Oct 1, 2019 - Economy

New financial media company targets high-end individual investors

Atom Finance

Atom Finance, a new media and financial technology company, has raised $10.6 million in a Series A round, executives tell Axios. The company had previously raised $1.9 million in an unreported seed round in February.

The big picture: The news and analysis market for high-end individual investors has been difficult to corner. While there are pricey solutions for big enterprise companies, like the Bloomberg Terminal, and free solutions for casual investors, like Google Finance, Atom execs argue that there isn't one company that truly owns the middle.

Details: The round, led by General Catalyst, brings the company's total funding to $12.5 million. General Catalyst’s Peter Boyce will take a seat on the company's board.

  • "Not everyone is sitting in an environment where an enterprise subscription makes sense," Boyce tells Axios. "But people want functionality above and beyond free resources."
  • Boyce also says that the timing of the product is ideal. If the country's economy were to take a downturn, "access to financial information becomes as important if not more so ... It prove to be an opportunity in terms of new customers that want more robust tools than they otherwise had."

The money will be used to scale Atom's engineering team and to hire out more people to expand its product and marketing operations, according to Eric Shoykhet, CEO and founder of Atom.

  • The company is looking to differentiate itself from the growing pool of financial media products by providing more powerful data visualization tools and a more seamless customer experience.
  • Other investors for the series A round include Greenoaks, Global Founders Capital, Untitled Investments, Mail.ru and Lachy Groom. Lee Fixel, and Zach Weinberg & Nat Turner joined the Series A investors in the seed round earlier this year.

By the numbers: The company has had over 80,000 sign ups since its public beta launch in June.

  • For now, the beta version of the app is free. Eventually there will be a monthly subscription fee that aims to be cheaper than the enterprise subscriptions out there, but more robust that some of the premium individual subscriptions that exist.
  • "We aim for pricing which is a fraction of the institutional platforms (which are typically $6-12k a year)," says Shoykhet. "We strive to have superior functionality and ease of use for something in the $100-700 a year range, and we will keep a free tier."

Yes. but: The competitive landscape for financial services media continues to grow.

On the consumer side, Yahoo Finance launched a subscription product for retail investors in April for $49.99 per month.

  • It had 61.8M monthly unique viewers in August 2019, per Comscore. The company hasn't disclosed how many people pay for its premium subscription product.
  • Other free investor tools and stock screeners like Finviz and MarketBeat have also created consumer subscriptions. Finviz offers an "Elite" plan for $39.50 per month. MarketBeat offers an "All Access" subscription for $39.97 per month.
  • Free sites like Google Finance and StockCharts also offer investors free tools.
  • Robinhood, Freetrade and others offer mobile-based trading, but don't exactly compete with these tools, as they invest less in news and information around stocks.

On the enterprise side, several companies have launched to compete with the Bloomberg Terminal, which is the incumbent in the space. The terminal reaches 325,000 people, according to Bloomberg.

  • Sentieo, an AI-based financial research tool, raised $19 million last year "to be the AI-powered Bloomberg Terminal," per TechCrunch.
  • Thomson Reuters' Eikon is the next biggest competitor to Bloomberg. Bloomberg reportedly owns about 1/3 of the financial data marketplace, while Eikon controls about 23%.
  • S&P Capital IQ, Money.net, and Factset all offer enterprise subscriptions at price points that are less than the Terminal and Eikon.

What's next: The company plans to launch a native mobile app later this year. 

Go deeper