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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

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, announced today it has enhanced the data coverage for its’ interbanks and interest rates APIs in preparation for the required transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark interest rate at the end of 2021.

Used in financial products such as adjustable-rate mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards and derivatives, LIBOR has been the world's most widely used benchmark for short-term rates. But after the 2008 financial crisis the U.S. Federal Reserve recommended a new benchmark interest rate to replace the outdated and problematic LIBOR. In the U.S market the new benchmark is Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR), which is based on transactions in the U.S. Treasury repurchase, or repo, market, where banks and investors borrow or lend Treasuries overnight. Other countries are introducing their own local-currency-denominated alternative reference rates for short-term lending.

Xignite banking, and Fintech customers that build apps for capital markets, investment management, financing, and foreign currency exchange purposes, require interbank and interest rates data to manage exchange and interest rate risk. Xignite enhanced its Interbanks and Rates APIs with SOFR earlier this year and has now added four of the alternative overnight risk-free rates (RFRs) recommended to replace LIBOR for currencies in respective markets. The new rates include Euro Short-Term Rate (ESTR), Swiss Reference Rates (SARON), Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA), and Tokyo Overnight Average Rate (TONAR). These additional rates are available now at no additional cost to customers.

“Our rates and InterBanks APIs were the first REST APIs ever released to serve the needs of the lending and banking industries. They uniquely aggregate rates that are used by dozens of firms globally in critical business processes,” said Vijay Choudhary, Vice President of Product Management for Xignite “Given the major shift the industry is experiencing regarding reference rates, it was critical for us to support those new rates to give our clients the data they need to run their businesses,” added Choudhary.

Xignite’s Interbanks API offers real-time and historical interbank and deposit rates for currencies in 40 countries. Xignite’s Interest Rates API provides interest rate data for over 600 global treasury, money market and private capital market instruments and benchmarks. The new alternative T+1 (24hr+ delayed) rates include:

  •         Europe: Euro Short-Term Rate (ESTR) is an interest rate benchmark that reflects the overnight borrowing costs of banks within the eurozone. The rate is calculated and published by the European Central Bank.
  •         Switzerland: Swiss Reference Rates (SARON) represents the overnight interest rate of the secured money market for Swiss francs (CHF). The rate is calculated and published by SIX.
  •         United Kingdom: Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) is the effective overnight interest rate paid by banks for unsecured transactions in the British sterling.
  •         Japan: Tokyo Overnight Average Rate (TONAR) is an unsecured interbank overnight interest rate and reference rate for the Japanese yen. The rate is calculated and published by the Bank of Japan.

About Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006, when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

06/09/2021

Xignite, Inc., a provider of cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today introduced XigniteGlobalCorporateActions, a new advanced API providing detailed corporate actions data for events such as stock splits, dividends, mergers, and spinoffs. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in corporate actions, annual meetings canceled, dividend payouts suspensions, and an accelerated company mergers and acquisitions rate. Knowing when a company plans to offer a split or undertake an acquisition is critical for buy-side and sell-side firms.

Corporate action processing is one of the “last frontiers of pain” for investment management, and one of the most manual and complex parts of back-office operations. The lack of uniformity and standards makes it difficult to identify and interpret information correctly. Obtaining accurate and timely information is challenging, and errors can result in painful financial losses. The XigniteGlobalCorporateActions is the first cloud-based REST API to eliminate the pains and complexity caused by legacy data feed and files. The API provides a single-source data stream with consistent information gathered from more than 190 exchanges and over 30,000 U.S. mutual funds.

The recent split of TSLA and AAPL stock on the same day illustrates the complex and far-reaching impact of corporate actions. If a firm does not do this correctly, it will show on historical charts, and their customers will notice. Xignite’s Data Quality team cross-validates our corporate actions data across sources and proactively detects and fixes any missing information. This prevents missing issues such as the TSLA and AAPL splits.

“The industry is facing a ‘perfect storm’”, says Vijay Choudhary, Vice President of Product Management for Xignite. “On one hand you have a massive wave of corporate actions fueled by the pandemic and the rising markets, and on the other you have millions of new retail investors eyeballing their investment applications all day long. One bad corporate action can send your customer service department into a tailspin,” added Choudhary. Additional detail on the Corporate Actions API endpoints:

GetDistributions - Returns cash and stock dividends as declared by the company for a requested security and date range.

GetDistributionsByExchange - Returns cash and stock dividends as declared by the company for a requested exchange and date.

GetEventSummaries - Provides a high-level overview of events for a requested security and date range.

GetMergers - Returns merger events for a given identifier and date range.

GetSpinoffs - Returns spinoff events for a given identifier and date range.

GetSplits - Returns the stock split history for a security for a specified date range.

GetTakeovers - Returns takeover events for a given identifier and date range.

Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite

05/18/2021

In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates

02/25/2021