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Data Analysis Startup Thinknum Raises $1M in Seed Round
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ugwigr
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ugwigr,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/4/2014 | 8:58:31 PM
Re: sharing? in financial services?
co-founder @thinknum here. Most Hedge Funds and Banks are signing up for institutional accounts and keeping their models private. We are seeing interest from banks who want to share models with specific clients - remember banks' research departments create reports strictly for clients and not for internal traders. All in all Thinknum is a tool to create better models - whether the user chooses to keep them public or private depends on the use case. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 10:40:03 AM
Re: sharing? in financial services?
I agree the trend on Wall Street has been to keep models private since they are the secret sauce. I can see college or graduate students in MBA or Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) Programs who are learning to be a financial analyst want to share their models and learn from others. Someone who is changing careers to become an analyst may want to share to learn from toher. In terms of analysts actually employed by a brokerage firm or hedge fund, they might want to look at someoone else's models, but that would not be allowed on Thinknum without sharing their own.

So the firm has created a private workstation that allows analysts to keep their models private and perhaps share them with others internally. This is the paid model. This model has worked for firms like Estimize which charges hedge funds to receive their crowdsourced earnings estimates feed via an API.

 
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
8/4/2014 | 8:25:34 AM
sharing? in financial services?
Financial firms have never played well together. And they rarely share. I wonder how this type of service will do in the FS space. It makes sense, don't get me wrong, but financial firms are very proprietary about everything.
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 9:44:44 AM
Re: Sharing is caring
Do you mean privacy issues around users publishing their own models?

Hmmm. If they publish their models, they need to show the formulas. Not sure about the code or attempting to download someone else's code I will delve into this aspect. You raise an important point.

We've seen a few cases on  Wall Street of programmers downloading their own firm's code and landing in jail on trial for intellectual property theft and espionage. In the sharing model economy, are publishers  running the risk of code theft?

 

 
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
8/1/2014 | 9:29:02 AM
Re: Sharing is caring
Yes I imagime Thinknum has to be very explicit around privacy issues with its clients.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 4:40:03 PM
Re: Sharing is caring
Understood. Unfortunately users don't always know when they're crossing the line - this is a bit of a compliance gray area. That being said, I'm sure Thinknum is helping their users stay in line with their respective company policies, and these private workstations sound very useful. 
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 4:34:42 PM
Re: Sharing is caring
Collaboration is a theme of the Thinknum platform. Analysts may want to share the models with peers. The models are created by the financial analysts. So it's their repsonsibility to know if they can post a model or not. The data is publicly available and has been collected by Thinknum.Those who work at Wall Street firms may not want to share their models. Thinknum is offering a private workstation for those that want to keep their models private for which they need to pay $200 a month.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 12:11:07 PM
Sharing is caring
Great company idea, I think it could streamline a lot of work, and help companies build off each others expertise. I do wonder about the risk of accidentally leaking proprietary information? 

"Looking to disrupt the status quo around financial analysis of corporate data, Thinknum has built an open-source platform that lets Wall Street analysts discover and share their models with other analysts."


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