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What VCs are looking for in fintech

Xignite

Upstart Business Journal fintechThe fintech industry has experienced tremendous growth in the past five years, largely fueled by venture capital investment. Fintech venture investment grew from less than $1 billion in 2010 to more than $14 billion over 12 months in 2015, according to venture capital research firm CB Insights.

We gathered insights from a group of noted fintech venture capitalists to discuss key trends that they expect to play out within the sector in 2016.

Consumer-focused firms will expand their ecosystem

Among the most recognized and successful direct-to-consumer sectors in fintech, a sizable number of marketplace lenders, payment companies and robo-advisory firms have attracted a major proportion of VC startup and later-stage funding. These industries have begun to mature somewhat and have had early winners emerge, such as marketplace lenders Prosper Marketplace, Inc. and Lending Club, online payment processors Stripe, and robo-advisors Wealthfront Inc. and Betterment LLC.

Investment within these areas was one of the hottest trends over the past 12 months, according to Michael Walsh, general partner of San Francisco-based Green Visor Capital.

“We believe these groups probably garnered more attention and investment over a short period of time than made sense, relative to other fintech opportunities. Looking ahead to 2016, while we remain positive on these groups long term, we do believe they may take a back seat to some other areas, such as security, info services, and back and middle office automation,” Walsh says. “We expect to see some consolidation over the short- to medium-term.”

While these main categories may come under pressure in 2016, David Jegen, partner at Boston-based F-Prime Capital, believes there will still be options within the space and expects to see derivative opportunities created expanding their ecosystem.

“For one, companies are extending this business model into new areas, like real estate and insurance, but you will also get some interesting second-order plays,” Jegen offers. “For example, a company like Even Financial is addressing the lead generation problem for these platforms, and a company like Orchard Platform is helping investors access lending platforms. During 2016 and beyond we expect to see startups serving that ecosystem in a broader sense.”

Blockchain technology still poised to dominate

Venture investment is expected to continue to flow to companies engaged in blockchain technologies during this year and beyond. Two important segments sure to attract investment are capital markets and insurance.

“Blockchain tech will be applied to capital markets to enable improved clearing and settlement of various asset classes. Enhanced distribution channels and better decisioning via the application of advanced data analytics will help the insurance industry,” states Pascal Bouvier, fintech expert, venture partner with Santander InnoVentures and past general partner with Route 66 Ventures.

Enterprise companies to focus on leveraging big data Enterprise companies in the financial services space are looking more to automation and data to address costs, improve processes and open new areas of business. Many are focused on improving and leveraging their ability to handle large data sets utilizing Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, micro-targeting and micro-analysis.

This focus will continue to attract venture investment in 2016, according to Karl Antle, partner at New York-based ValueStream Labs.

“One of our favorite spaces is enterprise tech, and we love data and analytics. Not just tools, but proprietary sources of data,” Antle offers. “One emerging segment we're keeping a close eye on is marketplace lending infrastructure. Everyone is servicing in house and there are very few data companies in the space. There are no third parties doing processing or clearing – the infrastructure behind the industry just doesn’t exist, which we view as a tremendous opportunity.”

Beyond 2016

Facing the twin headwinds of possible consolidation and questions of valuation, coupled with the likelihood of increased regulation it won’t be surprising if 2016 fails to match the growth achieved in years recent — especially that seen over the past 12 months.

As for Xignite, we envision a few things; the Asian fintech gold rush has officially started and some major players will pop up in this space; the robo-advisor platforms will manage 25 percent of retail investable assets within five years; and large financial services companies will finally begin to adapt to technological innovation and invest in the cloud.

This is an exciting time for VC firms in the fintech space as the industry is facing incredible speed of innovation and change for years to come.


Stephane Dubois is the CEO and founder of Xignite. He founded Xignite as a wealth management software company but pivoted the company when he could not find any easy market data APIs to power his solution. Now, Xignite provides financial market data APIS to more than 1000 clients in 55 countries — many of them fintech startups in their own right. Before starting Xignite, Dubois was vice president of product management for Advent Software and product manager at Oracle. He has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School.

RECENT NEWS

Xignite, Inc., a cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions provider for financial services and technology companies, announced a new Vendor of Record service for clients subscribing to real-time and delayed market data. The new service vastly simplifies the administration and reporting required by exchanges and often eliminates the need to pay redistribution fees, potentially saving clients thousands of dollars a month.

As an approved Vendor of Record, also called a Service Facilitator, Xignite can redistribute real-time and delayed equities and options pricing data from Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA), OTC Markets (OTCM), and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). 

Adhering to the complex compliance guidelines required by exchanges is extremely difficult for investment advisers, financial advisers, or order management software providers that need to display real-time or delayed data. Each exchange has its own unique set of regulations and compliance requirements, and clients need to prove that they have control over who receives the data, in what format, and for what use case. Xignite’s Vendor of Record service eliminates the administrative burden of tracking these complex compliance requirements.

The new service utilizes Xignite’s cloud-native Entitlements and Usage Microservices to give firms complete control and transparency of their data consumption and usage. Xignite provides data entitlements, usage tracking, and exchange reporting across various data sets, users, and applications to ensure exchange compliance. Xignite’s new service sometimes eliminates the need to pay expensive redistribution fees. Exchange fees for display data, regardless of the number of users, can cost upwards of $10,000 per month. These high fees are especially difficult for smaller financial firms with just a few real-time data users.  

