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Financial cloud company Xignite on forefront of market data – LeapRate Interview with Stephane Dubois

Xignite

Article by Mike Fox

LeapRateContinuing LeapRate’s Exclusive CEO Interview Series, today we bring to you Stephane DuboisCEO of financial cloud company Xignite, a San Francisco-headquartered provider of financial market data on-demand. Xignite’s financial Web service helps build smarter websites and applications in minutes. Last month, Xignite announced that its market cloud data platform is now available for lease.

The company already has major websites using its cloud services including Seeking Alpha, Investopedia and StockTwits. With data moving into the cloud, Xignite is on the forefront in bringing the latest market data information to its end clients.

So, what does Stephane think about the future of cloud for the well-known data providers in the sector such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters? Where does Xignite get its pricing data from? For the Forex industry, Xignite provides a one-of-a-kind exclusive FX rate API with official data direct from central banks around the world.

You can read about all of this and more in the Q and A below:


LeapRate: Hi Stephane, thanks for joining us today…Xignite’s forex rates API, who is this made for? Traders or just data providers?

Stephane: Our XigniteGlobalCurrencies solution is currently used by more than 400 firms globally.

The XigniteGlobalCurrencies API is designed for use by a wide range of business and applications.
This includes:

– Forex websites and trading platforms.
– Currency transfer and payment solutions.
– General investor websites and mobile sites.
– Enterprise accounting and e-commerce application.

LeapRate: Can your information be programmed to display live streaming quotes data for websites?

Stephane: Yes, the XigniteGlobalCurrencies API can be used to display live streaming quote data for websites.

Developers have two options when implementing the API.

They can use our REST CloudAPIs and repetitively poll it to refresh data on the website.

Or they can use our CloudStreaming API which lets them push data updates over a very simple HTPP protocol.

Our XigniteGlobalCurrencies APIs alone serves more than 15 Billion API requests per month.

LeapRate: Where does your Forex OTC data originate from?

Stephane: Our data originates from a variety of data providers including Morningstar and others.

Contributors to the data include the world’s largest banks and trading platforms providing accurate and liquid information around the clock.

Such contributors include Allied Irish Bank, Commerzbank, Den Norske Bank, European Central Bank, Nordea Bank, SAXO, UBS, Banca D’Italia, Banco de Espana, SA, Banco de Mexico, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank, Federal Reserve Bank, South African Reserve Bank, Swiss National Bank, and others.

Note that the XigniteGlobalCurrencies solution includes a VERY unique feature: Official exchange rates from the world’s central banks such as Bank of Canada, Banco do Mexico, the European Central Bank, the Central Bank of Russia, the National Bank of Poland, Banca Nationala a Romaniel, Magyar Nemzeti Bank, Banco Centrale de Chile, Czech National Bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia and others.

LeapRate: It was just announced that companies can now license your Market Data Cloud platform, have you had any major sign ups yet to the service?

Stephane: Yes, we do. Although the name of our first licensee is not public yet, it is major market data provider in Asia who intends to use the solution to deliver next generation market data solutions to its markets and aggressively replace competitive legacy data solutions. We expect an announcement for this customer in the early part of 2017 and expect to sign up additional customers next year as well.

LeapRate: Do you believe providers such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters will move to the cloud?

Stephane: I believe that it is inevitable that Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters will move to the public cloud because its cost effectiveness and scalability are just too great to ignore. While Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters falsely claim that they have “always been cloud”, they operate data centres and networks with limited computing capacity and designed on highly proprietary technology. Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the other hand, operates a massive global compute cloud based on an open standard. For comparison, Thomson Reuters runs around 30,000-40,000 servers globally while AWS operated more than 2 million servers as far back as 2014. Amazon puts every day more computing power online that it needed to operate its total business when it had 7B in revenue.

The great challenge Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters will face when moving to the Cloud that they have tied billions of dollars in proprietary technology and infrastructure that locks people into using specific devices to access the data. Be them terminals, or routers, or on-premise software.

