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Exclusive Interview With Stephane Dubois, CEO & Founder of Xignite Inc.

Xignite

Let's Talk Payments fintechWe did an exclusive interview with the CEO and Founder of Xignite Inc., Stephane Dubois. Recently named to Institutional Investor’s Tech 50 list of financial visionaries and innovators, Stephane Dubois is a recognized software and market data industry executive who founded Xignite to pioneer market data in the cloud. Stephane Dubois is a well-known FinTech thought leader and is frequently quoted in publications, including ForbesWall Street & Technology, Bob’s GuideInside Reference Data, and Venture Capital JournalStephane Dubois CEO Xignite the market data cloudHe has spoken at numerous FinTech events around the world, including Finovate, FinDEVr, DKF, WFIC and The Money Conference. Prior to founding Xignite, Stephane was Vice President of Product Management at Advent Software, the leading provider of software solutions for the investment management industry. Prior to Advent, Stephane held senior product and marketing management positions at Walker Interactive Systems and Oracle Corporation. Stephane holds an MS in Management from M.I.T. Sloan School of Management and MS and BS degrees in international management from the MBA Institute in Paris.

LTP: There is a lot of interest in APIs but how exactly do APIs help a startup do things differently?

An API done well could be a huge advantage for a startup and can help a startup speed up the process of bringing a new product to the market. Earlier, startups used to build everything in-house and for on-premise. All FinTech companies now float their products on cloud services, so they should be able to access API data like an on-premise database. If it’s on the cloud, it’s on their fingertips. So in the case of using APIs, a startup does not need to build everything from scratch and they can use already existing APIs to build the product.

LTP: There used to be APIs in the yester years as well. What has changed and what are the new APIs all about?

Earlier, the APIs were usually built for slower networks. Now, the APIs are called over and over again, so they need to be very real-time accessible, robust and scalable.

The APIs that we build now are for the on-demand world. You can use as much as you wish. They are scalable, very cheap and fast. They require less on-premise storage once you start using them effectively, and the cloud based products should be like that. So we have built APIs for the modern world.

We serve 1 Billion calls per day. It means we can scale according to the requirements.

LTP: I hear a lot that somebody used an API and the problem was that it was not really built for their kind of use case. We also found out from somebody else that they were facing the same problems. Since APIs will be used by different types of clients, how do you make an API which could be used by all of them? If you customize it too much, it does not remain usable by everybody. So what do you do?

It requires deep domain knowledge to build a good API. And a good API should be usable across various use cases. So you don’t design it for only one specific use case but you design it in such a way that it is easy to understand, intuitive and can work across many use cases. Earlier, we had tools to customize the APIs and we used to provide them to the clients so that the client could customize them on their end. Now, with more experience and having our APIs used by various types of clients over and over again, we don’t need to really do that. We have built standardized APIs that work across the board. So now we have more than 1,000 clients and they are doing 1 Billion API calls per day. Our clients include Wealthfront, Betterment, Motif Investing, Personal Capital, Robinhood, StockTwits,Yodlee, BlackRock, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., BNY Mellon, Natixis, TD Ameritrade, Envestnet, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Of course, there are good and bad APIs. It all depends on how much effort you have put in, how good the API you have built is, how usable and scalable it is.

LTP: You have mentioned that GE and Starbucks use your APIs. Can you elaborate on that a bit more?

Starbucks has a big employee base. They also have an employee portal. So they display stock quotes using our API to their employee portal. GE has a big financial services division and they disburse corporate loans. In fact, they are the biggest in the country. So they use our API for the interest rates and other things. A lot of our clients use it for various reasons—price of commodities, interest rates, FX rates, financial data and so on and so forth.

the market data api

LTP: What is your business model?

We usually charge for an unlimited use. There are 45 different services. So for each of the service, say, Equity, FX, real time, etc., you can pick and choose. For example, you can have FX in real time or you can have FX for historical and so on and so forth. So there are various combinations of services available for which you can get unlimited use and pay for the subscription. You can also pay per API call in some cases.

