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.



Partners with ESG Book to Drive Investor Sustainability Engagement

, April 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Xignite, Inc., the leading provider of market data APIs to brokers and wealth managers, announced the launch of a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data API in partnership with ESG Book, a global leader in ESG data and technology. Xignite's brokerage, wealth, and media customers can now increase user engagement and retention with state-of-the-art sustainability trading products.

As ESG investment has gone mainstream, today's digital investors, institutional investors, and corporations alike require ESG data to help them answer questions that range from a company's workforce diversity to its commitment to a net zero future. In this context, brokers and wealth managers can use ESG data to increase client engagement around their portfolios and differentiate their offerings in a very fragmented marketplace.

"We are thrilled to extend our highly scalable and advanced API platform to include ESG Book's real-time sustainability dataset. With the recent SEC announcement of proposals for climate disclosure, the momentum for sustainability data in the U.S. just keeps on building. If you do not offer ESG data and portfolio analytics to your clients today, you will run into growth and retention challenges," said Stéphane Duboi, the CEO of Xignite.

Dr Daniel Klier, CEO of ESG Book, said: "As capital markets transition towards a more sustainable, net-zero future, demand for accessible, comparable and transparent ESG data has never been higher. We are delighted to be partnering with Xignite, a global leader in API solutions, to deliver our real-time ESG data products to clients at both speed and scale through the latest cloud technology."

Xignite's new ESG API is designed to fast track the launch of ESG powered products. Transparent, well-structured and easy to understand ESG datasets eliminate the need for robust in-house ESG expertise. Advanced screener endpoints further simplify development by eliminating the need to maintain a database.

XigniteGlobalESG API covers a comprehensive universe of public companies domiciled in North America, EMEA, APAC, and Latin America. In addition to ESG scores, this API provides Global Compact scores, involvement data, temperature scores, and raw emissions data.

About Xignite

Xignite is the leading provider of market data API solutions to brokers, wealth managers, and the tech firms who serve them. Xignite has been disrupting the market data industry from Silicon Valley since 2003 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Today, more than 700 firms use Xignite's APIs more than half a trillion times a month to deliver high-value data to digital investors. Visit or follow us on Twitter @xignite.

About ESG Book

ESG Book is a global leader in sustainability data and technology. Through a cloud-based platform, ESG Book makes sustainability data more widely available and comparable for all stakeholders, enables companies to be custodians of their own data, provides framework-neutral ESG information in real-time, and promotes transparency. It counts many of the world's leading financial organisations among its clients, which collectively manage over $120 trillion in assets.


Sales Up 50%. API Volumes Now Exceed Half a Trillion per Month.

Xignite, Inc., the leading provider of market data APIs to brokers and wealth managers, announced that 2021 was a banner year for its business. Xignite experienced more than 50% growth in new client bookings over 2020. Most of this growth was fueled by heavy demand from new brokerage and wealth management applications as more firms entered the business. Xignite also saw a 53% increase in API consumption to a whopping half a trillion requests a month - driven mainly by increased activity from digital investors as they consumed more and more data during the pandemic.

The Digital Investor Revolution was created by the convergence of zero-cost trading, fractional shares, working from home, the pandemic, and the emergence of a new and more powerful generation of retail investors. This has created significant momentum in trading and wealth management, primarily US-based equity and options trading. And it has fueled the entrance of a considerable number of new prominent players in the field, especially embedded finance providers. It all came to light in early 2021 with the Reddit and Gamestop phenomenon. But it has not proven to be short-lived. The transformation could be profound. Indeed Xignite saw its momentum accelerate in Q4-2021, with bookings growth exceeding 310% over the same quarter in 2020.

“Xignite is one of the oldest and most scalable commercial API infrastructures globally. It’s not a surprise that our clients have grown to rely on us for their mission-critical business needs,” says Stephane Dubois, Xignite’s CEO and Founder. “It’s not only the mind-numbing volumes that we have to deal with,” adds Dubois, “It’s also the 4-nine+ level of availability we deliver day in and day out coupled with the awesome market data quality and the high touch responsiveness of our support teams. These metrics matter to large embedded finance firms entering the business or legacy firms migrating to the cloud. They spend tens of millions of dollars entering the business. They don’t want to see it evaporate because of poor data quality or API availability.” 

About Xignite

Xignite powers the investing apps and services that enable millions of people to manage their portfolios and trade stocks from a phone or tablet with the industry’s best financial market data APIs. We help more than 700 fintech trading, investment, and analytics firms like Robinhood, SoFi, and Betterment provide digital investors with the market data they need, such as real-time stock prices and company news. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite.


Xignite, Inc., the leading provider of market data APIs to brokers and wealth managers, announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency data API. Xignite’s brokerage, wealth, and media customers can now increase the value and stickiness of their services to digital investors by taking advantage of the depth and breadth of data offered by this API.

Investment in cryptocurrencies has increased dramatically over the last few years and has proven to draw new investors into the world of trading. As a result, brokerage companies are trying hard to make buying, selling, and holding Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and other cryptocurrencies as easy as possible for their clients. The XigniteCrypto API is the first to bring together a vast universe of cryptocurrency information alongside the equity, ETF, and option data brokers and fund managers need to offer high-quality services to their clients. It also provides the depth of functionality required for them to engage customers and drive trading activity

“Cryptocurrencies tend to operate in their own world,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO, and Founder of Xignite. “This means that if you want to offer integrated equity, option, and crypto trading or analytics for your clients, you are going to have to cobble up a lot of heterogeneous data from many disparate sources, and that’s a pain,” adds Dubois. “With our new crypto API, you get the depth of coverage, the quality, and the reliability across all asset classes you need to grow your business - all in one integrated solution.”

Xignite’s new cryptocurrency API, XigniteCrypto, provides real-time and historical quotes for over 900 cryptocurrencies, including coins and tokens. It includes unique API endpoints that help firms engage digital investors, using the data and tools they need to make crypto trading decisions, including price alerts, historical charting, currency conversion, and cryptocurrency news.

About Xignite

Xignite is the leading provider of market data API solutions to brokers, wealth managers, and the tech firms who serve them. Xignite has been disrupting the market data industry from Silicon Valley since 2003, when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has continually taken advantage of new technologies to help its clients grow their business and serve their customers better by using financial market data effectively. Today, more than 700 firms use Xignite’s APIs more than half a trillion times a month to deliver high-value data to digital investors. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite.



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:






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 or follow on Twitter @xignite.