Alternative Data Platform Thinknum Raises $11.6 Million

“I still think I’m the first person with dreads to raise $11.6 million.”

That’s how Gregory Ugwi, co-founder and CEO of alternative data provider Thinknum, summed up the company’s just-closed Series A funding round in a tweet earlier today. The firm, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014, enables investors to access non-traditional data on company performance and behavior that can provide actionable insights.

“Over the past couple of years, we have helped hundreds of data-driven companies and investment firms derive valuable insights from alternative data,” Thinknum co-founder Justin Zhen wrote at the company’s LinkedIn page today. “We believe that the greatest challenge any society has to face is how to efficiently allocate resources. The movement of commercial activity to the web provides important data sources that businesses need to make smarter decisions.”

He added, “By helping companies track that data, we’re helping businesses make critical strategic moves ahead of their competitors.”

Thinknum gives non-programmers the ability to query large datasets quickly, using intuitive tools and advanced visualizations to make data easier to understand. The platform enables users to scan open source data on 400,000+ of companies, and alert users when specific metrics are triggered.

Today’s funding comes as the company announces that it has been cash flow positive for “the past few years” and doubling revenues every twelve months. Green Visor Capital led the Series A, which takes Thinknum’s total capital to $12.6 million.

The company plans to use the new capital in three main areas: make it easier for non-programmers to use external, alternative data; build its business and engineering teams; and “spread the word” about the actionable insights available via alternative data.

“We will continue to share our economy-changing findings with the world and reach out to decision makers and analysts and show how they can leverage these new information sources to solve their specific problems,” Zhen wrote.

Founded in 2013, Thinknum was featured last fall in TechCrunch’s look at 14 seed-stage startups. The company, which includes Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch among its clients, is headquartered in New York City.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Alternative Data Platform Thinknum Raises $11.6 Million.
  • SigFig Appoints Anne Morrissey as its First CFO.

Around the web

  • Modo taps Matt McBride as its new Chief Information Security Officer.
  • eToro to end commissions for U.K. customers trading on its platform.
  • Avaloq joins Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
  • Kofax launches its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) 10.4 solution.
  • Vymo wins FICCI (The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce) Award for Innovation in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics.
  • TurnKey Lender opens new office in Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Envestnet | Yodlee to Support Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Business.
  • True Link Financial Lands $3.6 Million Investment.

Around the web

  • Backbase to power commercial banking platform for Metro Bank.
  • Crowdfund Insider features OurCrowd’s Jon Medved.
  • CNBC interviews Thinknum co-founder Justin Zhen.
  • Coverhound announces new partnership with pay-per-mile auto insurance innovator, Metromile.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • “The Way to San Jose: FinovateSpring Has Sprung!”

Around the web

  • CFO interviews Michael Levine, Payoneer‘s Chief Financial Officer.
  • The Ruby Rogues talk with Ruby-developer Greg Baugues of Twilio.
  • Entrust Datacard announces EMV instant-issuance milestone of more than 10 million cards issued in the U.S. in one year.
  • Benzinga interviews Justin Zhen and Gregory Ugwi, Thinknum co-founders.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • “T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Lead $130 Million Investment in Twilio
  • “i-exceed Unveils Appzillon 3.1 with Enhanced Security, UX”
  • “Radius Raises $50 Million in Round Led by Founders Fund”

Around the web

  • Daily Fintech profiles financial analysis platform, Thinknum.
  • Patch of Land adds commercial real estate to its crowdfunding platform.
  • CR2 appoints Tammo van Leeuwen as market strategy director.
  • NerdWallet looks at Wealthfront, Betterment, FutureAdvisor, Personal Capital, and Vanguard in feature on how automation disrupts investing.
  • Dough Roller features FutureAdvisor as a free service to manage your child’s college fund.
  • Battery Ventures, a tech-focused investment firm, has agreed to acquire Physical Security Business Unit, part of the security division of NICE Systems in a deal valued up to $100 million.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

HedgeCoVest Takes Top Honors at 2015 Benzinga Fintech Awards


The votes are in! HedgeCoVest is the winner of the Overall category at the 2015 Benzinga Fintech Awards.

HedgeCoVest earned its first-place award at the Benzinga Fintech Awards Gala Event held earlier this month in New York City. The company picked up 5 million ad impressions and a one-year license to the Benzinga Pro Real-Time News & Data feed. Second- and third-place prizes were also awarded.

