What do you enjoy most about working at FXStreet?Dealing with an international environment, from the people working there, to the market we serve. Who are your target customers? Retail traders. What is your traction so far? We have over 7 million page views between our global audience and mobile users. We work mainly with the English speaking audience although we have also the website in 17 different languages. Who are your competitors? All FX related portals, although with many of them we complement each other and also share some tools or information. As you can see, the Economic Calendar in Myfxbook is powered by FXStreet and we display their widget with spreads, we also display content from forexlive or forexcrunch, so, at the end, we make the market stronger among all the portals offering different tools.
Why customers use your solution versus your competitors?We provide a full range of tools and information in one place, many traders come for one of our tools, like our charts, rates, economic calendar, news, analysis or live videos, and some use a combination of all of them. What’s your revenue model? We offer a full advertising package for brokers, as well as sell our tools to brokers. We also work as an ad agency for brokers and sell ad space for a network of FX websites. What’s your pricing model? For advertising we work on different packages, partnering with brokers to provide the best results.
Do you have partners and how do they contribute to the growth of FXStreet?We offer information from many sources, working with contributors worldwide a from a wide range of sources.
What is your plan for the next six to twelve months for FXStreet?We launched the new website, and we are working now on improvements according to the received feedbacks. We need to make sure we offer all the tools our visitors are looking for.
Why did you decide to start Invest Diva?First of all, I was an engineer; I studied electrical engineering in Japan. I was the only girl in my class for 7 years; it was not fun. Then, when I was still in Japan, I got into trading, and when the market crashed in 2008, I made money on the market crash, which was quite fascinating, so I became interested in finance. Then I decided to come to New York to work on Wall Street and be more involved in the financial industry. That’s when I learned about some of the scams of brokers and the lack of knowledge, and also the fact that this field is still very male-dominated. Always being one of the only women in my field kind of empowered me to create a platform to support women and educate them to become more financially independent and use their money their own way so that it matches their own needs.
So your target customers are only women?It’s not only women. That was my goal when I started it, but men and women are definitely welcome. Today, I just got a referral from a man, who was saying “I can’t wait to brag about being an Invest Diva.” So Invest Diva: of course, the name is very feminine, and the primary target audience is women, but the market remains very male-dominated anyway, and finance education is finance education; it’s not related to your gender, so everybody’s welcome.
Who are your customers?Our primary customers are women who have no financial education background, and they’re in their 30s, typically single mothers or divorced women who are looking to take care of their own investments. Then there are men who trade on the side of their actual job who are looking for more education. Occupation-wise, we have people from really every occupation: teachers, nurses, university students, dentists, waitresses…really from all over. If you don’t know about investing and you want to learn more, we are here to teach you how.
Out of all of the education packages that you have, which is the most popular one? How many have been sold so far?Well, a lot of our services are just being developed, so, of course, my most popular service is the one that I first created: the Forex Coffee Break education course. It includes 100 very short, funny videos that teach you about trading, really from the beginning of the beginning to professional institutional level. I made them all myself, so they’re all kind of quirky and cheesy, but they’re very fun and educational. That’s our longest-running and still the most popular education course on Invest Diva. Our second most popular is our Premium Facebook Group which we launched in September 2016. Even though it has only been a few months, we have received great feedback and the number of active members increases every day, which is very exciting for us.
Do you have any partners who help you to grow Invest Diva?There are three different partners of Invest Diva: We do partner with brokers who are seeking educational materials, so internationally, we have banks, brokers, and investment platforms who we provide educational services and develop trading strategies for. They’re located in Japan, the U.K., Dubai, Singapore, and Cyprus. In the U.S. our partners include NASDAQ, TalkMarkets, and Benzinga. With them, we have sort of a syndication partnership. Then we have individual partners; whenever I find a great investor and educator who I think is elaborate enough to provide their expertise to our audience in an easy-to-understand and non-intimidating way, we create an affiliate partnership with them. For example, one of our most recent partners is Rick Bensignor, who is now providing his trading insights on Invest Diva as well. Who are your competitors? First and foremost, Online Trading Academy. They actually asked me to work for them years ago, but I had different goals. Another competitor is LearnVest. They are money managers, and they target women and try to educate women (mostly millennials) about financial literacy. They’re not directly our competitor because we provide different services. We’re in the same arena and we both have the same end goal, which is education, however, they manage money and take commission fees while we are purely educational. What is your plan for the next six to twelve months? I’m publishing a new book called “Ichimoku Secrets,” which is coming on December 15th. It’s a technical analysis method that I’ve developed during my years and years of trading. The Ichimoku Secrets Course will be then next step once the book is published. In six months, we are launching our wealth management course, which is going to be very similar to what I teach at universities in New York, where I teach a wealth management class. By the end of 2017, we are looking to increase our subscribers to 200,000.
