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Guest Article: Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley Jostle for the Fintech Crown [News]

Xignite

Xignite CEO Stephane Dubois compares and contrasts the fintech communties from the coasts

PEHUB PE HUB 10 Coolest Brands in Banking 2015Last year fintech rose from the ashes of the mortgage crisis to the pinnacle of startup hype, with companies such as  WealthfrontPersonal Capital,  Betterment,  Robinhood  and Motif Investing raising troves of capital. We expect this trend to continue in 2015 and beyond.

The bulk of the fintech activity has so far taken place in the US, and primarily in the hubs of New York City and San Francisco. Startups are popping up like mushrooms in London,   Frankfurt, Singapore, Cyprus and Beijing, but according to data by VentureScanner, New York, with 97 fintech companies, and the Bay Area, with 176 companies, dominate the scene. Up and coming areas such as London, with 81 companies, and Boston, with 18, still don’t measure up.

While fintech brings together Wall Street and Silicon Valley and creates a new space influenced by the forces of financial services and disruptive technology, there are clear differences between these two main centers of activity. Compared with its counterpart in the West, New York’s Silicon Alley traditionally takes a backseat in what the industry   considers to be “pure technology.” But when it comes to fintech, it has an undeniable advantage as the finance capital of the world.

In our position as a provider of financial market data APIs, we interact a lot with fintech companies on both coasts. As we become more familiar with how they operate, we have begun to notice patterns and contrasts. As the number of fintech startups grows, trends emerge in these companies’ operational strategies, and today we see three main traits that differentiate the valley from the alley:

  • Technologists vs. Financiers
  • Disruption vs. Revolution
  • Venture vs. Organic

Technologists vs. Financiers
The first difference lies in the origins of the fintech founders. In Fintech Valley, founders are more likely to have technology backgrounds, and, as a result, pull their inspiration from their past experience within the space. Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital, started at PayPal, while Hardeep Walia, co-founder and CEO of Motif Investing, used to work for Microsoft. Backed by a tech-heavy experience, these founders bring a unique perspective on how to apply technology to financial services. By contrast, New York-based founders are more likely to enter fintech after breaking away from large financial institutions, where they experienced unmet needs first hand. For instance, Basil Qinibi, founder of the hedge fund platform Novus Partners, used to work at Merrill Lynch, and Mazy Dar, CEO of OpenFin, came from UBS. Because of their experience in the world of finance, these individuals – like many of their East Coast colleagues – are equipped with valuable insight and perspective on financial services.

Disruption vs. Revolution
The second difference between the two coasts is in their approach to the markets. Silicon mavens are more likely to want to disrupt financial services altogether, given their perception of finance and fintech at large as mountains of inefficiency fueled by immense fees that are ripe to have the rug pulled from under their feet. These industry players want to become the new finance. Palo Alto’s Wealthfront and Redwood City’s Personal Capital exemplify this trend. By contrast, New Yorkers will take a more subtle angle, as they are more likely to be peddling new technologies and platforms that aim to help large financial institutions capitalize on emerging trends and regulatory mandates. These companies, which include EidoSearchEstimize and Standard Treasury, tend to view traditional finance as their client, not their enemy.

Venture vs. Organic
It is no surprise that the attitude of the two communities differ when it comes to fundraising. Silicon Valley fintech entrepreneurs will naturally turn to Sand Hill Road and its hordes of venture capitalists for funding. Pitching to angel groups or institutional investors is a tried-and-true, well-oiled process rehearsed heavily from Palo Alto to SOMA and fueled by the abundance of capital. By contrast, New Yorkers will favor organic development, and, if they do take money, they are more likely to seek strategic investments from the large financial institutions and executives that they plan to serve. Maybe it’s because New York entrepreneurs are experienced as financiers. Or maybe it’s that their existing connections allow them to quickly sell to a few clients and achieve organic profitability much quicker than their leveraged Californian counterparts. Either way, this trend will continue all the way to the exit, where western VC-funded companies will seek IPOs more often than their New York peers. The recent Yodlee and LendingClub IPOs speak for themselves.

Despite these patterns, and there are exceptions, one thing remains certain: cultural differences aside, the fintech landscape from east to west has never been as energetic and strong as it is today in both Fintech Valley and Fintech Alley.

Stephane Dubois is CEO and founder of Xignite and a sought-after observer and contributor to the fintech community.

 

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