People have built careers and job security around those devices and complex technology. If they move to the cloud, suddenly their data is unlocked. It becomes commoditized and they cannibalize their business instantly. They have no incentive to do that.

LeapRate: What does cloud financial data mean for the trading industry in the next 5-10 years?

Stephane: We believe data should be only stored once. And we believe that the public cloud is where the world’s market data will be stored. Give it a few years. It’s where data will come from. It’s where analytics will be run openly, it is where most financial applications will run as well. This will turn the industry upside down. The costs that will be removed from the equation will be staggering. The amount of transformation that this will enable will also be huge. This will enable machines to invest for us on a large scale. And the ultimate beneficiary will be the customer, the trade, the investor. The banks will benefit massively in the process of course. The role we will play in this in it is simple. We will be the layer sitting between the public cloud where the market data will reside and all the devices, all the apps, all the consumers of the data, all the analytics that distributes, tracks, controls, and manages the distribution of this data to those happy users.

LeapRate: What are the most popular asset classes Xignite offers?

Stephane: Our most popular asset classes are by far Equities and Forex followed by funds, futures, options and credit data.

LeapRate: Websites such as Seeking Alpha, Investopedia, and Stocktwits, use your data, are they already getting data from the cloud?

Stephane: Yes, they all do. Firms like SeekingAlpha even take it a step further. They let us directly deliver data to their millions of customer’s devices—savings themselves the huge headache of building and operating a large data “fanout” infrastructure. Market data is just as much about data that it is about infrastructure. And that infrastructure is moving to the Cloud. Firms like SeekingAlpha, Investopedia and StockTwits are on the forefront of this revolution.

LeapRate: Any other product evolutions from Xignite coming down the pipeline for 2017?

Stephane: Over the 6-12 months, Xignite focus will be on:

  • Respond to global on-the-ground demand in Asia in EMEA by opening offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Continuing to expand our global data offering by adding new global exchanges and global fundamental datasets, in which we’re seeing great demand from clients.
  • Grow our value-added service offering provided on top of our data by launching new open cloud analytics services and vendor of record services.
  • Promoting the use of our platform globally as an enterprise platform for large financial institutions and global data providers.
  • Continue investing in the quality and accuracy of our data sources and the scalability of our platform.

Stephane Dubois is a recognized financial 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 Forbes, MarketsMedia, WallStreet & Technology, Financial News, Bob’s Guide, Inside Reference Data, and Venture Capital Journal.

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.

Source: LeapRate

RECENT NEWS

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Download the case study containing the full results.

StockCharts requires vast quantities of financial data to power its visualization, charting and tracking tools, which investors use to analyze the markets to help with investment decisions. The company was frustrated by the limits of its on-premise market data center, which was forcing the team to make architectural decisions based on what its data center could handle in terms of speed and storage, not on their technology. Its previous market data provider was just starting to build out some cloud offerings, but they were far away from what the business required. StockCharts decided to migrate its infrastructure to the AWS cloud and partner with Xignite to gain access to endlessly scalable market and financial data delivered through innovative cloud APIs.

The collaboration made an immediate impact as StockCharts was able to expand its offerings and customer base by pursuing growth strategies enabled by Xignite’s cloud-based approach, which provides easy access to data and eliminates architectural limits on storage and speed.

The pandemic provided further validation. Seattle-based StockCharts was in one of the first areas hit by COVID-19 and was forced to quickly shut down its office. Pandemic-driven market volatility followed and StockCharts customers wanted to visualize what was happening. The company’s ability to scale quickly and accommodate a high volume of new requests would not have been possible without Xignite.

“The move to the AWS cloud and Xignite has unlocked tremendous new potential for us in a lot of architectural ways, and has given us a lot of data options that we could not even consider before,” said Grayson Roze, Vice President of Operations at StockCharts. “It relieved us of the burden of figuring out how to source things. Instead, we know exactly where we need to go to get the data and can access it instantly. That is a huge, huge benefit for our business.”

