I have only made two investments outside of North America – Billguard (acquired last year by Prosper) and Etoro. Both were made on a trip to Israel in 2010. Because Etoro fit really well into my thesis of do it yourself investing we invested what for us (Social Leverage) was a large amount.
When I met Yoni in 2010 and saw the product I called it ‘Zynga for Real Men‘. At the time Zynga was hot. Now that Zynga is a $ 2 stock and Etoro has grown from 100 too 400 employees with 5 million users and customers in 100 countries, it’s time to just call Etoro a great company and product.
I got to spend some quality time catching up with Yoni and his brother Ronen (he runs engineering) while in Tel Aviv. We talked about the brokerage business and product and the value of instinct over data. I met some of the team and saw the new headquarters. It is staggering to hear stories of how the team has launched brokerage services in 100 countries (including Russia and China). More amazing is how hard it remains to build a social/mobile brokerage here in the USA (they do not operate here).
This is their latest big launch and it is called CopyFunds. Here is Yoni explaining the product as he walks around the office in Tel Aviv.
I would love for Etoro to work in the USA. It seems the nation is smart/dumb enough to have Trump as President, so I think it’s time for the SEC to think about letting people follow my portfolio or yours with their own money in real time.