Today we are joined by Vivek Nasta of Scout Finance.
Scout Finance is the mobile-first company dedicated to giving fundamental investors access to stock research and data on-the-go.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
My name is Vivek Nasta, and I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Scout Finance. Before launching Scout, I was Global Head of Mobile at Thomson Reuters. Prior to that, I worked at Nokia, which as many may recall, was the world leader in mobile phones before the iPhone came on the scene . You could say that I was into “fintech” before FinTech became the buzzword that it is today.
When I started Scout, I specifically recruited former colleagues who had a deep passion for mobile. At the core of Scout, we’re mobile and finance guys that love apps and focus on creating mobile-first solutions. We don’t have any desktop heritage and we didn’t start in data. When you use Scout Finance, there are no distractions. You have the purest mobile experience possible for investors in equities.
Way back in the day, I worked in venture capital at AOL, as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, and at the White House. I studied engineering at Stanford and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.
What phone are you carrying and why?
I’m carrying an iPhone and iPad of course, as they are the devices where Scout Finance is currently available for download on the App Store. Also, mostof the finance professionals that we’re targeting have those devices.
Where do you get your industry news from?
I’m an avid curator of information by nature and I like to read while I’m on-the-go and on my phone of course. I love Twitter for this reason – where you can scan hundreds of sources quickly. Also, the NYTimes app is excellent. Most of my industry news comes from the Wall Street Journal, but I also like Stocktwits, Seeking Alpha, Benzinga, several finance and tech blogs – it more about the content for me so I find it however I can.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
We like Guy Adami (@guyadami), he is on CNBC and has been very helpful. We also follow Nicole Sherrod (@TDANSherrod) who is another big fan of the app. I think Stephen Dubois @xignite is another pioneer in market data.
Can you suggest the name of an Angel Investor or VC that might be interested in being profiled?
I think Jeff Parker, the father of Fintech and the force behind Streetevents and CCBN has been a great angel to us.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
That is a tough question as we recently attended the 2016 Benzinga Fintech awards and saw at least 50 or so outstanding FinTech products and services. Scout Finance won the award for Best in Mobile Innovation, but we had many great competitors in our category. If I had to pick one, Stash was an interesting service. They allow people to invest for as little as $5. The premise of the app is a familiar one to Scout too – they want to make investing simple and accessible to everyone, not just to the top money managers who have the resources to spend on expensive tools and desktop platforms. Scout can certainly relate to that philosophy.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
Among the biggest trends in Fintech over the next few years is better access to quality market data and analytics, and its increasing impact on how investors and traders conduct their work on-the-go.
In a time of ubiquitous mobile and web apps that are intelligent, well designed and fast – both retail and institutional investors will be forced to ask themselves, “why am I stuck with slow, poorly-designed software and tools or dependent on brokers to conduct transactions?”
We are seeing a democratization of investing brought on by mobile, artificial intelligence, and abundant data . There is clear frustration with the cost, lack of usability, and encyclopaedic nature of existing financial services, particularly and we believe this is about to change in the upcoming horizon. Another related trend is automation. The next few years will see trading move to robo-advisors. Individuals will be empowered with tools that have so far been reserved for institutions.
To start, 2016 will be the year of affordable professional-grade market data on the device of your choice. What we’re witnessing is an immense demand from finance professionals for a mobile-first solution. As mobile guys, we get that, and we’re excited for the next wave of mobile app converts who finally discover that they don’t need to be tethered to a terminal in order to access fundamental analysis of public companies.
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