global where India contributes just one to two percent unless the regulatory environment changes.
Talking about monetisation strategy, Patel says the company is looking to charge a subscription-based revenue model for the research part and a per trade fee for live trading.
In the coming 18 months, the crypto venture plans to create a marketplace that allows investors to invest in other traders’ strategies. In addition, the company is working on wallets that have regulatory compliance and explore other asset classes like equities and foreign exchange.
How this business is scalable and why institutional investors should participate with you?
“Traders not only need an idea but also a sophisticated infrastructure to be able to implement their trading. We are building exactly that. Now if you are a good trader, you don’t need to go work for a fund. You can use the infrastructure to build and research their strategies on Mudrex and directly deploy their capital,” he claims.
“Also, the way we have built our platform, it’s asset-class agnostic. We can literally use the same platform across equities, foreign exchanges, commodities, bonds, etc. So it opens up a lot of avenues for us for the future,” says Patel.
Mudrex is the first crypto startup from India to be selected for Y Combinator. As part of the programme, the company has received US$150,000. In addition, it has secured a small seed round from angel investors like Vaibhav Domkundwar and Nitin Sharma.
“It has been a very fulfilling journey. From the lows of being banned by the RBI to the highs of being selected into Y Combinator, the journey has been super exciting. The journey has made me and the team grow immensely on both the personal and professional fronts,” he concludes.