Alpaca - About Us

Modern Brokerage Platform to Give Financial Markets Access

Alpaca is a modern brokerage platform that provides access to the financial markets through developer-friendly APIs. By using Alpaca API, businesses build investing applications and features for their services. Also, programmatic traders can develop algorithms to automate trading strategies.

Our mission is to open financial services to everyone on the planet

We are building a global de facto standard infrastructure for investing, which includes proprietary technology and regulatory setups, and in doing so, we will eventually serve everyone directly or indirectly through our partners, using Alpaca's infrastructure.

150 Businesses in 30 Different Countries with 25,000 MADs

Today, we offer global access to US stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies both in notional and fractional formats.

More than 150 businesses from 30 different countries such as Turkey, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia, the US, Japan, Thailand, and Australia have launched their investing applications in the last three years.

Furthermore, we are supported by a strong developer community of 25,000 monthly active developers (“MAD”). We are actively working on new product offerings such as global stocks and fixed income.

Corresponding Self-Clearing Broker-Dealer in the US

Alpaca has several entities that have attained international regulatory approvals.

In 2018, Alpaca Securities LLC (Alpaca Securities) became a registered US broker-dealer with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (FINRA CRD#: 288202/SEC#: 8-69928).

Upon FINRA approval, Alpaca Securities became a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC protects customers against the loss of cash and securities. In 2023, we were thrilled to announce that we attained excess SIPC coverage. The excess coverage provides protection for any Alpaca Securities customer up to $30 million in securities and $1 million in cash and is covered at an aggregate limit of $150 million across all Alpaca Securities customer accounts.

After being approved by FINRA, we became classified as a Carrying Broker Dealer and Clearing Firm on a Fully-Disclosed and Omnibus basis. This allowed Alpaca Securities to clear and custody assets for our direct customers as well as other Broker-Dealers (US & International) and Registered Investment Advisors (US & International).

In 2023, Alpaca Securities was approved by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and in 2024 transitioned to fully self-clearing.

In 2022, Alpaca Crypto LLC (Alpaca Crypto) became a registered Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) (NMLS # 2160858).

AlpacaX Crypto Ltd. (AlpacaX Crypto) and AlpacaX Securities Ltd. (AlpacaX Securities) are registered with the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. AlpacaX Crypto, as a Digital Asset Business (Registration number 208648 B), and AlpacaX Securities to conduct securities business (Registration number 208649 B).

AlpacaJapan Co., Ltd. (Alpaca Japan) has a securities license with the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) (Registration Number. 3024).

Machine learning

Initially Started as a Database and Machine Learning Company

Alpaca initially started as a database and machine learning company in 2015, which built technology to run and process large sets of market data for prediction purposes primarily using various types of deep neural net models. For our machine learning business, our client base included enterprise financial institutions and trading companies.

During this time, we found that there were no database products designed for financial time-series data. We built a new database called MarketStore specifically designed and optimized for this type of data, and made it open source as it should be valuable for other traders and quants in the community.

We have been and will always be a technology company. We solve problems by building products and technology ourselves instead of relying on the legacy stack that other companies may purchase from outside vendors.

Yoshi Yokokawa

Yoshi Yokokawa

Co-Founder & CEO

Hitoshi Harada

Hitoshi Harada

Co-Founder & CPO

Meet Alpaca's Co-Founders

Yoshi has a financial services background and started his career in 2004 at Lehman Brothers' Securitization team. Afterwards, he day-traded full-time and co-founded a couple of software development businesses. You can see him speaking on the Fintech Underground podcast series and on X.

Hitoshi comes with a deep technology background and skillset. He was a Lead Architect at Silicon Valley's first parallel distributed database company, Greenplum (now acquired and a part of EMC). Prior to this, he started his career in 2002 by building Japan's biggest online travel agencies' data infrastructures. He is a frequent open-source contributor and is known for his Windows-function feature on PostgreSQL and is on Github and X.

Alpaca is headquartered in California, USA, and is a globally fully remote distributed company with 150 members in 25 countries. Alpaca is led by a leadership team that brings diverse experience from tech companies and financial institutions.

US$120 Million Funded by Leading Global Investors

Alpaca has raised US$120 million in capital from leading fintech investors globally such as:

Spark Capital
Tribe Capital
Horizons Ventures
Y Combinator
Social Leverage
Positive Sum
SBI Group
Alpaca Team

We Love Our Company Name Alpaca!

We named ourselves Alpaca because we felt alpacas are approachable, lively, memorable, cute, and funny.

When Yoshi and Hitoshi were brainstorming a company name, they wanted to come up with something that is warm, lively, and exists in true nature like animals or fruits. They felt that both database and financial services, where Alpaca is situated, only evoked a cold, machine-like and number-oriented environment.

During this search for either animal or fruit-based names, they happened to be driving around Woodside in Silicon Valley to see what Masa Son's US$100 million house looked like. Although Masa's house was under construction, they happened to see tens of alpacas as pets in the yard of the gorgeous land right nextdoor.

After observing these alpacas cautiously and looking at them, Yoshi and Hitoshi made up their mind to name the company after them. They felt that alpacas symbolize success, considering many wealthy owners choose to have them as pets in California, especially being so far away from their native origin of South America. Finally, the word “alpaca” starts with the first alphabet character of both English (“a”) and Japanese (“あ”) and has the sound of “p” This sound also is a hit in consumer brands like Japanese snacks of Pocky and Toppo.

We love the company name Alpaca, and all of us here continue to do our best to stay true to the feeling alpacas carry out.

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