When the founders of a fast-growing Madison-based startup that collects “alternative” stock market data were in high school, computer coding was just a hobby.
But within a couple of years of graduation, twin brothers Chris and James Kardatzke used their knowledge, in February 2020, to launch Quiver Quantitative — a website that, in seeking to bridge the information gap between the Wall Street broker and the novice retail investor, has already registered 150,000 users, 60% of whom signed up in the past month, James said.
Alternative data is not within the conventional realm of what investors use to evaluate companies and stocks, Chris explained. Traditional data — such as company financial statements, news releases and government reports — can be hard to interpret without a background in finance or data analytics, he said, adding that accessing some datasets can cost thousands of dollars.
Instead, the startup’s website uses computer code to “scrape” stock data from across the web, and assemble it in a free online dashboard, James said. One dashboard depicts how members of the U.S. Senate trade stocks, while another displays the recipients of government contracts. Other dashboards include posts from Reddit and other social media sites.
Prior to launching, the UW-Madison graduates, both 21, knew that more people were using the internet than ever before, and that investment apps like Robinhood made it easy to learn stock trading (without paying any fees) at the click of a button.
James, who studied finance, and Chris, who studied math and statistics, wanted to ensure anyone could access and understand Quiver Quantitative’s datasets, which are free to those who register with the website.