LTP: I see that you have also integrated with FactSet, and I have used FactSet in the past. So if we use FactSet directly versus if we use through you, is it cheaper or is there any other advantage?

It is not cheaper but it is easier to use. Instead of going for a large contract with FactSet, you can save money by just using what you want within FactSet and using it as much as you as want. Instead of taking the whole big contract, which is usually per year, you save by using our system on pay-as-you-go.

LTP: Tell me little bit about your company in terms of funding and how big it is.

We are about 40 employees right now. 1 Billion calls per day  are made to our systems and we are providing information of (covering) about 55 countries. We have raised about $16.4M so far.

LTP: Tell me about your background.

Prior to founding Xignite, I was Vice President of Product Management at Advent Software, the leading provider of software solutions for the investment management industry. Prior to Advent, I held senior product and marketing management positions at Walker Interactive Systems and Oracle Corporation.

LTP: How do you differentiate from the competition? Who is your competition?

Our competition is really Bloomberg Terminals, Thomson Reuters and any other source which provides financial data in the same format. If you look at anybody else, they are old school APIs. We have built a modern set of APIs. There is nobody else across such a broad spectrum of APIs globally and, therefore, we are moving ahead at a very fast pace. We are being used by a lot of wealth management clients and non-fintech companies as well. Even other API companies like Yodlee are our partners. We want to focus on the data space and not branch out too much. We want to focus on data APIs which are around price of commodities, FX rates and similar other financial data points. That is our focus.

LTP: What are the drivers for the use of APIs?

First of all, you don’t require any data centers and infrastructure. You don’t need to invest in building up everything. You can pretty much use something which is pre-built and scales with you. If it is a good, scalable API, then you should be able to call it again and again, in a reliable fashion. These are the drivers because of which entrepreneurs/developers are increasingly depending on APIs to help them build products. They can focus on their core strength and build that part of the product, while for other things (such as financial data) they can just use the API.

Source: Let's Talk Payments

RECENT NEWS

By Max Bowie - Waters Technology

NICE Actimize has fortified the datasets available for use in its Surveil-X trade surveillance tool, using exchange prices and other data from Swiss vendor SIX, delivered via Xignite’s new suite of microservices for content distribution and data management.

The vendor is preparing to go live with the joint solution “any day now,” after completing some final data validation, says Sam Sundera, head of future business at SIX, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is responsible for dealing with partners, new technology data and initiatives, and with banks’ innovation labs.

A subscription to Waters Technology is required to read this article.

07/23/2020

The Two Companies Deliver Industry’s Largest Global Coverage Sourced from 1,800+ Trading Venues Via Hyper-Scalable Cloud APIs

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, and SIX, today announced a strategic partnership. Xignite and SIX are now offering real-time data from the catalog of SIX which includes 1,800+ global exchanges and trading venues via Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a suite of cloud-native market data management services built to transform how firms store, distribute, manage, and control market data in the cloud. The partnership accelerates the transition of large financial institutions and fintechs to the cloud. This is the first time such a comprehensive set of market data has been offered to the market via a native cloud solution.

Xignite’s battle-tested cloud-native solution currently serves more than 12 billion API calls per day to 750 clients around the world--making it the largest cloud API platform in capital markets. Xignite recently introduced Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a suite of vendor-agnostic services large firms can deploy to migrate their market data infrastructure and any of their existing data sources to the cloud.

“Large financial institutions have been looking for cloud-native market data solutions capable of handling their broad coverage requirements and offering a state-of-the-art customer experience.” says Stephane Dubois, CEO and founder of Xignite. “The pandemic has worsened the situation as firms want to get away from maintaining complex and expensive on-premise infrastructures that are overkill for most of their needs,” added Dubois. “We had the enterprise technology but not the coverage, so partnering with SIX made sense. We are thrilled to partner with SIX and be first to market with a true global enterprise solution.” 

