Options AI, a unique brokerage platform putting option spreads in the toolkit of retail investors, today announced it has closed an oversubscribed $4.1 million seed round.
The funding round was led by Akuna Capital, Optiver Principal Strategic Investments and Miami International Holdings, Inc., with participation from ViewTrade Holdings.
“Technology has helped fuel a resurgence in active investing, but it hasn’t levelled the playing field for retail investors,” says John Foley, CEO of Options AI. “With options, the focus has been on getting investors to their first-trade, not improving access to more advanced trades. That puts retail investors at a disadvantage and is why we built Options AI to be the first platform where it’s as straightforward to trade multi-leg spreads as it is to buy a stock.”
As the number of retail investors has grown in recent years, so too has participation in the options market. Not just from those seeking outsized returns but also active investors wanting option spreads for purposes of income generation, to risk less capital or as a stock alternative. But for many, a lack of innovation combined with inherent market complexities, means the path to more advanced trading remains highly challenging. Options AI is out to change that.
“It’s time to upgrade the entire options experience for retail investors,” says Foley. “We’ve designed Options AI as a co-pilot through the options chain. A simple and intuitive interface that gives newer investors the confidence to graduate to spreads combined with powerful features to give savvy investors the most efficient trading experience.”
Options AI currently sees more than 80% of its trading volume in multi leg option spreads and has relied largely on organic growth to date. The company is currently expanding its team and plans to open an office in Chicago in the near future.
“We’re extremely excited to be partnering with such high-quality strategic investors who understand the opportunity and share in our vision of bringing not just smarter options but also higher quality execution to retail investors,” says John Foley.
“We are thrilled to back John Foley and his talented team at Options AI,” said Rutger Brinkhuis, CEO of Optiver US. “By providing users with greater access to options trading tools and education, Options AI is revolutionizing the retail trading experience. The platform’s vision of empowering retail traders to become more efficient, informed and successful directly aligns with Optiver’s mission to improve financial markets for all participants.”
“Akuna Capital is excited to partner with Options AI, a fast-growing and innovative solution for retail options traders looking for a more sophisticated trading platform. Akuna sees tremendous opportunity in the retail options trading space, and are looking forward to working with the Options AI team to leverage our expertise in the industry and assist in Options AI’s future development,” says Toby Joy, Chief Strategy Officer of Akuna Capital.
ABOUT OPTIONS AI
Options AI Financial, LLC is a U.S. based broker-dealer with a goal of bringing smarter options to retail investors. Its innovative technology provides a simple and visual approach to options trading. Empowering investors to clearly see opportunity, compare strategies and manage positions.
ABOUT AKUNA CAPITAL
Akuna Capital was founded in Chicago in 2011 with a focus on options market making using its industry-leading proprietary technology. Akuna now employs ~500 people with offices in Chicago, Sydney, Shanghai and Boston. Akuna trades across all major asset classes on a wide variety of venues worldwide. Akuna has been an active venture capital investor since 2018 having led the pre-Series A round into BlockFi and making many investments since across a variety of industries.
ABOUT OPTIVER STRATEGIC PRINCIPAL STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS
Optiver Principal Strategic Investments (PSI) is incubating and empowering the most impactful projects in the financial industry. Comprised of a global team of former traders, developers, strategy and business development professionals, Optiver PSI draws upon veteran expertise spanning the full ecosystem of financial markets. With a keen interest in upcoming FinTech, IT Infrastructure and Digital Asset ventures, Optiver PSI aims to identify entrepreneurs shaping financial markets of the future. Through their partnership, Optiver PSI provides founders with long-term guidance, unparalleled technological capabilities, mentorship and diverse resources.
ABOUT MIAMI INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, INC.
Miami International Holdings, Inc. owns Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX®), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX Pearl®), MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX Emerald®), Minneapolis Grain Exchange, LLC (MGEX), and Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX). MIAX, MIAX Pearl and MIAX Emerald are national securities exchanges registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that leverage MIAX’s industry-leading technology and infrastructure to provide U.S. listed options trading to their member firms. In addition to options, MIAX Pearl facilitates the trading of cash equities through MIAX Pearl Equities™.