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Freetrade preparing to take the plunge Down Under

The investment app will come head to head with local trading app Stake as it plans to launch in Australia, opening an office in Brisbane to help it do so.

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UPDATE 17-02-21 - Article has been updated to clarify that Freetrade is launching its app and service in Australia, something which the company initially denied when approached by AltFi.

Freetrade has joined the ever-growing list of UK fintechs setting up shop in Australia.

The investment platform is set to open an office in Brisbane imminently, with Tim Drew, Freetrade’s head of engineering, heading back to his native Australia to set up the new office and launch Freetrade Down Under. 

According to Drew’s LinkedIn, he will head up the fintech’s Australian operations and remain the head of engineering in the new office.

In a Tweet, that has since been deleted, Drew wrote: “Excited to announce that I'm setting up a Freetrade office in Brisbane!”

“Unique opportunity to work in an early-stage startup, whilst enjoying the security that comes with the backing of a well-funded London Fintech.”

To aid Drew with the opening of the new office, Freetrade is looking to hire a senior and a principal software engineer, to help the fintech put down solid roots ahead of its launch Down Under.

As well as opening an office in Brisbane, Freetrade is gearing up to launch in the Netherlands and Sweden, with the fintech on the hunt for a country launcher in both Stockholm and the Netherlands. 

Back in November 2020, the investment platform confirmed that, as soon as it gained approval from the regulator, that it would be taking the plunge in Sweden, making the Nordic country its first international expansion destination.

It is not known whether or not Freetrade’s Australian operations will be helped along by its open banking partner TrueLayer, but with the financial API provider also making the move Down Under it’s likely that the two firms will be working closely together. 

Freetrade’s current expansion plans will see the fintech enter new markets with already well-established trading apps.

By launching in Australia, it will come up against native commission-free trading app Stake, which launched in the UK in February 2020, has over 300,000 customers and is one of the few trading apps available to Australians that allows them to trade US stocks.

While in the Netherlands, Freetrade will be coming face to face with Dutch investment platform BUX, which has amassed more than 2.5 million users across nine European countries. 

AltFi approached Freetrade for a comment but it declined to provide one. 

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