SIX is one of the few market data vendors offering full coverage of the global capital markets. The Market Data Feed (MDF) from SIX delivers a steady stream of global market information that is consolidated, standardized and in real time. With MDF clients get access to over 30 million instruments across all asset classes and from more than 1,800 exchanges, OTC markets, and other trading venues. The combined solution integrates the MDF feed from SIX delivered from hosted collocation facilities to Xignite Enterprise Microservices deployed in the client’s own cloud account. The Xignite Real-Time Microservice is used to distribute real-time data internally or externally from the cloud via scalable APIs while the Xignite Entitlements and Usage Microservice provides control and transparency of data consumption and usage.

“Partnering with Xignite is a great leap for SIX in making its market data easily available to all buy-side and sell-side professionals. While making the richness, depth and wide coverage of our Market Data Feed available via Xignite’s cloud-based solution, we offer clients streamlined access to the highest quality data without a complicated acquisition process, burdensome integration or costly development,” commented John McManus, Head Sales, Financial Information, SIX.

About Xignite

Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed, and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

About SIX

SIX operates and develops infrastructure services in the Securities & Exchanges, Banking Services and Financial Information business units with the aim of raising efficiency, quality, and innovative capacity across the entire value chain of the Swiss financial center. The company is owned by its users (122 banks). With a workforce of some 2,600 employees and a presence in 20 countries, it generated operating income of CHF 1.13 billion and Group net profit of CHF 120.5 million in 2019.
 www.six-group.com

07/23/2020

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, announced today it has created a new program to assist early stage and start-up financial technology companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply for this program visit https://www.xignite.com/fintech-development-program/

The costs associated with developing and launching fintech products and apps can be daunting, even in the best of times. A particularly challenging aspect can be the procurement of quality financial and market data. Hidden fees, restrictions on the use of data, poorly written APIs and exchange requirements are just some of the factors, in addition to costs, that can make it difficult for new or small fintechs to survive.

To assist early stage fintech companies, Xignite is inviting these disruptors to leverage the same technology and data APIs that have helped move the industry forward over the last decade. Through this program, companies can continue to develop their ideas and products without a significant capital commitment. Participants will be able to take advantage of development access for 60 days on Xignite’s most popular financial data APIs and enjoy significant discounts on fees for the first year. Also included in the program is access to real-time, 15-minute delayed and end-of-day stock prices, company data, currency exchange rates, indices, corporate actions and master data.

“Not only are we offering a compelling financial incentive, but companies will have access to the experts on our Product and Engineering team who not only first brought financial market data to the cloud, but also helped support and power some of the biggest disruptors in the industry such as SoFi, Robinhood and Betterment,” said Ryan Burdick, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Sales at Xignite. “By introducing this program, Xignite is able to support the next wave of entrepreneurs by helping to keep their visions moving forward as seamlessly as possible during this unprecedented time.”

About Xignite

Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud Platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

07/14/2020

NICE Actimize Gains Agility and Scalability Bringing its Real-time Market Data Infrastructure to the Cloud

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today announced the launch of Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a powerful suite of cloud-native market data management services built to transform how firms store, distribute, manage and control market and financial data in the cloud. NICE Actimize, the leading global provider of financial crime, risk and compliance solutions is the first user of the new Real-time Microservice solution.

Microservices are an architectural approach in which core functionality is handled by loosely coupled, independently deployable components that can work together or separately. Because you can deploy microservices as separate functional units, you can pick and choose the functionality you want and scale them massively at the lowest possible cost. Microservices stand in stark contrast with monolithic platforms that require many dedicated on-premise servers which are expensive to manage, often under-utilized, can’t scale on-demand and require frequent updates and upgrades for even minor changes. Most enterprise platforms also require firms to pay for capabilities that are not needed.

