L'AGEFI: Monday, January 11th 2010
CFINANCIALS. Data on 6.9 million products covering all publicly available assets will be accessible at no charge.
A transparent world of finance. This is the ambition of Cfinancials, a startup based in Lausanne-Lutry. Its team of software developers has been working for just over three years on a service that could revolutionize the way the industry operates. It will offer the world's largest and most comprehensive online database, covering 99% of financial products offered to the public. The database includes products that are listed, traded over-the-counter, or negotiated by a financial company, and private investments.
The site will gradually open its database to the public. Currently Cfinancials.com offers information on standard securities such as bonds, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, structured products and options and even gives access to more specialized categories such as hedge funds, ABS/MBS (asset/mortgage-backed securities), credit derivatives (CDSs), and collateralised debt (CDOs). The data is obtained from recognized sources - Thomson Reuters, SIX Telekurs, Dow Jones News - or directly from private companies.
The selection of search categories just by clicking and the instant display of the number of results matching selected criteria represent a considerable advantage over existing tools. The system is capable of processing data for 6.9 million products, with 3.5 billion securities and prices updated on a daily basis. The site's objective is clear: it intends to become the Google of finance. The data that it provides is sometimes so specialized that it would currently be hard to find elsewhere, even with the use of fee-based sources.
Several banks have already tested the platform and have been very satisfied with the results. This circle should grow through presentations to French-speaking Swiss financial establishments that will take place early this year. These trials will be conducted before the full opening of the Cfinancials site. Figures on products will then be easily accessible at no cost. The site will offer raw data, without any form of analysis. This is an intentional choice: Cfinancials wishes to remain factual and not to offer comment.
Cfinancials intends to fund itself through advertising revenues. In its simplest form this will consist of online advertisements for new or upcoming products. There are then other more web-oriented possibilities. For example, providers can pay to have their products rank highly in searches, or to have direct links to their sites. The statistical data generated by the site's users could also be of considerable value to financial establishments. Furthermore, certain forms of analyses, such as correlations, comparisons and detailed fact sheets will be offered as premium services. However, unlike many other sites offering free access to financial data, Cfinancials’ sole objective is to provide an information platform and a useful tool.