As I'm sure many of you can agree. The cloud-movement in tech has given us exciting results and very useful applications over the years: Amazon Web Services, Google, and a plethora of others.

But only a few companies have used the power of the 'cloud' to enhance investor transparency and trading like Tradier. Although Tradier is a few years old now, it still refers to itself as a startup as it continues to drive innovation on a day-to-day basis.

I spoke to Tradier's Founder Dan Raju to learn more about how his API-based brokerage is developing innovative new trading solutions for individual investors and companies. I also asked for his take on the future of the industry:

What does Tradier do?

Tradier is a cloud-based, FINRA licensed API platform that can retrieve aggregated data on equities, options, ETFs and mutual funds directly from the markets.

First and foremost, in order to understand what Tradier is and how it works, you should familiarize yourself with the term "application programming interface," or API.

In simple terms, a company develops an API when it wants users to connect directly with its data and software. For example, Amazon's API allows third-party sites to post links to Amazon products featuring current prices and a "buy now" functionality.

As Dan Raju, the Founder and Exec Chairman of Charlotte, N.C.-based Tradier, explains it, "The Tradier founding team has decoupled the individual brokerage account from the front-end investing experience." Raju believes that his firm is offering a democra

Where do you see API technology headed in the next 3 years?

API's have fast become the standard by which services are being built and offered online today. I expect this to continue with more and more data and transactional services being offered as API's. This is because companies like Tradier are abstracting legacy and regulatory complexities and making available simple platforms for innovators to build great products. For Example: Just a few years ago, legacy banks were the only place where individuals can buy and sell shares of companies. Today with advent of Trading API's, this capability that was only locked within the four walls of large banks is now available for everyone to leverage. I expect API's to be the engine that will open up legacy and regulated segments of the market that include Banks, Brokerage, Health Care and Payments, resulting in the creation of more choices and lesser costs for all.

Where do you see Fintech in 3 years?

We are in the second wave of Fintech disruptions. In the first wave, a great number of startups were built that questioned the structure, products, value and pricing of incumbent legacy firms like Charles Schwab, Fidelity, E*TRADE, Citi, Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers and many more. Many of these startups were trying to prove their models, big ideas and the venture community was willing to fund them. Experiments even included Free Trades and Free financial Advise paid from the coffers of VC firms. In the next 3-5 years I expect that firms with solid proven revenue models. unit economics and smart venture funding to rise to the top and drive tremendous value while the pressure on experimental firms to deliver true revenue will mount.

What is the next big thing in Fintech?

We should expect Artificial Intelligence(AI). API's and Voice Controls to evolve and drive the creation of truly valuable fintech products. Online financial products today are very non intuitive, monotonous and not personalized. This is in spite of the fact that firms have massive user data available and their customers are craving for personalized experiences. I expect smart AI platforms combined with continuous machine learning will start to bridge this need. AI for the first time in history has evolved to a point where it can be mass deployed and create commercial value directly to the customers, Cognitive AI is another interesting subset of AI that we should all be looking at. I expect Voice also to become an alternative to the traditional click based online interactions. Firms will start to offer voice capabilities as an additional channel to deliver services in addition to webpages and mobile apps. So Voice user interface(VOI) could become the new UI. Google Home and Amazon Alexa could play a significant role in how we interact with Financial Services.