VC Analyst Turned Entrepreneur Looks to Bring Sophisticated Stock Market Data to Individual Investors with Screener.co
Former venture capital analyst Lenny Grover left his gig at Waltham, MA-based Longworth Venture Partners to make a sustainable business out of a personal hobby: sophisticated stock trading.
No, he’s not working on yet another online trading platform, but is instead looking to the hot field of data and analytics to bring individual investors the information that big institutional investors, particularly hedge funds, have at their disposal when they make trades. It’s about bringing “Wall Street-caliber data and tools to Main Street,” Grover says.
Grover started developing the product, called Screener.co, in August while still at Longworth, left to work on Screener.co full-time in November, and late last month debuted the technology at the San Francisco entrepreneur conference Launch, put on by Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis.
Grover says the service is hitting a customer sweet spot in several ways. For one, it’s only charging $24.95 per month— about 1/100th of the cost of existing tools that provide similar sets of data to individual investors. (Actually, it doesn’t even cost that much until April 1; Screener is free in its beta period this month). Grover licensed the stock data from Thomson Reuters on a piecemeal basis, and he builds the actual calculations and analytical engine, which is why he can put out his product for so cheap. Grover likens this new piece-by-piece distribution of stock data to how iTunes broke up albums and allowed customers to buy individual songs. Supplying sophisticated stock information to individual investors is also a new market for Thomson Reuters, he says.
Grover, who studied computer science at Cornell and worked for Louisville, KY-based Chrysalis Ventures prior to Longworth, says he first saw the need for sophisticated stock data at the individual level after the markets tumbled in 2008.
“I had this in the back of my mind since March 2009 when I saw that the whole world was on sale,” he says. “And I didn’t have the tools to analyze stocks to figure out what the best investment opportunities were. I saw this need from the individual investor perspective.”
And his venture capital background played a part. “Even if you’re doing private investing, you’re looking at companies and valuations,” he says. “It informed a lot of the ways I built this tool.”
So what else makes Screener.co different from what’s out there? The service paints a much more complete picture of the global stock market than free tools like Google Finance or Yahoo! Finance, Grover says. They offer information on roughly 6,000 to 9,000 stocks, whereas Screener.co tracks data for … Next Page »