In the old days, running an analysis of charts and numbers took hours and days and a bunch of spreadsheets. Today, we live in a different world. So much data is at our fingertips and firms are emerging every day to help analyze it in a more visually understandable, affordable and timely way.
This is the area of big data analytics, or data science, which is emerging across many industries. In fact, there's a new accelerator just focused on big data companies, called appropriately Data Elite.
One firm focusing on analyzing investment data and making it affordable to small home offices, financial advisors or individuals who want to manage their liquid investments is Quovo, founded by Lowell Putnam, who grew up in an household where investments were probably discussed every night at the family dinner. Putnam Investments is a mutual fund family that was started by Putnam's great-grandfather, George Putnam. Putnam's father is now a trustee.
NY-based Quovo recently closed a $1.4 million round, led by Long Light Capital.
Quovo specializes in portfolio analytics for primarily stocks, ETFs and fixed income assets. The service allows users to input their account information from, say ETrade, Fidelity and other brokerage accounts, and have a consolidated view of their investments.
"We can pull data from thousands of firms," said Lowell Putnam. And much like the very popular financial service Mint, Quovo gives a "live portrait of what you're doing."
The platform has been in beta with more than one thousand users, including sophisticated hedge funds down to retail investors with an ETrade account.
So what does this software enable an investor to see? "At a top level, you see every position you have [across disparate accounts]. That is something that’s lacking. You also get real performance of your investments [something many brokerage houses don't provide]."
Quovo also shows investors the risks they face, by showing them standard volatility, risk-return matrixes, and stress tests to simulate a market drop. They're also slowly understanding how to better serve their investors by understanding their interests. When signing up to Quovo, you can choose what you're interested in, from understanding your risk better, to understanding your performance better.
In the near term, Quovo is "targeting the smaller end of the institutional market, endowments, sophisticated retail investors," said Putnam. It's still in public beta, but is on target to be available to accredited investors in early 2014.
It's unclear how much the service will cost. But Putnam had this to say: "We firmly believe that the 'call us for pricing' model that has dominated the B2B space needs to be replaced with a more standard retail eCommerce style of pricing and payments. We're all about transparency, and that will extend to our pricing as well."