Article by Mike Fox
Continuing LeapRate’s Exclusive CEO Interview Series, today we bring to you Stephane Dubois, CEO 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.
– 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.