Visible Market Catches Wall Street’s Eye With Stock-Tracking App
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can have the experience of sliding in and out of large datasets,” Johnson says. “It uses the whole screen to communicate information and make navigating through deep sets of information more intuitive.”
Johnson brings a career’s worth of finance and technology experience to Visible Market. Early in her career, she worked on the Philadelphia Exchange and developed corporate structured derivatives for Merrill Lynch and UBS. The jobs gave her valuable experience across a wide range of asset classes, she says.
When the Internet started to take off in the early 1990s, Johnson thought the new platform might be ideally suited to singles in search of their soul mates, so she developed one of the first dating sites, called Web Personals, in her spare time. The site caught on quickly and was later acquired by Toronto-based LavaLife.
When the iPad hit the market nearly two decades later, Johnson had an epiphany much like the one she had back when she founded Web Personals. “Just like the Web was good for dating, I thought the iPad would be incredible for business intelligence,” she says. “It’s the quality of the screen, and the ability for it to be taken to meetings and used at home. The market has the Bloombergs and the Yahoos, but I didn’t think there was anything being done with visualization.”
Johnson says Visible Market plans to raise $2 million in venture funding in the fall. The company is building out the technology to include more types of data visualization, she says.
This summer, Visible Market was one of six companies selected to participate in the FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week mentorship program sponsored by Accenture and the New York City Investment Fund, an affiliate of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City. During the program, Johnson and other members of her startup team were counseled by executives from a dozen financial institutions, including Capital One, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. Johnson says the program provided “a most valuable set of contacts, insights, and understanding of exactly what we can do to position our company in the marketplace.”
More importantly, Johnson says, FinTech Innovation Lab convinced her that StockTouch is entering the market for financial information at just the right time. “People are demanding more data and transparency,” she says. “Every single bank said this would resonate far more with users than the old paradigm has.”