The Xignite Enterprise Microservices run on Xignite’s battle-tested cloud-based architecture that currently supports more than 250 different data sources and 12 billion API calls per day for over 750 fintech and financial services clients. Financial institutions can now leverage the same cloud technology Xignite has been refining and scaling for more than 10 years to move their own financial and market data to the cloud. Xignite’s microservices are built from the ground up for the cloud, in contrast with legacy data providers that are attempting to “lift and shift” their monolithic platforms for that purpose.       

Xignite Enterprise Microservices are vendor-agnostic and can bring transformative results to any data set a firm may license or collect from vendors such Bloomberg, FactSet, ICE Data Services, SIX Financial, Vela Trading, QuantHouse and many others, as well as in-house proprietary data.

“We are incredibly excited to launch Xignite Enterprise Microservices, which we believe will truly revolutionize market data management,” said Stephane Dubois, Founder and CEO of Xignite. “The culmination of over 10 years of nonstop innovation, we have taken the cloud-native architecture that has powered some of world’s most prominent fintechs and scaled it to meet the unique requirements of institutional players that consume huge amounts of data but often have no way of integrating and optimizing it in an efficient and cost-effective way. Firms are no longer required to hitch their wagon to a single provider – instead, they can use a combination of our microservices to secure all the benefits they would get from a rigid legacy offering. We are the only vendor offering a suite of market data management microservices that clients can mix and match to create a comprehensive, infinitely scalable cloud-based solution that meets their exact needs. We firmly believe that offerings like these are the future of market data, and we are thrilled to once again take a leading role in the financial services industry’s continued digital transformation.”

The suite includes seven cloud-native microservices targeted to buy-side, sell-side and fintech firms, as well as exchanges:

  • Xignite Data Lake Microservice is a cloud-native data management and distribution solution that centralizes existing data and enables financial services firms to provide easy access to the data via highly scalable cloud APIs, reducing costs and improving efficiency by eliminating legacy infrastructure.
  • Xignite Optimization Microservice is a cloud-native pricing and reference data cost optimization solution that enables the control of large reference data sets, such as Bloomberg Data License, via intelligent caching, sophisticated entitlements and advanced analytics and reporting.
  • Xignite Entitlements and Usage Microservice is a cloud-native market data access control and reporting solution that enables financial services firms to have complete control and transparency of data consumption and usage, and provides reports of data usage across various data sets, users and applications to ensure vendor compliance.
  • Xignite Reference Microservice is a cloud-native solution that aggregates, normalizes, stores and indexes reference data from multiple vendors across all asset classes into a centralized repository and access layer, enabling centralized access across the entire enterprise and improving data consistency, completeness and timeliness.
  • Xignite Historical Microservice is a cloud-native time-series data management solution that enables financial services firms to capture historical data from different sources and integrate with security master and corporate actions data to provide a fully normalized, stitched and adjusted historical data view via highly scalable cloud APIs.
  • Xignite Real-Time Microservice is a cloud-native real-time data distribution solution that enables financial services firms to distribute real-time data internally and externally via highly scalable and flexible cloud APIs, eliminating on-premise infrastructure.
  • Xignite Fundamentals Microservice is a cloud-native data management solution that enables financial services firms to capture simple or complex time-series data structures associated with an entity such as a regional level security or issuer, and make them available via specialized and highly scalable cloud APIs.

These microservices are already transforming how the industry manages data. NICE Actimize, a leading provider of financial crime management solutions, has replaced its legacy solution with the Xignite Real-Time Microservice to onboard and manage multi-asset class, level 1 and 2 co-located feeds from multiple sources.

The launch of Xignite Enterprise Microservices is the latest highlight in what has been a hugely successful year for the firm. Last month, Xignite received a patent for its alerts technology and the company was named a SIIA CODiE Awards finalist and added to the WealthTech 100 list.

About Xignite
Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

07/08/2020