Is there anything that you would like to add?If you are a beginner in trading and are intimated by all the fancy financial terminology, my book Invest Diva’s Guide to Making Money in Forex is for you! It was published by McGraw-Hill in 2013 and is still greatly popular among traders.
Tell me about Xignite – why did you start the firm?Xignite is a typical story of a firm that stumbled into a real problem and pivoted to address it. At first, I started the company to create a b2b wealth management platform. I used to run Product Management for Advent Software, a software company providing portfolio management software to investment management firms. Wealth Management was a natural extension from Portfolio Management. We were not quite successful with that wealth management solution. But we needed financial market data in order to power and demo our platform. This was in the early 2000’ and was looking for XML data via APIs, something that just did not exist. We could only find complex legacy solutions instead. So we created our first REST API by scraping Yahoo Finance and using them as demos. We listed our APIs in some of the first API directories of the time, and quickly some firms started asking us to build a commercial version of that API, which we did. This was more than 10 years ago. Today, REST APIs are broadly accepted as a key component of next-generation architectures, our APIs are among the most popular in the world, and we have the privilege to power some of the best wealth management platforms in the world such as robo-advisors Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront. Can you name some of your clients? Our clients include a wide range of business as shown below: Who are your partners and how they contribute to Xignite growth? Our partners are plentiful and they all contribute to our success in different ways: Amazon Web Services —which we have used since 2008 have allowed us to scale our technology beyond everything we initially imagine and have helped redefine the role and architecture of APIs and their impact on enterprises. Global Exchanges and Data Vendors such as FactSet, Morningstar, NASDAQ, Wall Street Horizon, Mergent, and BATS allow us to distribute and integrate their data into a simple, scalable and one-stop-shop offering that make it easy for our customers to build innovative applications. More below: Technology providers such as ChartIQ and StreamData.io—whose technology helps us enrich our own offering and better serve our clients.
What is your traction so far?
- We have about 1100 customers globally in 55 countries.
- Around 35% of our business is conducted outside of the US with significant growth in Asia and EMEA.
- Through our platform, we reach tens of thousands of firms and tens of millions of users either directly or indirectly via our clients embedding our data into their websites, mobile apps or enterprise SaaS solutions.
- We have more than 45 product offering totaling more than 650 API end points (the largest integrated API suite in the world).
- We have served more than 1.2 Trillion API requests so far in 2016 are on track to serve more than 1.5 trillion. Putting us in the same category as the likes of Twitter, Google, and Netflix—all serving trillions of APIs per year.
- Usage on our platform grows 300% annually.
- Xignite has raised more than $37M in capital in 3 rounds, including a $20.5M Series C round in February 2016.
Can you share your pricing model?We have more than 45 product offerings each available via annual subscription for unlimited use of our APIs. Each produce covers a specific asset class (e.g. Equities, Forex, Funds, etc.), type of data (quotes, valuations, fundamentals, etc.) and availability (real-time, delayed, historical, etc.)
Why do your customers use your solution verse your competitor’s solution?Our customers invariably choose us for the simplicity, scalability, and breadth of integration of our APIs. No other provider out there offers the breadth of data we offer on a simple, standard-based REST API platform that can scale like we do.
What is the next six to twelve-month plan for Xignite?Over the six to twelve 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 data sets that are in 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
Anything else you would like to add to the blog post?We believe that in a few years, all market data will originate in the public cloud—specifically in Amazon Web Services. We also believe that by the same period, most enterprise applications will run in the public cloud and all mobile applications will operate off the public cloud.We are simply trying to be the platform that brings this data to those applications inside the public cloud. And we are well on our way to accomplishing this vision.
- Our advanced technology, which has proven to be the backbone of our success. Matches generated by our algorithms are based on exceptionally precise metrics and more science than either exists in the traditional industry or that is being used by other tech platforms in our industry
- Our curation process, led by our tech-enabled analyst teams ensures only qualified institutional quality deals to flow through the platform
- We are truly global with deal flow from 145 countries around the world and have four offices in major financial centers from New York to Shanghai
- Since the start, there have been more than 1.2 million transactions through the Blockchain of I/O Digital.
- There are around 16.2 million I/O Coins in circulation and we have a total market cap of roughly $6 million
- All over the world, people use the network. Currently 32% in the US, 11% in the Netherlands and 11% in Germany.
- We are also represented in Korea, Canada, France, Indonesia, Ukraine and a lot more countries. Truly a global project and we are very proud of that.
- Fear of missing out on market movements and opportunities
- Existing market notification service not scalable
- Current solutions are expensive
- Continue Strong User Growth Momentum in Key Financial Markets
- Expansion into International Markets: HK, Japan etc.
- Infrastructure and Tech Expansion (Microsoft Excel Plugin, Open API)
- Secure more Financial Institution Partnerships