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Vurbl Makes Noise with Investor Lineup and $1 million in Pre-Seed Funding

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A new audio streaming platform is coming to town. Vurbl is set to shake things up as the company goes head to head with other popular platforms like Apple and Spotify. The goal of the platform is to become the “YouTube of Audio.”

Vurbl is a creator-first, free streaming audio platform for all audio types, including user generated audio. Similar to YouTube, Vurbl allows content creators to upload, earn subscribers and monetize their work. Vurbl will provide listeners that are looking to connect with  new voices and information with personalized playlists and stations across 40 categories. 

Recently, Vurbl’s CEO and co-founder, Audra Everett Gold, completed its pre-seed round closing at $1.3 million. The round was led by AlphaEdison, a knowledge-driven VC firm that invests in early-stage companies. Vurbl also attracted other investors including Halogen Ventures, TEN13, Angelist and other businesses  within the audio, advertisement and entertainment industries.

Nick Grouf, managing partner at AlphaEdison stated, “We believe Vurbl is opening up an entirely new audio market for listeners, creators and brands. This platform has the potential to change the way we consume audio on the internet and the timing is spot on. If anyone can pull this off this enormous opportunity, it’s the team at Vurbl.”

Gold launched Vurbl at the beginning of the year and once COVID-19 hit, the team opt-ed to work from home to stay safe and healthy. Gold and her team then doubled-down to develop Vurbl’s platform. Gold single handedly embarked on a journey to gain investor interest and secured funding during the pandemic mostly by way of Zoom calls.

The pre-seed funds are being used to develop and launch the Vurbl platform with over 25 million pieces of audio and podcasts. This will span across hundreds of categories and subcategories creating a sanctuary for content curators and listeners.

Gold is confident in the market demand for a streaming platform like Vurbl and stated, “Audio is scattered all over the internet in hard to find places, much of it costs money or is not findable, is not easy to playback, etc. We see millions of audio queries on Google and YouTube that reflect demand for audio of all types. The vast majority of these searches return subpar audio results or no audio results at all.”

Vurbl is uniquely positioned to win over audio aficionados with its promise of value added services and attractive revenue share program for creators.

Vurbl is set to launch its web-based platform experience in Q4 2020 with millions of discoverable audio, playlists and human-curated audio stations. The company also plans to announce additional updates including the launch of new mobile apps, a downloadable desktop app, and connected in-home devices for listeners to enjoy audio streams anytime and anywhere.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Beginner’s guide to ECN brokers: what they are, how they work, and are they right for you?

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Choosing the right Forex broker is one of the crucial steps when starting your trading journey. No matter how much you invest in your education, how you monitor the fluctuations of the market, and how well you understand fundamental and technical analysis, at the end of the day, the platform you trade on will influence your bottom line. Whether it’s the spread or the commissions you pay, the Forex broker will, to a certain extent, determine how much you make from trading.

By default, most Forex brokers are STP brokers. STP stands for (Straight Through Processing), which means that they give you all the tools you need to trade and act as middlemen between the trader and the liquidity provider. STP brokers are the most common, and many people who do Forex trading don’t feel the need to replace them with something else. You can definitely grow your wealth by signing up for an STP broker, and if you are happy with your current broker, there is no need to change it just yet.

However, STP brokers do have their limitations, and there may come a time when the trader wishes to negotiate trading positions directly with liquidity providers, without a middleman. And that’s where ECN brokers come in.

What are ECN brokers?

Without getting too technical, an ECN broker gives traders direct access to liquidity providers so that they can negotiate their own prices. ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network – that’s the network they use to facilitate contact between the two parties, without getting in the way. Thanks to this direct contact, you get a series of benefits: you have more transparency, there are better trading conditions, price manipulation is limited, and you can even trade outside of normal hours. However, like most things in Forex trading, switching to an ECN network is a highly subjective choice. Before you say goodbye to your STP broker, you need to understand both the pros and cons of ECN brokers, if they can match your trading strategy, and, perhaps most importantly, how to choose an ECN broker that really stands by its promise.

Pros and cons of ECN brokers

Pros:

Trade outside normal market hours 

Compared to standard brokers, ECN brokers are more flexible, and they allow you to trade outside the regular market hours.

More favorable prices

Usually, with ECN brokers, you have tighter bid-ask spreads, which means that you can execute trades at better prices than usually available. Plus, trades are executed immediately because there is no middle man.

Anonymity 

Although not all traders want to be anonymous, some do – particularly the ones who prefer making larger transactions. ECN brokers can offer that.

The broker won’t trade against you.

No matter if you win or lose a trade, the ECN broker still gets their commission, so they have no conflict of interest to work against you. STP brokers, however, can work against the client’s best interest by manipulating prices. Plus, the ECN broker will also give you access to real-time price information as well as the pricing history, so it’s virtually impossible to be fooled.

Cons:

As beneficial as ECN brokers might be, they have their drawbacks, and these drawbacks will affect you if they don’t match your trading strategy. The most important con you should know about is that all the benefits of ECN brokers come at a cost – and a high one at that. ECN brokers ask for higher fees and commissions compared to regular brokers. These commissions are usually fixed, which can be a good thing, but if you execute a lot of traders, all of those fees can really add up and affect your profitability.

What’s more, the deposit requirements are higher for ECN brokers, and that can be really discouraging. Many traders argue that the ECN platforms aren’t too user-friendly, and it’s difficult to get accustomed to this type of trading, but it’s important to keep in mind that ECN brokers aren’t for beginners. If you’ve only traded for a couple of months and you’re still not very used to it, it’s normal for an ECN broker to look more complicated, which is why, when you’re starting out, it’s best to stick with STP brokers.

Keep this in mind when choosing an ECN broker.

ECN brokers offer favorable terms, but they’re not as easy to find. For example, there are few ECN brokers for US clients, which means that you’ll have to do more research to find one, perhaps even look offshore for options. That’s because the regulatory environment is stricter in the US, and brokers have to abide by harsh terms and conditions. Offshore brokers can offer better terms, even if they’re not regulated in the US.

They should, however, be regulated. The problem with unregulated ECN brokers is that they can be regular STP brokers trying to fool their clients. If you don’t do your research, it’s possible to open an account with what you believe is an ECN broker, only to discover that the trades are very slow and that there are many requotes. A requote happens when the broker is not able to execute the trade based on the price you entered. To avoid unpleasant surprises such as this one, the first thing to do is check whether the broker you chose is regulated. If they are, that means their services are legit and, if you try to scam you in any way, you can file a formal complaint, and your rights are protected by the law. If they’re not regulated, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a scam, but you’re not protected in any way, and there is a chance you might be putting your money at risk. When in doubt, always check online reviews and comparisons. If a broker isn’t what they say they are, users will complain about it immediately, and you’ll avoid a potential scam.

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