If you’ve been an active follower, you’ve most likely heard of the Deloitte Fast 50 awards. In 2019, we received an award in the Rising Stars category in 2020, we defended that win, and in 2021?
Well in 2021, we have won the main Fast 50 category.
Not only that, but with an astonishing growth of almost 40,000%, the entire FTMO Team managed to rewrite 22 years of history in this competition and we couldn’t be more proud of holding the title of absolute winners! In this article you can read a translation of interview with our founders.
We took the liberty to translate this article from CzechCrunch, which sheds more light on the background of FTMO and provides an interview with our founders.
Our Czech followers can read the original here, the rest can enjoy the English translation.
They grew from one billion to three billion in a year and dominated the Fast 50. FTMO from Prague connect and train amateur traders
From one billion to three billion in one year. FTMO is the fastest-growing tech company in Central Europe and slowing down is not on the agenda
Normally, Marek Vašíček has a deep, fairly calm voice. But when it comes to how he and his business partner Otakar Šuffner tried unsuccessfully to buy a smaller development studio, he starts to sound emotional, almost angry. “We naively thought it would be like buying a car. You take a few rides, make a few configurations, negotiate the price, and the deal is done. Of course, it is not that simple, so we’re still looking. And we still have a lot to learn.” It’s no wonder they have a lot to learn – they’ve launched a business rocket.
Their company, FTMO, is hurtling upward at a pace that is hard to believe, and both young entrepreneurs are learning as they go, or rather, as they fly. The proof? FTMO is this year’s winner of the Deloitte Fast 50, which compares the fastest growing public or private technology companies in Central Europe. The firm jumped a staggering 39,432 percent between 2017 and 2020. And even now, it’s not slowing down.
While the last year their turnover reached over a billion Czech crowns, this year it is headed for a triple. “It’s no longer an annual sixteen times growth like between 2019 and 2020, but even three times is decent,” laughs Šuffner. Not a bad feat for two guys in their early 30s who are not very well known in the local business community. So what does FTMO do? Simply put, it brings together amateur traders from around the world.
The project has two business legs related to each other. FTMO offers people who are interested in trading access to a special trading account, with the prospect of sharing any profits in a ratio of 80 percent for the trader and 20 percent for FTMO. But before anyone can become their trader, he/she must pass a series of tests, which are fee-based.
The cost stays within hundreds of dollars and the whole process can take several months. “We get tens of thousands of people from all over the world,” says Šuffner, 32, who is the company’s CEO. Those who pass through the business courses are rather a minority. “There are currently about four thousand traders trading on our platform for our company FTMO,” he adds.
The Prague-based firm will have 110 employees by the end of the year, some of them based in Ukraine, where, incidentally, the founders were also looking at a possible acquisition of an IT firm. “Getting decent programmers and computer specialists is a headache these days, especially in Prague. That’s why we are searching for another company that could be bought. The market is absolutely tight, people’s demands are becoming enormous,” shrugs Marek Vašíček, who is three years younger than his partner and has CTO or Chief Technology Officer on his business card.
Their company is now about to move from the vicinity of Prague’s Main Railway Station right to the center of the metropolis, where they have leased almost 1,400 sqm in the Quadrio administrative center on Národní třída. FTMO will be staying within an excellent company, as the building is home to well-known billionaires: the owner of the CPI real estate group Radovan Vítek, industrialist Tomáš Němec, and investor Václav Dejčmar.
Vašíček’s and Šuffner’s business has its roots back in 2013 when they met on a business course at the University of Economics. They got along and as trading was their common interest, they started trading together. And since they enjoyed sitting in a room with like-minded friends and sharing both ideas and funds, building a business was the logical following step.
“We figured there must be more people like us,” recalls Šuffner. For a long time, however, it didn’t look like the success was coming; they heard many times that they were going down a blind path, even losing out at a university startup competition. “But we believed it was worth it,” says Vašíček, adding that they initially focused on the Czech market under the brand Získejúčet.cz.
There were already a few similar projects in the world at that time, but none of them seemed sufficiently mature and user-friendly. It was when they started to become more internationally focused that their company started to grow dramatically – after 2017. Now their investment platform is available in several languages with 24/7 live support, performance coaching services for traders and course participants, and a possible brokerage service coming soon.
“We have applied for a European license, we are dealing with it in Cyprus where the procedure gets less complicated. Since we had already built our own brokerage system, it would be a waste not to use it and offer it to a wider audience,” says Otakar Šuffner.
Both young entrepreneurs admit that the investment boom of the last two years, when stock trading became a very popular topic thanks to apps like Robinhood, has helped them. Moreover, as covid has trapped millions of people at home and shown that almost everything can be handled remotely via the internet alone, the previously closed investment world has opened up more to the mainstream. “At the same time, we’re giving people from all corners of the world an opportunity to make money; thanks to us, they can get their hands on some really nice money with much less risk and cost,” Vašíček points out.
Traders who pass the test and start trading through FTMO will be offered up to $200,000, but the system monitors them to make sure they don’t fall into excessive losses. And who are these traders? A wide range of people, from managers who enjoy trading more as an adrenaline hobby, to mothers on maternity leave, to university students. Most of them are coming from the US.