TradeX wants you to take a calculated bet on news and earn money
Where do you get your news from? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or WhatsApp? Is the source credible?
The spread of misinformation across social media, especially post COVID-19, is a growing cause for concern.
According to the Global Survey report, 82% of the news in India is consumed through social media. A study, Prevalence and Source Analysis of COVID-19 Misinformation in 138 Countries, revealed that India produced the largest amount of misinformation (18.07%) among the countries surveyed.
This misinformation goes on to shape the perspective and behaviour of the masses.
Aware of this problem and keen to do their bit to resolve it, IIT Roorkee alumni Divij Goyal and Ankit Shrivastava started, a trading platform for future events, in January 2021. The app was also a part of Y Combinator's Winter 2022 cohort.
A real-money gaming application that operates as a P2P trading platform, TradeX lets people trade on “opinions that matter to them” and “events that affect their daily life”, be it politics, COVID-19, Bollywood, or entertainment.
The prediction market startup works as a new-gen stock exchange, letting people use their opinions to earn money. For example, users can bet on ‘whether Joe Biden will complete his term as US president’ or Aamir Khan’s Lal Singh Chaddha will earn more than Rs 160 crore’.
“With wide social media penetration, misinformation, or lack of information, we end up with one-sided views,'' said Divij Goyal after the startup raised $1 million in a seed round from TDV Partners, SoMa Capital, and marquee investors such as Maninder Gulati, Anupam Mittal, Rajesh Shawney, Hitesh Chawla, Cem Garih, Justin Mateen, Fethi, and a few others.
“With TradeX, people can know what people around them think. People use the app to form an opinion about any event and trade to get a financial incentive for that opinion,” the entrepreneur said.
“We realised that misinformation tends to spread quickly – from one person to social media and then across the world. So, we felt that there has to be a platform that shows the two sides of the picture, a clear picture of the world and what the world is thinking about,” Divij said.
TradeX’s idea is simple: it wants you to “take positions on future events, predict the outcome using data (graphs provided in the app), earn money, and learn something new”.
How does the app work?
TradeX is available on the App Store for iPhone users. It is not yet available on the Play Store for Android users. Android users can use the app by downloading its APK from the browser.
The app has more than 5,000 downloads on Apple's App Store and 500,000 downloads overall, claim the founders. It is rated 3.8 on App Store, with mixed reviews. The app is not available on Google Play Store as real-money gaming apps cannot list on the same. Users on Android download the APK and install the app.
After installing the app, users can log in with a verification code sent to the phone number. They can apply the promo code available presently. This gives new users Rs 10 on signing in; a friend referring a new user stands to gain 25% cash back on the user’s total earnings.
The white and blue interface is easy on the eyes. The app’s home screen shows trending topics, ranging from the Hijab ban in educational institutes to Pakistan getting financial aid in 2022. Any topic may be showcased on the home screen to invest in.
The home screen provides various popular sectors to trade; these mostly include trending topics. It also offers recommendations based on previous investments.
The app accesses debit and credit cards by itself if these details are on Google Cards or iCloud. You need to provide the CVV and OTP to add money. There is also an option to add money through UPI, but the feature is not working yet. Net banking and wallets (Freecharge, OLA money, Phone Pe, Reliance Jio) can also be used to recharge the wallet for trading.
The wallet balance is displayed in the top right corner.
When it comes to withdrawals, a minimum amount of Rs 200 can be withdrawn, anything less than that cannot be withdrawn. The winnings can be withdrawn into the bank account used to add money.
How does one bet?
Winning the bet
When I tried using the app, the home screen was seeking predictions on whether Brazil would win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The share value for ‘yes’ was Rs 42 and that for ‘no’ was Rs 62.
The event is scheduled to end with the championship.
Earlier, I placed my bet on day three of a test match between England and New Zealand. The prediction? Would the number of runs scored that entire day cross 270? The value of ‘yes’ was Rs 85, indicating most people believed it was possible; ‘no’ was at Rs 14.43. I invested Rs 10, which bought me 0.12 shares. As the runs were made, I won Rs 12, which was credited to my wallet within an hour.
After an investment is made, it can be traded at any point in time before the event ends.
For example, the prediction made on Brazil’s fortunes in the World Cup can turn out wrong if they are trailing in one of the knockout games. At this point, the value of ‘no’ increases and ‘yes’ decreases. You can pull the plug on your bet if you feel the outcome is clear and will lose/gain money depending on the share value at the time (The share value depends on public opinion).
The status of the trade can be checked in the portfolio.
An option on the home screen lets you join a Telegram group called TradeX Prediction Insights. The group, which has more than 15,000 users, constantly keeps sharing opinions on events.
The TradeX interface seems a bit clumsy, with too many things crowding the home screen.
But the app – fairly glitch-free - provides a fun ride for those who love gambling, letting you know what people actually think about different topics. However, the fact remains that what people think and the reality are completely different. The app fails to make that distinction.
That apart, betting on your opinions and earning is quite a thrilling experience. It keeps you interested and engaged through the span of an event as opinions change along with facts.
The unavailability of the app on the Play Store is a problem. But the founders are keen to invest in technology after the seed funding. We can only wait and see what areas they are looking to invest in and what new areas the app will tap.
(The story was updated to reflect the total number of downloads and information on investors.)