Alternative Data Platform Thinknum Adds Web Traffic Data

By Sanford Bragg September 16, 2020

Thinknum Alternative Data, a leading source of web data, released a new dataset tracking web traffic. The firm has also been expanding international coverage since raising capital last year..

The proprietary new web traffic dataset tracks unique visitors and their engagement on company websites.  Thinknum says the data is collected from public web sources.  Coverage is over 10,000 public companies with 4 years of daily history.

Thinknum raised $11.6 million in a Series A funding in March 2019.  Besides the new web traffic dataset, it launched a knowledge graph tool in October 2019 and has increased its global coverage since the capital raise.  The company offers data on 167,000 public and private non-US companies, representing 37% of its total company coverage. UK coverage can be found here; Australian coverage here

Thinknum offers 35 datasets collected through web scraping and covers approximately 450,000 public and private companies. The platform focuses on organizing public data such as government contracts, product pricing data, store locations, as well as extensive social media data from sources such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  For many of the datasets, historical data goes back to 2015, depending on when Thinknum began collecting the data.

The new web traffic dataset is included in the firm’s flat fee of $16,800 per user per year.  The company also sells its datasets individually via API feeds. Pricing for API access varies by dataset. 

Thinknum says it has over 300 firms as clients.  It primarily serves hedge funds, but has been expanding sell side usage.  Eight of the top ten investment banks are reportedly clients, and the company has been expanding within equity research, sales/trading, and investment banking, as well as the asset management units of banks.  The company has also been adding corporates as clients. 

The company originated in 2014 as a financial model sharing site, similar in concept to GitHub which allows programmers to share open source code.  Co-founder Justin Zhen was previously a hedge fund analyst and co-founder Gregory Ugwi worked as a strategist at Goldman Sachs.  The firm pivoted its product focus in 2015 from model sharing to gathering alternative data because hedge fund clients were asking for alternative data inputs for their models.

Beginning in 2018, Thinknum hired journalists including a former Wall Street Journal reporter to develop media articles based on data collected on its platform.  In September 2018, the company began distributing a subset of its data through Citi’s capital markets portal, Velocity.

The firm is currently at 35 employees, primarily based in its NY office.  LinkedIn registrations have grown 50% over the past year.  The firm is currently recruiting for 5 full-time positions.

Our Take

Jumpshot was one of the most popular sources of web traffic data before its parent Avast shut it down earlier this year because of privacy concerns.  Avast’s anti-virus software was collecting user browsing activity which was the source for Jumpshot’s data.  Thinknum stresses that its web traffic data is collected from public sources. 

The new dataset, along with expanded domestic and international coverage, help justify Thinknum’s fee increase from $9,600 per user per year to $16,800.  Despite the price increase, Thinknum’s data remains one of the more affordable varieties of alternative data.

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