“Maneuvering through the maze of required compliance policies, entitlements, usage tracking, and reporting requirements, and being subjected to frequent audits is no easy feat,” said Vijay Choudhary, Head of Product for Xignite. “Xignite’s mission is to “Make Market Data Easy.” Today’s announcement is another step towards this. We are taking away the administrative burdens and complexity of licensing market data and allowing our clients the freedom to focus on their investment and trading strategies and building innovative products.”

Xignite’s Vendor of Record service is available for professional users with internal and display-only use cases. The service is available now as an add-on service for subscribers of our real-time and delayed equities and options pricing data APIs. These include:

XigniteGlobalOptions

XigniteGlobalQuotes

XigniteGlobalRealTime

XigniteGlobalRealTimeOptions

XigniteNASDAQLastSale

About Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2003 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has continually refined 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 to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

09/21/2021

Xignite, Inc., a provider of cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today introduced XigniteGlobalETFs, a new Cloud API providing advanced analytical and full holdings data for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) globally. The popularity of ETF investing has been going through the roof and, in 2021, has broken all previous records. ETF data is critical to Xignite's digital investment manager (robo-advisor) clients, such as Betterment and SoFi, and our trading and brokerage clients, such as Robinhood and eToro, who offer their users collections made primarily of specially chosen, low-fee ETFs.

One of the prime reasons for the dramatic increase is that ETFs have become virtually free to buy and sell thanks to innovative Fintech solutions powered by Xignite market data. Robo-advisors such as Personal Capital, SoFi, Wealthfront, and WealthSimple have helped make ETFs extremely popular as an easy, low-cost way to diversify their members' portfolios.

Zero-cost trading stock brokers like Robinhood have attracted investors that use ETFs as trading vehicles. As the ETF landscape evolves, it continues to democratize hard-to-access trading strategies for retail investors. This dramatic expansion, and the complexity of the ETF landscape, make it critical for our clients to have institutional quality data to integrate into their ETF-focused financial software and mobile applications. 

The new API offers daily and historical coverage of all listed ETFs in North America, Europe, and the largest Asian markets. Sourced from CFRA Research, one of the world's largest independent investment research firms, users can analyze underlying constituents across ETFs to quantify and compare sector, factor, and other risk exposures. The Xignite's Data Quality team cross-validates the ETF data across sources and proactively detects and fixes any missing information. 

"Inflows to ETFs have already set an annual record in 2021," says Vijay Choudhary, Vice President of Product Management for Xignite. "It is critical for our wealth management, trading, risk analysis, hedge fund, and other Fintech clients to have access to in-depth research on the ETF industry to make informed decisions on behalf of their clients," added Choudhary.

Xignite APIs are cloud-native and offer a robust selection of use case-based endpoints. These endpoints are ready-to-use pieces of code that developers can easily integrate into their product or app, regardless of type, amount, or frequency of data, without the need for any complex integration logic. The available XigniteGlobalETF endpoints are:

GetHoldings - Returns all holdings sorted by percentage portfolio weight for the specified date.

GetETFCharacteristics - Returns characteristics for one or many ETFs for the specified date.

GetVolatilityStatistics - Returns average volume and volatility at the specified date.

GetFundFlows - Returns fund flows for selected ETFs.

GetFundFlowsRange - Returns fund flows for a selected ETF across the specified time range.

GetHistoricalNAVs - Returns the historical NAVs for an ETF based on a start date and end date.

GetNAVs - Returns the closing NAV for one or more ETFs for the specified AsOfDate.

GetTrailingReturns - Returns trailing returns for one or many ETFs for the specified date.

SearchETFs - Returns a list of ETFs that match the search parameters.

 

About Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2003 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 xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

08/03/2021

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 Neeva, the world’s first ad-free, private subscription search engine. Neeva has built features to deliver information in a more user-friendly manner to a general audience. One new feature is a stock tracker, enabling users to look at stock prices based on different time intervals and other key data points. The stock tracker is powered by Xignite financial data. Click HERE to download the case study containing the full results.

Neeva’s stock tracker requires significant quantities of high-quality market data to function. The company initially enlisted a legacy data provider but quickly ran into issues with data and API quality. Neeva needed to integrate quickly and required fast and reliable financial data. After a trial and receiving a recommendation from another client, Neeva identified Xignite as a provider capable of delivering large quantities of market data in a comprehensive and developer-friendly manner. 

“We were impressed by Xignite and committed to them following a successful trial,” said Stephanie Chang, Head of Marketing at Neeva. “The main factors that drew us to Xignite were the consistency of their stock ticker coverage and the granularity of their time-series ticker data, as well as the speed and reliability as well as the speed and reliability of their API,” added Chang.

Integration of the Xignite financial data APIs into Neeva’s stock widget took less than two weeks, and Neeva noticed immediate results in terms of breadth, detail, and API quality. Powered by Xignite’s global quotes and global historical APIs. Neeva presents its users with rich and desirable views of key data points for a huge variety of stocks. Users can use a time-based filtration mechanism to drill into metrics like open price, daily highs, and lows, 52-week highs and lows, volume, and market cap. 

“Xignite’s vision is to Make Market Data Easy. With our industry leading technology combined with Neeva’s user friendly search engine we have done just that,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “We look forward to continuing our work with Neeva as they disrupt the search engine marketplace.” 

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

About Neeva

Neeva is the world’s first ad-free, private subscription search engine. Neeva focuses entirely on the consumer, delivering only real, high-quality, trustworthy results. Neeva blocks third-party website trackers and will never sell or share customer data with any third party, especially advertisers. Neeva also makes it easy to search within personal email accounts, calendars, and cloud storage platforms surfacing the most important information from the same familiar search box. Neeva was founded by former executives from Google and YouTube. Learn more and sign up at Neeva.com.

07/15/2021

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