In attendance at the event were more than 50 CEOs, more than 100 fintech companies, about 20 venture capital firms, 10 major U.S. retail brokerages, and four fintech accelerators, as well as a host of press and media.

HedgeCoVest also performed well in individual categories, winning the Alternative Investment category, and earning runner-up recognition in the Most Disruptive category. Finovate alums taking home individual awards are listed below. See a full list of all winners, runners-up, and finalists.

Betterment: winner: Robo Advisor Tools, Founder of the Year (Jon Stein); runner-up: “A Penny Saved, A Penny Earned”

iBillionaire: finalist: Idea Generation Creating Proprietary Data

iQuantifi: finalist: Robo Advisor Tools, “A Penny Saved, A Penny Earned,” Idea Generation Strategy

LikeFolio: winner: Idea Generation Research Platforms & Tools

Market Prophit: runner-up: Idea Generation Creating Proprietary Data

Motif Investing: winner: Most Disruptive; finalist: Founder of the Year (Hardeep Walia), Alternative Investment

Personal Capital: runner-up: Idea Generation Strategy; finalist: “A Penny Saved, A Penny Earned”

Thinknum: finalist: Best Use of the Crowd, Most Promising Startup

TipRanks: winner: Idea Generation Trade Recommendations

Trunomi:. finalist: Best Enterprise Solution

Benzinga Unveils Fintech Award Finalists; 12 Finovate Alums Featured


On April 8th, the Finovate blog might be the second best place to find Finovate alumni.

The best place could actually be in New York at the Benzinga Fintech Awards where a dozen Finovate alums have been named as finalists to compete for Benzinga’s first, second, and third prizes, as well as honors for best in category. More than 115 companies competed to reach the finals in pursuit of the title of “Most Innovative Fintech Company.”

The first, second, and third place winners will earn ad impressions:
5 million for first, 1.5 milion for second, and 1 million for third.
The top three companies will also win licenses to the Benzinga Pro Real-Time News & Data Feed:
1-year for first place, 6-months for second, and 1-month for third.
The initial 115 companies were chosen by Benzinga readers. Making the final vote for top three will be event judges Steve Ehrlich, CEO of Honos Financial; Ron Insana, senior analyst, CNBC; Andrew Ackerman, managing director, Dreamit; Charlie Kroll, former CEO and founder of Andera; and Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management.
Below are the finalist categories, as well as the Finovate alums in each.
Idea Generation
Trade Recommendation
Investment Vehicle
Alternative Investment
Special Categories
Best Enterprise Solutions
Best Use of the Crowd
Founder of the Year
  • Hardeep Walia, Motif Investing
  • Jon Stein, Betterment
Most Promising Startup
  • Thinknum
A Penny Saved, A Penny Earned
  • Motif Investing
  • Betterment
  • Personal Capital
  • iQuantifi
Most Disruptive
  • Motif Investing
  • HedgeCoVest

Alumni News– November 21, 2014

  • migrates client base of 1,000+ freelancers and contractors to the FreeAgent platform.
  • Uber helping drivers manage and pay back their student loans by partnering with
  • Actiance recognized in Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving.
  • Bloomberg: CAN Capital to weigh IPO with up to $2 billion value.
  • Intuit’s Quickbooks and Xero coming to Square App Marketplace.
  • PayStand sets flat fees for e-check payment option.
  • Virtual Piggy, provider of Oink, launches the Oink Discover prepaid card for teens.
  • Fiserv links its Popmoney P2P payment solution to charitable giving.
  • Yodlee wins top honors at Citi Mobile Challenge Latam 2014.
  • Bazaarvoice announces plans to relocated to new corporate HQ in North Austin.
  • Kashoo announces enhancements to its web app, including more P&L options and increased security.
  • VoiceTrust launches strategic partnership with German biometric cloud security company, BioID AG.
  • The Washington Post features Bionym’s Nymiband.
  • Accenture mentions Thinknum as an innovation that is helping to change the banking industry.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Alumni News– October 27, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFeedzai and Encap Security team up to combine behavioral profiling with device credentialing to build better security for banks and merchants.
  • CB Insights lists Nutmeg, TransferWise, The Currency Cloud, and Azimo among the 10 top fintech startups from the UK.
  • The Guardian Money section looks at peer-to-peer lender including Zopa.
  • TWiST (This Week in Startups) interviews FutureAdvisor Co-Founder and CEO Bo Lu.
  • Prosper reaches $2 billion, reaching the second billion dollars in just 6 months.
  • Payment processing solutions provider, Bill2Pay, partners with PayNearMe to digitize cash collections.
  • The Australian Business Review features Matt Symons, SocietyOne co-founder.
  • EVO* Snap launches mPOS Solution Supporting Apple Pay and EMV Globally.
  • MedicalMine and Bluefin Partner for Integrated Patient Payments.
  • Check out our feature on Xignite: Inspiring the Future of Finance with Easy and Speedy APIs
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: Thinknum