“We are proud to have played a role in transforming how StockCharts approaches data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “The events of this year unleashed a massive spike in retail trading and a host of other unexpected forces that reinforced the need for financial services firms to leverage the cloud. Despite the disruption of this year, StockCharts was positioned for success, and we look forward to continuing to deliver our financial and market data solutions to the industry at large.”

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-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite

01/12/2021

Xignite, Inc., a provider of cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today announced that its Market Data Management-as-a-Service solution has been named “Best New Technology Introduced over the last 12 months – Infrastructure” at the 2020 WatersTechnology American Financial Technology Awards (AFTAs). Selected by the editors of WatersTechnology, the AFTAs recognize excellence in the deployment and management of financial technology within the asset management and investment banking communities.

Xignite’s Market Data Management-as-a-Service (MDMaaS) solution enables buy- and sell-side firms to centralize the management of vendor data feeds into their own cloud environment. The solution is built around the cloud microservice-based architecture and technology stack Xignite has been refining and scaling for more than 10 years. Xignite’s technology platform has been the backbone of the company’s Data-as-a-Service business, daily supporting 12 billion API requests of financial data for their 700 fintech and financial services clients. Now Xignite is leveraging this battle-tested cloud-native data management architecture to offer buy- and sell-side firms a market data vendor agnostic offering, with connectors available for firms to load data they license from Bloomberg, Refinitiv, ICE and numerous other providers.

The MDMaaS solution includes a suite of loosely-coupled modules that enable market data user firms to control their data usage, automate entitlements, optimize their data spend and minimize liabilities by simplifying data governance and ensuring regulatory compliance.

The functionality is delivered via microservices, an architectural approach in which core functionality is handled by loosely coupled, independently deployable modules that can work together or separately. Microservices architecture stands in stark contrast with monolithic platforms that require expensive on-premise technology – that is especially hard to maintain in the context of a pandemic.

The MDMaaS microservice-delivered modules introduced in 2020 include:

Xignite Entitlements and Usage - Manage the entitlement of vendor data to users and applications to ensure compliance and eliminate excess spend.

Xignite Optimization - Streamline data consumption to avoid duplicated vendor requests, leverage cached bulk data and get recommendations to reduce data costs.

Xignite Data Lake - Centralize, catalog and connect data shapes to enable frictionless integration by consumers via unified cloud APIs.

Xignite Reference - Aggregate, normalize, store and index vendor reference data to centralize enterprise-wide access.

Xignite Historical - Provide centralized access to normalized, stitched and adjusted historical data via cloud APIs.

Xignite Real-Time - Distribute real-time vendor data via cloud APIs, eliminating on-premise infrastructure.

Xignite Fundamentals - Make simple and complex time-series data structures available via cloud APIs.

“Xignite has pioneered market data in the cloud for more than 10 years now, so we are very excited to announce – and be recognized for – our Market Data Management-as-a-Service solution,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO, and founder of Xignite. “The pandemic has reinforced the need for financial services firms to migrate to the cloud as a means of navigating disruption and enabling scalability, among other benefits. We are proud to spearhead that effort and help the industry modernize its approach to financial and market data.”

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 via its Data-as-a-Service and Market Data Management-as-a-Service solutions. 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

01/06/2021

Read the entire article at Business Insider

The Department of Justice has officially sued Visa to block its $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid — and the fintech world is scrutinizing what this might mean for the industry.

Business Insider spoke with Xignite's CEO and Founder Stephane Dubois, and other legal and industry experts on how they see the DoJ's lawsuit shaking out — and what this means for the fintech world.

If the Justice Department wins in court, the merger could be scuttled
Stephane Dubois, the CEO of financial data provider Xignite, thinks that the fact that the DOJ sued suggests that it does probably have a solid legal basis for its allegations.

Unless Visa — which has been represented by powerhouse law firm Skadden in connection with the deal — can fight the DOJ's lawsuit on a legal basis and argue successfully that the government's argument is too speculative, that they're not anticompetitive, he doesn't think the acquisition will go through.

Otherwise, Visa would need to comply with conditions set by the DOJ — for example, lower fees on credit cards, or breaking up its business — to make itself non-competitive. But he's not sure if Visa would be willing to do that.

