StockTwits Buys Mobile App SparkFin to Extend Fintech Services

StockTwits, the Twitter-like social media platform for sharing stock market tips and ideas, has acquired San Diego’s SparkFin, a fintech mobile app for discovering and sharing stocks and other investment ideas.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The common denominator in both companies is Howard Lindzon, the Wall Street trader and hedge fund manager who founded StockTwits in San Diego in 2008. Lindzon led StockTwits as CEO until last year, and continues as chairman. Wall Street investors, traders, financial media, and others use StockTwits to share insights and banter about investment picks.

Ian Rosen, a former MarketWatch general manager and a co-founder of Even Financial, officially succeeded Lindzon as CEO last July, when StockTwits acknowledged that most of its operations had moved to New York.

Lindzon also was a co-founder and early investor in SparkFin through his Social Leverage fund, and SparkFin took office space in DeskHub, the co-working space that Lindzon established in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. SparkFin co-founder Jason Pang continues to work at DeskHub, and plans to join StockTwits in San Diego along with three other SparkFin employees.

StockTwits’ move to New York left just two of its employees in San Diego. Lindzon, who was living in Coronado, across the bay from downtown San Diego, is apparently spending most of his time nowadays in Arizona.

In an interview with Xconomy last April, Lindzon described SparkFin as part of a “constellation of mobile fintechs” for sharing information and ideas about trading stocks. At that time, Pang told me SparkFin was closing a $1.5 million seed round that included investments by Gotham Gal Ventures, Roger Ehrenberg, Math Venture Partners, and Anthemis Group.

A regulatory filing submitted two months later by the company, officially known as Spark Finance, shows that SparkFin had raised $575,000 of a planned $600,000 round.

Pang referred questions about SparkFin to Rosen, who didn’t respond to an e-mail query late yesterday.

With the SparkFin mobile app, users can create and share lists of stocks; they also can save lists created by others or that are generated by computerized trading data. SparkFin users can vote on their most popular investing list. The current favorite is “Where Millennials Spend their Money.”

In a statement earlier this week, StockTwits’ Rosen said StockTwits is “the largest social platform for investors and traders, and we are growing rapidly as more people take investing into their own hands.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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