Alternative Data Firm M Science Wins Benzinga FinTech Award

M Science, the alternative data research provider first launched as Majestic Research, bested nine competitors in the ‘Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data’ category at the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards.

M Science, rejuvenated since its spinoff from ITG, received the top award over alternative data competitors Quandl (runnerup), Crux Informatics (runnerup), Dataminr and Ravenpack.  Other finalists were Croudify, Essentia Analytics, ExtractAlpha, Sequentum, and Stocksnips.

Visible Alpha won the overall award for best FinTech firm in 2016.

M Science has been expanding its coverage and adding additional datasets to the analytic overlay, M Data Viz, it launched in January 2018.  M Science has increased its analytic coverage to 166 stocks from 141 as of October 2017.  The firm is targeting to be close to 200 firms covered by year end.

Data offered by the firm includes semiconductor component sell in, video game data, wireless retail point of sale, phone number porting, inventory management, vehicle registration, casinos, global travel, weather, website registrar, hosting and building, consumer transaction and receipt data, among others.  In March, it launched mobile supply chain data providing SKU-level sales volume for over 50 global smartphone component manufacturers.

M Science is the rebranded offspring of alternative data pioneer Majestic Research, which was founded in 2002.  Majestic Research introduced the concept of selling primary research based on large commercial databases which Majestic typically licensed from suppliers on an exclusive basis.  Sectors covered include auto retail, casinos, consumer technology, cruise lines, eCommerce, and lodging.   Majestic added analysts to provide clients with insights based on the information, without buy/sell/hold recommendations.

The firm was sold to ITG in 2010 and disposed by ITG in a fire sale to Leucadia National in 2016.  The company is headed by CEO Michael Marrale, who joined ITG as head of its Research, Sales & Trading group in 2012 from RBC Capital Markets.

Our Take

The Benzinga win reflects M Science’s revitalization since its liberation from ITG. The firm has been returning to its roots as it rebuilds its offerings and staff.  Data is the centerpiece, along with its new analytic overlay, but analytic coverage remains a key component of its offering.  Although the firm is diversifying its customer base into the corporate sector, similar to competitors 7Park Data and Earnest Research, its core focus remains asset managers.