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Thinking About Investing In Aries, The All-In-One Client Focused Trading and Investment Platform?


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Aries launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine and quickly raised over $350,000. This comprehensive investors guide and article breaks down Aries, the "all-in-one" retail-focused trading platform, including the pros and cons, financials, founding team, business model, and more.


Company Overview

Aries introduces itself as a platform that desires to simplify the trading landscape for retail investors. Their mobile and web application promises commission-free trades spanning a spectrum of assets, from stocks and options to futures, ETFs, and crypto.

Furthermore, Aries endeavors to bring transparency to its fee structure, incorporating a loss-leading approach that aims to allow the majority of its clients to indulge in commission-free trades.


Company Goals

Aries' mission is clear: to empower retail investors around the world. By offering an intuitive mobile platform and web app, Aries equips its clients with the means to trade commission-free stocks and options, futures, index options, ETFs, IPOs, and even crypto. With a powerful research and analytics backend, Aries ensures that its clients are never left in the dark when making investment decisions.


The company prides itself on its transparent fee structure, using a loss-leading approach that allows most clients to access high-quality, commission-free equities and options trading.


Growth Prospects

Aries' primary growth strategy revolves around expanding its services, backed by its massive user growth last year. By securing a broker-dealer license through FINRA/SIPC, Aries plans to enhance its platform's functionality, and the development of a comprehensive B2B/B2C brokerage API further cements its growth prospects.


The Team

Led by fintech and banking veterans, Aries' team understands the intricacies of the trading world. The partnerships with industry leaders speak volumes about the trust and confidence that the market has in Aries' potential.


Strengths

For investors looking to claim a stake in the company, the startup possesses a number of strengths.

  1. Comprehensive Platform: Aries offers a wide range of investment types and asset classes such as stocks, options, futures, index options, ETFs, IPOs, and crypto. This all-in-one nature can attract a diverse group of investors and traders, making the platform versatile.

  2. Global Reach: Being available in 130 countries offers a massive market potential. Especially if Aries is one of the few platforms offering low-fee trading options in many of these nations.

  3. Growth Metrics: Aries has shown an impressive 600% user growth in the last year, suggesting that their platform is resonating with users and there's a rising demand for their services.

  4. Competitive Pricing: Claiming to be 75% less expensive than its closest international competitors can make Aries an attractive platform for cost-conscious investors.

  5. Strong Partnerships: Collaborations with industry leaders like TradeStation, Benzinga, ClickIPO, and Apex Fintech Solutions (the latter being a significant clearing entity behind renowned platforms like Robinhood and WeBull) lend credibility to Aries and might provide strategic advantages.

  6. Experienced Leadership: Aries is backed by a team with decades of combined experience in fintech and banking software. Strong leadership can guide a startup through challenges and pivot effectively when required.

  7. Transparent Fee Structure: Their non-predatory, transparent fee structure could attract users wary of hidden charges and high fees often associated with trading platforms.

  8. Customization: Before Aries, as per the information, clients didn't have an opportunity to customize their platform. The ability to add functionalities as they grow can appeal to both novice and experienced traders.

  9. Mission & Vision: Aries' goal to democratize trading and make professional tools accessible to retail investors can resonate with many who feel sidelined by traditional financial systems.

  10. Financial Strategy: Aries’ approach of using fees from high-end products to subsidize the costs for the majority of clients is an innovative revenue model that could ensure sustained profitability in the future.

Weaknesses

  1. Regulatory Hurdles: Aries Financial, Inc. is not yet a registered broker-dealer through FINRA/SIPC. This can present regulatory challenges and uncertainties moving forward, especially when operating across 130 countries with varied financial regulations.

  2. Net Income Loss: Aries reported a net income loss in the most recent fiscal year. While many startups operate at a loss initially, this could be a concern if the trend continues over an extended period without a clear path to profitability.

  3. High Long-Term Debt: The long-term debt amount exceeds their total assets, which could raise questions about the company's financial health and its ability to service this debt.

  4. Dependence on Partnerships: While Aries has secured partnerships with industry leaders, any disruption in these partnerships could potentially impact its operations and offerings.

  5. Market Competition: The trading platform market is highly competitive, with several established players. Differentiating and gaining a significant market share could be challenging.

  6. Operational Scalability: Given the rapid user growth, Aries may face challenges scaling its operations, customer support, and ensuring platform stability as its user base expands.

  7. Unproven Long-Term Viability: While there's a significant user growth rate, it's essential to assess how many of these users remain active and how many are revenue-generating over the long term.

  8. Potential Fee Reassessment: Their loss-leading approach, while innovative, may require a reassessment in the future, especially if certain high-end products don't generate the expected revenue to support commission-free offerings.

  9. Technology & Security Concerns: With a broad array of financial services under one roof, ensuring top-notch security against breaches and cyber-attacks becomes crucial. Any security lapse could be detrimental to user trust and the platform's reputation.

  10. Geopolitical Risks: Operating in 130 countries can expose the company to geopolitical risks, currency fluctuations, and changing trade relations which could affect their business operations.

Financial Highlights:

Aries has shown growth in assets and cash position, started generating revenue, but is also accruing more debt and showing increased net losses. While it's not uncommon for startups to operate at a loss initially, potential investors should seek a clear understanding of the company's growth strategy, cost structure, and plans to achieve profitability. The significant increase in assets and debt suggests aggressive investment and expansion, which could pay off in the long term, but also comes with its risks.

Total Assets:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: $352,974

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: $49

Cash & Cash Equivalents:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: $223,216

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: $49

Short-Term Debt:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: $0

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: $0

Long-Term Debt:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: $369,730

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: $0

Revenue & Sales:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: $60,000

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: $0

Net Income:

  • Most Recent Fiscal Year-End: -$97,683

  • Prior Fiscal Year-End: -$32

Analysis:

  1. Asset Growth: Aries saw a massive increase in total assets, growing from a mere $49 to $352,974 in one fiscal year. This indicates significant capital infusion or accumulation of valuable assets in the recent fiscal year.

  2. Cash Position: Their cash and cash equivalents also saw a sharp rise, reaching $223,216. This is a positive sign as it suggests they have enough liquidity to cover short-term expenses and invest in immediate opportunities.

  3. Debt: While Aries had no short-term debt for both fiscal years, its long-term debt surged to $369,730. This amount is higher than their total assets, which may raise concerns about their ability to service this debt in the long run.

  4. Revenue: Aries started generating revenue, reporting sales of $60,000 in the most recent fiscal year compared to $0 in the prior year. This indicates that the company began its operations and made some sales.

  5. Net Income: Despite generating revenue, Aries reported a net loss of $97,683 in the most recent fiscal year, a significant increase from a loss of $32 in the prior year. This suggests that their expenses far exceeded their revenue. Potential investors might want to understand the reasons behind these losses and if they are due to initial setup costs, investments in growth, or operational inefficiencies.

  6. Liability: The absence of short-term debt is a positive sign as it means no immediate financial obligations. However, the rising long-term debt needs to be managed, especially given their current net income loss.

Conclusion

Aries' launch on StartEngine signals a new era for retail investors looking for a holistic trading platform. While it offers a plethora of advantages, potential investors should thoroughly analyze the company's financials and growth prospects before diving in. As Aries continues to build on its mission of democratizing finance, it stands as a testament to the power of equity crowdfunding in bringing transformative ideas to the masses.

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