TopOption used to be a binary options brokerage owned and operated by Playtech, but it has now been sold to Leadtrade Ltd. With this acquisition of TopOption, the brand is effectively gone, but it would still be interesting to look at its history up until the end.
Despite looking all over the internet, we still can’t determine when exactly TopOption was founded. What we do know about its origins start when it was already under the umbrella of TradeFX. TradeFX was a private company owned by billionaire Teddy Sagi started in 2009. We also know that Teddy Sagi is not one to build a company from the ground up; instead, he prefers to acquire promising companies and build them further.
Together with TopOption under the TradeFX umbrella are other brokerage companies including OptionsClick, Prestige Option, Excellence Option, Platinum Option and most importantly Markets.com. Markets.com is focused on Forex trading while the others are focused on binary options. Since Markets.com is the largest brand of all, TradeFX is sometimes just referred to as Markets.com.
All these companies are regulated by CySEC because they are licensed under Safecap Investments Limited. By extension, TopOption was also licensed and regulated by the Cyprus financial regulator.
In 2013, TradeFX released a new binary options trading platform labelled Keystone. This platform was different because it provided more features for binary options, which had not yet been available in the industry.
TopOption of course used this technology being a part of TradeFX, but the intention was to market Keystone to other brokers and marketing companies. For the institutional investors, Keystone would not only be a trading platform, but an all-encompassing platform that also provided market making features and risk management.
In early 2015, Playtech being a leader in casino software development, acquired 91.1% of TradeFX Limited for a deal worth €458 million ($515 million). The initial €208 million was paid out in cash while the remaining €250 million would depend on the company’s performance up to December 2017. Playtech was looking to expand their business into the financial sector with this move, and it was a bold move indeed. At the time of the acquisition, TradeFX had received $34.9 million in EBITDA for the year 2014.
When Playtech acquired TradeFX, TopOption too became part of Playtech and operated as the leading binary options provider for Playtech’s financial division. The Keystone trading platform was also crucial in TopOption’s service offerings because it attracted institutional clients. However, despite all the effort to improve the services offered by TopOption, profits kept going down. Financial statements for 2015 showed that profits from Playtech’s financial division had dropped by more than 20%.
In 2016, TopOption started to offer binary options through a different platform, TradeSmarter that was easier to use and included social trading features. However, despite all the effort to improve the services offered by TopOption, profits kept going down. By August 2016, TopOption was sold to Leadtrade Ltd, which is an Israeli based company, although regulated by CySEC.
It is apparent that Playtech didn’t get much money from the deal and the actual numbers were not even released. Due to dwindling profits and other reasons, TopOption was effectively dead, and they finally stopped offering their services on the 1st of May 2017.