The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. Today’s feature is Thinknum, which demonstrated its collaboration and comparison tools for financial analysis.


Thinknum’s web-based software is targeted to financial analysts. The collaboration and cloud-computing tools help build better financial models. It seeks to revolutionize asset valuation and empowers analysts to turn complicated spreadsheets into in-depth analyses.

    • 4,000 analysts on platform
    • $1 million raised
    • Product launched December 2013
The problem
To more accurately value stocks, sophisticated investors create financial models based on metrics such as company sales, website page views, and global events such as spikes in food prices. Often, analysts use simple spreadsheets which can be inefficient in managing complicated data.
Most financial models are shared by email, with different versions saved on various hard drives leading to lost content, mis-used models, and other confusion. Additionally, finding specific data points by sorting through spreadsheets is cumbersome.
Enter Thinknum.
The solution
Thinknum provides analysts with a platform to host their spreadsheet-based models. Users can either upload existing models from Excel or build them directly on the platform. Powerful search capabilities enable users to apply a single model to multiple companies, automatically aggregating company-specific information, such as earnings and revenue.
Additionally, Thinknum serves as a collaboration platform where 4,000 analysts from major banks and hedge funds across the globe can share and tweak each others’ models using different assumptions.
What sets Thinknum apart? 
1) Computing power
With an overwhelming amount of data and hundreds of APIs created every day, it is impossible to capture all of the information needed for an accurate model. Even if it were possible, analysts would still lack the computing power needed to crunch the numbers in the model. Thinknum’s 50 computing nodes deliver results in seconds, pulling data from thousands of sources.
2) Crowdsourced insights
Similar to Github, Thinknum gives users visibility into the work of other analysts on the platform. This provides insight into how others value certain companies, and can lead to better financial models.
The example below shows how other analysts, listed along the bottom, value Google. The bubbles represent each person’s valuation based on their personal financial model. 
From here, analysts can open the model, view its performance, or use the QuickBuilder feature.
With QuickBuilder (below), investors can test their models by simulating the effect of changes in inputs, such as company revenue and cost of goods sold, have on the overall stock price.
Thinknum’s capabilities extend beyond the QuickBuilder feature. It also provides graphs detailing data from over 2,000 sources such as home prices, construction spending, and the unemployment rate.

FinDEVr 2014: Thinknum Provides Developers with a Platform for Empowering Financial Analysts


This post is part of our live coverage of FinDEVr San Francisco 2014.

Thinknum presented its platform for financial analysts.

Thinknum: A Powerful Web Platform for Financial Analysis
Learn about Thinknum, the web platform that is changing the way that financial analysts work. Find our more about our unique data and technology that enhances the financial research process.
Presenter: Justin Zhen, Co-Founder
Thinknum is a powerful web platform to value companies. Thinknum leverages the web’s resources in data and technology for financial analysts to host their financial models on the cloud.
Twitter: @thinknum

FinDEVr Preview: Who’s Who on Day Two


There will be a lot going on over the course of the two day FinDEVr conference in San Francisco next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can still pick up your ticket here.

Each of the companies below will have 6 minutes on stage to show off what their tools are all about:


PayStand, an online payment solution that offers zero transaction fees

Presentation: Comparing the Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Payment Types
Card Networks (Visa/MasterCard/Amex), eCheck (ACH/Bank Network/Check21), and Digital Currency (Bitcoin/Ripple/Altcoins) all have unique advantages and disadvantages. Explore the different use cases of why each are valuable and learn how to use PayStand’s unique multi-payment network technology to build the next generation of commerce applications.
Why it’s great for developers:
    • Payments as a service
    • Enables merchants to accept eCash, eCheck, and credit card payments
    • Allows for no transaction fees
PayStand is an online payment solution that enables organizations to accept credit cards, eChecks, and digital currency without transaction fees.


