January 23, 2013
Quantopian Launches, Announces Funding

If your knowledge of the stock market has been shaped by Hollywood, your
understanding of Wall Street may be (mis)informed by films such as The Firm,
with its locked Caribbean closets and secret paper-shredding rooms. Reality and
fiction are often blurred when it comes to the financial world; and yet, there
are elements of the finance system that are actually still only accessible to
industry insiders and the “big firms” of Wall Street.

Boston-based Quantopian aims to pull back
that shroud of secrecy that cloaks Wall Street, especially within the
ever-growing realm of computerized trading.

The company launched its browser-based algorithmic trading platform out
of beta on Wednesday, aiming to shake up the financial world. Funded by Spark Capital and GETCO - a market making and high-speed trading company-Quantopian aspires to
provide the tools, services, and support community for creating and optimizing
trading algorithms in an open and transparent environment. The company has set
its sights on the lofty (and noble) goal of democratizing the world of
quantitative finance.

Founders John “Fawce” Fawcett and Jean Bredeche met while working
together at Tamale, the research
management solution provider previously founded by Fawcett. With a team of
ex-Tamale employees and some former HubSpotters, Quantopian has
created an easy to use platform for people to learn about, develop, and test
trading algorithms, which are the mysterious and complex code behind automated
stock trading.

In a press release, CEO Fawcett explained the need for a community of
finance hackers. "For way too long, Wall Street has kept quantitative
finance to itself by hoarding information and providing little transparency or
accountability.” He further states that Quantopian wants to grow a “community
by providing access to the data, infrastructure, and mentorship.”

Bredeche, Quantopian’s CTO added that they have streamlined what had
been a convoluted process, creating, “an easy-to-use environment that provides
instant feedback, so the development process is actually interesting

The company’s current goals are developing trading algorithm education,
accelerating innovation, and protecting the intellectual property of its users.
Additionally, Bredeche stated that he and Fawcett are “passionate about
building this out even further.”  Their future plans are laid out on
Quantopian’s website where a roadmap for the companies future includes a
monetized live trading service that allows users to trade their algorithmic
creations through brokerage accounts.

As they work towards an open source trading market, Quantopian’s grand
goal is to create a financial system where we never have to worry about
the Gordon Gecko’s of the world are playing with our hard-earned money.

Dennis Keohane is a teacher, journalist and contributor to VentureFizz.  You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.

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