The TIE, a data startup whose Bloomberg Terminal-esque “SigDev” product has proliferated along with crypto’s institutional ascent, raised $9 million in a strategic Series A round that valued the New York company at $100 million.
The company, which CEO Joshua Frank said is profitable, has found a lucrative niche building digital asset research hubs that track prices and news headlines. It’s now preparing to turn the SigDev flagship into an all-encompassing crypto-trader workstation.
“We’re going to build a platform that powers the entire workflow of institutions,” Frank said in an interview with CoinDesk. “We want to be [the hub] from the time they get to the desk, to the time they leave.”
That vision would set SigDev and its 55-person team in almost direct competition with the financial landscape’s entrenched workspace leaders, like Bloomberg Launchpad. More specifically to digital assets, a number of data and news firms are eager to replicate Bloomberg Terminal’s success.
Making sense of crypto’s hectic alpha is the challenge, Frank said: Institutional investors can’t afford to spend their days hopping between dozens of Telegram channels, Twitter feeds and Discord servers – “it just doesn’t make sense.”
“In traditional capital markets there are consolidated platforms,” he said. “We think there's a massive opportunity” to build one for crypto “that helps institutions make smarter decisions.”
Those two worlds are mixing; for starters, in The TIE’s crypto-heavy but increasingly institutional capitalization table. Hudson River Trading, GoldenTree Asset Management, NYDIG, Gemini, Republic and other client-investors joined the round led by Blizzard. (CoinDesk is a SigDev client.)
Ava Labs President John Wu joined The TIE’s board, a press release said.
Frank said banks and hedge funds spend hundreds of millions a year on proprietary data streams that document traditional financial rails. Crypto’s institutionalization is set to divert ever more of that cash into specialist products.
Looking beyond funds
The TIE also plans to cater to builders, such as token projects. One new product, called Token Labs, analyzes marketing and social media trends to help founders determine the optimal press strategies.
Labs seeks to answer “things as granular as what day of the week should we be tweeting, what time of day, which influencers should we be working with, which publications should we be publishing in depending on what impact they have on social activity,” he said.
It pulls this data from social media and search engines, he said. Labs creates a “dashboard” for marketers to track even sentiment. Frank called it a “data incubation tool for go-to-market strategy.”
“A huge number of the top assets” already use this service, he said, “but it’s all been super quiet.” Avalanche is one such client, he added.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.