Xignite is a 9yr old business but naturally, most end users of financial products and services don’t know about them because they are in the infrastructure part of the business. Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) is also a nine-year old business and until last month, there was no public info on its size and profitability. We now know from Bezos that Amazon’s cloud is “a $5 billion business and still growing fast”.
Stephane Dubois, CEO and founder of Xignite (whose basic profile was covered in March) sells solutions that are in the cloud via Amazon services. Xignite is probably the first in the financial market data API space. Stephane is on a European tour through six cities and spoke in Zurich at the FintechCH meetup organized by John Hucker on the topic “APIs-essential infrastructure tool”.
The topic instantly sent me on a flashback to the beginning of my career; The Salomon Brothers trading floor, next to the proprietary traders that subsequently formed the LTCM hedge fund. The terminals and the data feeds, 4 for each chair-desk that had enamored me. This is all ‘90s-retro and data now doesn’t simply travel to back-offices and secure off-sites for backing-up. It is delivered to cars, airplanes, and watches. Most importantly, the need for storage and backup has been reduced drastically. At the same time, the need to repeatedly access this data has increased exponentially.
Xignite’s clients are now close to 1,000 ranging from financial services companies, media, software, and corporate clients; placing the company in a leading position as a provider of cloud-based financial market data. These clients range from large established businesses to startups of all stages. Dubois mentioned that about 5-10 fintechs contact them on a daily basis inquiring for data access. This is huge in many different ways. It reveals the nature of the economical and technological factors that are essential for fintech growth.
I can’t agree more with Dubois, who casually but clearly, referred to the popular and trendy Robo-advisor business.
“The Robo-advisor business has been enabled by three main tools:
ETFs – Trading APIs- Market Data APIs”
And this is so true, both for passive and for active robo-advisors. Xignite is a provider of shovels, pans, and dredges for the “fintech gold rush”. It is fueling the growth we are witnessing. At the April Benzinga Fintech awards 9 Xignite clients were honored amongst the most influential fintech companies. These were Motif, Betterment, Personal Capital, ChartIQ, Advizr, TipRanks, MarketProphit, OpenFolio, TD Ameritrade; all InvestTech innovators.
Xignite is also a data-partner of the Boston based not-for profit FinTech Sandbox whose mission is to support fintech startups for the first 6 months to alleviate the challenges of cost and access to data. This is a supportive effort by large financial institutions (e.g. Thomson Reuters), recognizing that a lot of innovation is happening externally and whose offering is free. The founder of Quantopian, a fintech company in the quantitative trading space (covered in Quantopian-DIY open sourced trading algorithms and a crowd-sourced hedge fund) is also on the board of this effort.
I am not a developer but I realize that Xignite is contributing to the strength and breadth of Fintech innovation.
Xignite is silently spreading the Google-like culture of intense experimentation, for financial services. It is allowing fast and broad prototyping.