The fintech startup Intrinio has partnered with Nasdaq to include the exchange’s real-time data feeds in its financial data marketplace.

It’s the latest step in an evolution for Intrinio, which aims to “democratize all types of data,” CEO and co-founder Rachel Carpenter said.

Intrinio currently offers application programming interfaces for 150 different types of financial data, including S&P Dow Jones index data, U.S. public company financials and feeds from other stock exchanges.

Rachel Carpenter , CEO and co-founder of the fintech startup Intrinio
'Bloomberg killer'?
“We have clients that leverage our data to build apps that may be similar to what you have on a Bloomberg [terminal],” Intrinio CEO Rachel Carpenter said in downplaying such descriptions of her company. “But our mission is just to make raw data feeds available.”

Clients — investors, algorithmic traders, hedge funds and banks — can select which data feeds they want in order to track companies, to supply their algorithmic trading programs or to do other things.

“Tens of thousands of users now are coming to us because we have the most affordable a la carte data feeds on the market,” Carpenter said. Several customers asked for the Nasdaq feed.

The original idea behind Intrinio was to bring Warren Buffett’s investment ideas to life in software. Carpenter’s co-founder, Joey French, whom she met in college, was a big fan of Buffett.

“We felt that valuation was an industry ripe for disruption,” Carpenter said. “It costs a lot of money to run a valuation when it could be automated.”

They taught themselves how to program and developed an app for the valuation industry. It ended up being highly data intensive, screen-scraping stock prices and fundamentals data from 10,000 sites including Yahoo Finance and company web pages.

“When we had it all built, we said, we can’t sell this thing without legitimately purchasing the data,” Carpenter said. “We were very naive at that point in time. We called all the big data vendors, and we got quoted more than $50,000 for the data we needed. We were just fintech entrepreneurs — imagine how discouraged we were. Discouraged doesn’t cut it. We were angry.”

It was too early in the company’s life to raise money, so they set about solving their own problem.

“We found financial data to be reserved for the elite, for the big institutional investors, and not available to the masses,” Carpenter said.

They built machine learning technology for a data marketplace and found partners from whom they could obtain data streams for a reasonable price.

Under the latest agreement with Nasdaq, the exchange streams raw, unfiltered data to Quodd, another partner. Quodd normalizes the data and built a WebSocket infrastructure that allows communication over a single transmission control protocol connection to serve up the data.

“We believe WebSockets are the way of the future, a simple way to have two-way communications,” Carpenter said. “They’re easy to get up and running which, true to our mission, will help put this data in more hands faster. With just three lines of code, you can access the data.”

Individuals can consume any data on Intrinio’s marketplace for $75 a month; companies pay a varying rate.

Although her media relations person embraces the term “Bloomberg killer” to describe the company, Carpenter does not.

“We have clients that leverage our data to build apps that may be similar to what you have on a Bloomberg [terminal],” she said. “But our mission is just to make raw data feeds available.”