Plaid, an API that powers fintech applications

Presentation: Plaid: API for Financial Infrastructure
Learn all about Plaid, the problems we’re solving, and the companies we power.
Why it’s great for developers: 
    • Access detailed account and transaction data from financial institutions
    • Authorize accounts for ACH and Wire transfers in seconds
    • Verify account holder information

Plaid is an API for financial infrastructure – we give developers the tools they need to build applications that interface with banks.


Prudena is a subscription-based online community that provides value analysis to developers.

Presentation: Prudena: Automating Financial Statement Analysis
Charlie Strout founded Prudena when – after graduating from Columbia Business School – he decided performing fundamental equity analysis was too labor intensive. The presentation discusses how he was able to leverage existing APIs to develop Prudena’s analysis tools and publish his own API.

Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Allows you to reduce the time required to perform financial statement analysis
    • Better understand risk by running simulations
    • Aggregate your investments accounts
Prudena automates the process of performing high-quality financial statement analysis–saving investors time and improving their decision-making processes.


SecureKey Technologies delivers authentication solutions for online consumer services

Presentation: Moving Away from Passwords: The Future of Digital Identity
We are first exploring some of the traditional ways to secure online access. We will then look at a more innovative approach via device anchoring and dynamic authentication that will show the audience how to strongly and uniquely identify customers with a unified solution across devices.
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Every authentication event provides unique proof of their customer’s identity
    • Simple access with a better, more secure user experience
    • Eliminates password frustration Connect can provide users with the opportunity to use simpler methods that are actually far stronger than passwords and better secured.

SekurMeLogo eliminates passwords by turning your phone into your digital identity. 

Presentation: Want to be secure? Eliminate passwords!
If you don’t have a password, it cannot be stolen. See a live demo of a patented disruptive technology taking security to the next level, while making login safer and simpler. And see how it can be used to secure payments and reduce shopping cart abandonment for eCommerce and mCommerce.
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Eliminate passwords
    • Single-Click payments
    • Checkout and pay in 9 seconds
If you don’t have a password, it cannot be stolen.


SimplyTapp provides host card emulation

Presentation: Host Card Emulation
Overview of SimplyTapp’s HCE solution and offering.
Why it’s great for developers: 

Host Card Emulation (HCE) is the presentation of a virtual and exact representation of a card using only software.


Tagcash, a digital payments and rewards company

Presentation: TAGCASH
The importance and benefits of a platform for both users and merchants that makes use of these key features: digital wallet usage, merchant payments integration, remittance capabilities, and built-in rewards program (which includes marketing modules and advertising).
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Digital Wallet Usage (including Remittance)
    • Rewards Program
    • Practical Advertising
Cash, Rewards, and Advertising can all be found on a single (yet multi-featured) and safe /secure platform.


The TxPUSH Initiative makes real time account events available to third party apps.

Presentation: Aggregation 2.0 – TxPUSH and the Evented Financial Web
TxPUSH technology is focused on aligning app user experience and FinTech industry players around the Evented Financial Web. The TxPUSH technology will improve the security model of the existing account aggregation ecosystem and promote the delivery of real-time financial transaction data to account holders in the apps they choose.
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Eliminate third party interactions with user credentials
    • Push real time transactions to your app
    • See the launch of TxPUSH and the Evented Financial Web
TxPUSH and the Evented Financial Web deliver the framework to build secure, event driven, real-time apps for the Evented Financial Web ecosystem.


Thinknum provides technology for financial analysts to host their financial data in the cloud.

Presentation: Thinknum: A Powerful Web Platform for Financial Analysis
Learn about Thinknum, the web platform that is changing the way that financial analysts work. Find out more about our unique data and technology that enhances the financial research process.
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Utilize unique web data to value companies
    • Leverage web technology to enhance the research process
    • Manage user generated content
Thinknum is changing the way that financial analysts work, enabling them to manage their own content while enhancing their research processes.


Trulioo a cyber identification company.

Presentation: Trulioo’s Global Gateway
Demonstrating how Trulioo’s Global Gateway verifies a consumer’s identity within a single, unique portal. We will input a person’s first name, last name, date of birth and address to show how Trulioo verifies these attributes from our 130+ data sources.
Why it’s great for developers: 

    • Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer compliant electronic ID Verification
    • Instant global address verification for ecommerce and P2P
    • Access over 3B identities
Global Gateway is the leading identity verification solution with the largest coverage in the market.