Dubois said such a lawsuit could be a "cold shower" for fintechs that are considering mergers and acquisitions given the massive $200 million Plaid paid for its API competitor, Quovo, in January 2019, not to mention the $5.3 billion price tag of Visa's acquisition of Plaid.

The DOJ's lawsuit could fail and Visa's acquisition could go through, but with diverging possible outcomes for Plaid and other fintechs

Dubois sees several possible outcomes playing out should the DOJ's lawsuit fail. The acquisition would go through and Visa could continue to make Plaid available to fintechs, but in a way that it doesn't "cannibalize" its own business — for example, by charging 3% fees to competitor services that Plaid enables.

It's also possible that Visa shuts down Plaid after a successful acquisition, essentially squashing competition for the market, something Dubois called a "worst case scenario."

11/05/2020

Yugabyte, the leader in open-source distributed SQL databases, today announced that market data distribution and management solutions provider Xignite has selected YugabyteDB as its database of choice to power its cloud-native financial data distribution and management solutions. Xignite selected Yugabyte’s distributed SQL database based on YugabyteDB’s high performance, on-demand scalability, and operational ease. 

“Due to the nature of our business, performance and scalability are the two most important factors we look for in a database solution,” said Dr. Qin Yu, VP of Engineering, Xignite. “Financial data is ever-changing and we need to capitalize on that data to give our customers the most accurate, real-time view of the markets. The performance and scalability of YugabyteDB allows us to provide granular data in real-time to our high-profile clientele, combined with the Yugabyte Platform, which greatly simplifies operations and management. In addition, we have come to rely on the Yugabyte as key partners, providing us with a best-in-class distributed SQL platform and support.”  

Xignite provides customers with a scalable way to manage, control, and optimize real-time and reference data across traditional systems and cloud applications. It does this through its cloud-native market data platform that unifies financial data consumption and market data management—delivering clients a real-time view of market activity as a service via the cloud. However, serving financial services and fintech customers like Robinhood, SoFi, Investopedia, and BlackRock requires scaling as their data requirements change and grow, while still providing the high availability and high performance they need and expect.  

“When you’re building a leading market data management platform like Xignte, data accuracy and availability are absolutely imperative,'' said Karthik Raganathan, CTO and Co-Founder, Yugabyte. “Making sure customers have always-on access to real-time and reference data in a market with high–and continuously growing–volumes, sources, and types of data puts extensive demands on the scalability and performance of a database and the teams that support it. We are thrilled to be a partner to Xignite, eliminating their database pain points and enabling the Xignite team to invest more time and money in building new features for their customers.” 

As Xignite’s business grows, so does the amount and granularity of data, creating the need to quickly scale the database tier. Scaling Microsoft SQL Server on AWS with Amazon RDS was very challenging, requiring manual partitioning of data at the application layer, which was time-consuming and increased complexity. After trying MySQL and considering NoSQL solutions, Xiginite turned to Yugabyte to address its need for a database provider that could easily scale on-demand, future-proofing the company for continued growth. Yugabyte has seamlessly handled Xignite’s performance requirements for both reads and writes, and enabled the company to add capacity and scale quickly, with operational ease and no downtime.

Moving to YugabyteDB has enabled Xignite to scale to more than 11 terabytes of data, unlock new use cases that would not have been possible with the older technology stack, and achieve an overall cost savings of approximately 50% compared to SQL Server.

For further information on Xignite’s work with Yugabyte visit www.yugabyte.com/success-stories/xignite/

About Yugabyte
Yugabyte is the company behind YugabyteDB, the open source, high-performance distributed SQL database for building global, internet-scale applications. YugabyteDB serves business-critical applications with SQL query flexibility, high performance and cloud native agility, thus allowing enterprises to focus on business growth instead of complex data infrastructure management. It is trusted by companies in cybersecurity, financial markets, IoT, retail and e-commerce verticals. Founded in 2016 by former Facebook and Oracle engineers, Yugabyte is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital. www.yugabyte.com.

11/05/2020