Last week, social media analytics vendor, iSentium, announced the launch of its completely revamped iSENSE application on the Bloomberg terminal to enable investment professionals to access real-time market sentiment from Twitter.
New iSense Release
In October 2013, Bloomberg initially released the iSense application on its market data terminal developed by the social media analytics company, iSentium. The iSense app generated sentiment signals that are predictive of short and medium term price movements for over 2,500 US stocks. Users of the initial iSense app could view a stock chart with an overlay of bullish and bearish sentiment indicators.
However, last week, iSentium released its newest version of the iSense App which transforms over 50 million Twitter messages per hour into a real-time sentiment time series which can be viewed as a histogram alongside market prices. The new iSense App is effectively a sentiment search engine which provides investors with a quick way to judge the potential market impact of a tweet, a news article, or other buzz discussed on social media.
iSentium Chairman and CEO Gautham Sastri explained his company’s mission, “The amount of content today is of galactic proportion. The rate that people transmit information about themselves is exploding. The most valuable signals are the ones covered with the maximum amount of noise. Events don’t generate alpha, it’s the background of buzz that needs to be mined.”
Background on iSentium
Founded in 2008, Miami-based iSentium, LLC is a social media analytics provider which has developed an internet sentiment signal extraction system that continuously ingests market-related Twitter messages and generates sentiment signals that are predictive of short and medium term price movements of stocks, ETFs, commodities, and indices.
iSentium’s proprietary language-processing technology analyzes Tweets or other short messages with an extremely high degree of accuracy at rates exceeding 50 million messages per hour. iSentium provides access to its technology via an API, web-based application, or Bloomberg App to hedge funds, financial institutions, and other professional traders.
Since its initial launch on Bloomberg, iSentium has gained considerable traction with financial services clients, with over 60 institutions either paying for or testing iSentium’s iSense platform.
Recent Company Breakthoughs
Besides its recent new launch, iSentium has experienced a number of breakthroughs in its business. A few of these include:
Patents: In the past few years, iSentium has applied for and received a variety of patents around their technology processes. One of the broadest patents they have received is for the extraction of sentiment data from social media messages for publicly traded assets.
Venture Investment: In December 2013, iSentium closed a $1.3 mln investment round from a group of venture investors, including a few former Wall Street executives.
Expanding Staff: Since raising capital, iSentium has been adding depth to its management team by hiring a Director of Sales and Senior Vice President of Linguisitics. Rumor has it that the firm is near to landing an experienced Wall Street veteran to bolster its management ranks.
As we have mentioned recently, Wall Street’s interest in crowd sourcing, big data, and social media analytics has been growing at a rapid clip over the past eighteen months. We have heard from both data and analytics firms and from buy-side customers that this increased interest has started to translate into real business.
However, iSentium plays in a crowded space with competition coming from a number of firms like Social Market Analytics, Market Prophit, Eagle Alpha, and Social Alpha, to name just a few. Fortunately, iSentium’s unique technology (as reflected by their patents), their growing management depth, and their visibility on Bloomberg have all enabled the firm to gain traction in a crowded field. Consequently, we suspect that if iSentium can continue on its current course, it is positioned to be one of successful providers in the social media analytics business.