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


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.



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


Each year, Bobsguide asks the market to vote for fintech companies they believe stand out from the competition – those who have gone the extra mile in terms of development and servicing their clients. Xignite is proud to be listed as the "Best API Management" vendor on the Bobsguide 2020 Rankings.

Read article on Bobsguide


Web services data provider Xignite captured the AFTAs judges’ attention on the infrastructure front with its release of Xignite Enterprise Microservices in July 2020, a suite of cloud-based microservices for data management, storage and distribution in the cloud, designed to help financial firms migrate from monolithic legacy data architectures to more agile and less expensive cloud services and data sources.

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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 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 or follow on Twitter @xignite