With an investment of $600,000 (£375,000) financial data startup Nous is now that much closer to its goal of leveraging the insights of the crowd for the benefit of real-world professional investors at banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions.
Nous CEO Justin Short noted that the investment would provide more than just new capital for a company that was “self-funded, pre-revenue, and pre-launch” when we met them at FinovateEurope 2014 in London. “All of our investors will contribute not just capital, but also their considerable industry experience,” Short said. “We now have even stronger connections to the forward thinking hedge-funds that can make the most of our unique data feeds.”
The investors for this angel round of funding were not disclosed.
Nous has developed a trading simulator, SparkProfit, that allows thousands of users to predict the price direction of a wide variety of instruments, such as bitcoin, international currencies, stock market indices, and commodities. Top performing predictors on the platform can then compete for weekly cash prizes.
But this is only the beginning. By monitoring the predictions on the platform, Nous is able to offer a sentiment indicator called SparkFeed. SparkFeed works in real-time and according to the Nous provides a better sense of the emotions driving market behavior than that offered by either traditional sentiment algorithms as well as newer “social media” based sentiment measures. Nous calls this “crowd-sourced alpha.”
A few metrics on Nous:
- 84,000 users in 200 countries
- 250,000 predictions a week
- More than $61,000 paid in weekly prizes since May 2013
Nous was founded in September 2012 and, after operating in Japan initially, is now headquartered in London. The company hopes to grow its user base to 250,000 over the next six months, and plans to use the funding to add both new markets and social features to its platform.