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Longbridge – The next generation of internet brokerage using Hong Kong as a hub for global expansion and customer feedback as a guide for product development

Longbridge – The next generation of internet brokerage using Hong Kong as a hub for global expansion and customer feedback as a guide for product development


“Our industry needs to simplify the process of trading by moving away from the use of complicated interfaces and technology to display the trading capacity of products. Longbridge’s vision is to make investment products that are easy, fast and more comprehensive, empowering our customers to make the best decisions. Judging from our users’ feedback, we have successfully provided them with a trading platform that is simple to understand and easy to use.”

Gavin Hu, Co-Founder & COO of Longbridge

Founded in Singapore in 2019, Longbridge has grown into a reputable social-driven online brokerage firm, having received strategic capital investments from leading wealth management institutions such as PhillipCapital. The startup’s core founding members hail from top internet enterprises, including Alibaba and ByteDance, and is managed by a large number of senior financial experts across Singapore and Hong Kong. To date, Longbridge has successfully expanded into four business sectors – securities trading, community content, wealth management, and corporate services.

Understanding the industry’s pain points and creating a “people-oriented” ecosystem for internet brokerage

In the past, the traditional financial sector was slow to embrace new technologies and there was little room to innovate in order to meet customer demands with the rigorous compliance measures that were in place. Based on these insights, Longbridge set out to find a method that combined both professional financial knowledge and cutting-edge programming languages, to deliver a smoother user-driven experience on its interactive trading platform. Gavin Hu, Co-Founder of Longbridge, said, “Our vision and mission is to create an investment platform that users can understand. When users are choosing to invest, we want that process to be as simple as selecting a restaurant on a dining guide App. In other words, we want to be a guide in the world of online brokerage.”

Longbridge has faced many challenges on its path to innovation. Gavin added, “From analysing the ecosystem of the securities market to familiarising ourselves with industry regulations, we have to continuously develop and enhance new language recognition and processing abilities on our platform, and even deploy new technologies to ensure that our app provides functions that are understandable to all.”

Through designing and improving its fintech platform, the startup learned that flexible thinking must be applied in daily operations with the volatile nature of the stock market. With this insight, Longbridge differentiated itself from market competitors by adding social elements to its platform, including providing users the opportunity to interact with other investors and experts, read in-depth financial content and watch live broadcasts.

Hong Kong as a hub for expansion into overseas markets

After overcoming challenges early on in its journey and confirming its future development strategy, Longbridge started to plan its expansion into other global markets, choosing Hong Kong as its first destination in October 2021. From the perspective of Gavin, selecting Hong Kong as its first market towards global expansion was based on the city’s mature financial system and inclusive environment for fintech development, while also recognising its world-class infrastructure and impressive talent pool.

Meeting the needs of local users in Hong Kong

To better accommodate the needs of millennials and generation Z users, as well as the local Hong Kong fintech market that was rapidly maturing, Longbridge needed to upgrade its localised product functions and user experiences. Focusing on the habits of local users, Longbridge adjusted its product design to include more intuitive and interactive language, while a functional interface allowed a more user-friendly experience. The company also collaborated with famous Korean IP design team, Superfiction, to create a modern and energetic mascot ‘Captain Leo’ to connect better with Hong Kong consumers.

By putting heavier emphasis on localisation, youthful demographics, and people-oriented promotional strategies, Longbridge was able to effectively and convincingly plant its roots in Hong Kong.

What advice does Longbridge offer to young startups?

“When you choose to enter a new market, don’t focus on how to make a profit but more on the value you can bring. As long as you are able to contribute meaningfully, your business will naturally develop and grow. Our company did two things right when targeting the Hong Kong market. First, we took time to understand the needs of local users. Second, we solved industry pain points by thinking progressively. Once we had accomplished those two things, we were able to provide more valuable services to Hong Kong consumers and reap the rewards from the market.”

Jan 2022