This is a cross-post from our Foundry blog entry on our latest investment – in the microblogging company StockTwits. I’ve been working closely with Howard and Soren from the company as well as StockTwits investors Roger Ehrenberg and Tony Conrad as we’ve looked at the investment and worked on the financing. These guys are fantastic! For me it’s the chance to work with this team that’s the most exciting thing about today’s announcement. If you haven’t tried the service I’d encourage you to do so – there are links in the post below to grab the desktop client or directing you to the site. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Today StockTwits announced (release here) that it had raised a $3m Series B financing led by Foundry Group and returning investor True Ventures. For us, StockTwits represents a unique opportunity to leverage the increasingly active conversation taking place on (and off) the Twitter platform around stocks and markets. We’ve witnessed in other investments the power of 3rd party networks to drive the scale and reach of new businesses and we believe StockTwits represents a huge opportunity to harness the Twitter community’s ongoing conversation around stocks and investing.
If you’ve ever tagged a tweet with the $ tag or tweeted a stock symbol using that tag you’ve participated in the StockTwits conversation. StockTwits uses the familiar Twitter microblogging format (140 characters) and allows users to seamlessly cross-post from and to their Twitter stream. Users can tag their Twitter posts with the $ tag to be picked up in StockTwits, use the StockTwits web interface or download the StockTwits desktop for even greater functionality (we’d highly recommend the desktop client – you can get it here if you don’t already have it). Below is a screenshot of the desktop client to give you a sense of what’s available. This view can be customized to follow specific tickers or topics as they’re mentioned. You can also see StockTwitsTV on the right half of the desktop – look for more programming as we roll out additional content in the coming months on the StockTwits Network.
But can stock advice really be offered in 140 characters or less? The answer is a resounding yes. There is a large and extremely active conversation taking place in StockTwits (to get a sense of it click over to the StockTwits site and watch the dataflow). And large trading organizations are taking notice. The NASDAQ recently released an iPhone application that features StockTwits data (see the screenshot to the left). Look for other StockTwits integrations to be announced soon as the company uses this new round of funding to accelerate its pace of development as well as its work with partners. You’ll also see the company releasing additional features in its desktop client and on its site as well as rolling out new data features and the ability for users to create custom data feeds from the StockTwits datastore.
Of course great investments require great people. And we couldn’t be more excited about working with StockTwits founders Howard Linzdon (whom we’ve known for years) and Soren Macbeth. We’re joining Roger Ehrenberg of IA Capital Partners and Tony Conrad of True Ventures in this investment – two experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with whom we’re extremely pleased to be teaming up.
Look for more announcements about the company soon.