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eToro, a forex broker known for it’s easy to use platform and social network, introduces Foursquare-style badges. Traders can now earn recognition for their successes. eToro also announces a big round of funding.

Social prizes

The Market Leaders program rewards the traders for accomplishments in different fields. Badges are earned per geographical regions (similar to Foursquare  mayorships) and per currency pairs, such as EUR/USD or for commodities.

These achievements can be shared in social networks, similar to the abilities in the popular location based application.  This is a nice addition to their social network, OpenBook, following tech trends.

“Social” funding

Also the  announcement  about their funding is sort of “social’ – the investors, Spark Capital, also invested in Twitter, Tumblr and 5min. 8.3 million dollars is a lot of money, and rivals the last funding round of Currensee – the forex social network, which raised the money at around the same size.

Here are the press releases:

eToro Expands Social Trading with Market Leaderâ„  Program to Reward Trading Excellence

Market Leaderâ„  program provides personal recognition for expert traders and encourages mentoring and collaboration

LONDON, January 25, 2010 – eToro, the world’s largest investment network, launched   today the Market Leaderâ„  program, a “Badges   System”, which recognizes   market leaders that profit consistently while using eToro’s social trading network.  The Market Leaderâ„  program rewards top traders for their achievements by adding badges to their profile communicating to fellow traders their achievements and outstanding performance. eToro Market Leaderâ„  program identifies experts   who can set an example of trading excellence   and   mentor less experienced traders through chat room conversations,  and interaction on popular social media sites .

The Market Leaderâ„  program automatically tracks the location of traders when they check in, monitors their trades and awards them points when they cash in for a profit. These points accumulate resulting in awards based on top performance in various trading tracks. Types of badges include best trader in commodity trading such as gold and crude oil or currency pair trading such as euro vs. dollar. Market Leaderâ„  status is granted for a specific country, region, and continent and up to the level of global Market Leaderâ„  for a specific trading category. In the near future the Market Leaderâ„  program will be further expanded to include the city level, giving more investors the opportunity to stand out and receive personal recognition for their trading achievements.

eToro’s Social Trading capabilities also have been enhanced to enable monitoring of  expert traders’ positions using   popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.   Events that can be shared include closing a profitable trade, opening a trade, copying from other traders, joining or winning a trading challenge, receiving Market Leaderâ„  badges and more.

“The Market Leaderâ„  program demonstrates eToro’s continued commitment to making trading a fulfilling and rewarding social experience,” said eToro CEO, Johnathan Assia.     “By recognizing and rewarding trading excellence we believe all traders can trade like experts.   We believe that sharing knowledge and expertise helps everyone make the most from their financial trading.”

By combining the capabilities of simple to use trading platforms with a community powered investment network eToro is uniquely positioned to lead the social trading revolution and break down the barriers of complex trading. eToro enables users to view, share and copy their chosen trader’s moves in real time and provides every individual with easy access to the world’s financial markets.

Learn more about eToro and tap into the world’s largest investment network at: http://www.etoro.com

About eToro

eToro is the world’s largest investment network, with over 1.5 million users in over 130 countries and thousands of new accounts opened each day. eToro leads the social trading revolution through its community powered network, which enables every investor to see, follow and copy the actions of other investors in real time. eToro’s mission is to open the financial markets to every individual and make them accessible through a simple, transparent and more enjoyable way to trade currencies, commodities and indices online. Based on a wide range of innovative web-based and mobile trading platforms that appeal to every level of trading expertise, eToro’s investment network facilitates information exchange between investors, accelerates knowledge sharing and shortens the learning curve for those who want to bring their trading experience to the next level.  For more information, visit us at www.etoro.com.

eToro Completes Funding Round of  $8.3 Million

led by Spark Capital

eToro takes on funding from Spark Capital and existing investors to fuel explosive growth, expand internationally and evolve its social investment network.

New York, January 26, 2010 – eToro, the world’s largest investment network, announced today that it has closed a funding round of 8.3 million US dollars in funding from Spark Capital, Social Leverage  and existing investors to fuel international growth and continue to evolve Toro’s social trading platform.   Over the past 24 months, eToro has experienced exponential growth and has created the world’s largest online investment network with 1.5 million users in over 130 countries and thousands of new accounts opened each day.

The Spark team has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders such as Twitter, Boxee, 5Min, Altius Education, AdMeld, Verivue and Tumblr.
“We are very pleased to have Spark Capital on board,” said eToro CEO, Johnathan Assia.   “Spark has a successful track record with social network oriented companies such as Twitter and eToro is proud to be in such good company. We are committed to making trading a fulfilling and rewarding social experience and with the support of Spark Capital we have the needed capital and partners to continue to lead the market and fuel our explosive growth and expansion into new regions.”

By combining the capabilities of simple to use trading platforms with a community powered investment network eToro is uniquely positioned to lead the social trading revolution and break down the barriers of complex trading. eToro enables users to view, share and copy their chosen trader’s moves in real time and provides every individual with easy access to the world’s financial markets.

Learn more about eToro and tap into the world’s largest investment network at: http://www.etoro.com

About eToro

eToro is the world’s largest investment network, with over 1.5 million users in over 130 countries and thousands of new accounts opened each day. eToro leads the social trading revolution through its community powered network, which enables every investor to see, follow and copy the actions of other investors in real time. eToro’s mission is to open the financial markets to every individual and make them accessible through a simple, transparent and more enjoyable way to trade currencies, commodities and indices online. Based on a wide range of innovative web-based and mobile trading platforms that appeal to every level of trading expertise, eToro’s investment network facilitates information exchange between investors, accelerates knowledge sharing and shortens the learning curve for those who want to bring their trading experience to the next level.  For more information, visit us at www.etoro.com.

About Spark Capital

Spark Capital is a venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, with investments focused on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries. Over the last decade, the Spark team has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders such as Akamai Technologies, Qtera, Aether Systems, Novatel Wireless, Twitter, 5Min, Altius Education, AdMeld, Verivue and Tumblr. With deep experience and $980 million under management, Spark Capital provides world-class entrepreneurs and revolutionary companies with the resources to succeed in today’s marketplace. For more information, visit www.sparkcapital.com