Howard Lindzon announced today that we partnered with Soren, Howard, Roger, et al, to get involved in Stocktwits. Howard calls it an angel round, which I suppose it is, though we also like to think about things strategically as to how this fits within the betaworks not-a-fund approach. This one has some really great people involved but also fits squarely in one of the two main areas that comprise our network - those applications or services that take unstructured data and structure it, in a way that provides value to a user, advertiser or publisher (or all three).
Our wholly unoriginal thought is that the world of “media” is combining, or becoming closer, with user content, to form a new kind of media. One of the implications of user content is that there is “data exhaust” that results therefrom - data that is, as a result of being user generated, definitionally unstructured.
Stocktwits takes financial related data - using Twitter today as the content production platform (continuing the march of Twitter from application to platform, as Scott Rafer once told me) but easily applied to many places - and structures it, by stock, user, reputation, etc., thereby adding value at multiple steps of the way, to multiple participants. Thus, using this new platform, a new form of content is created, which can be used in new ways. We believe there is alot of value in that model.
There are a bunch of other things in the betaworks network that take a similar approach - outside.in and Lookery are examples - so in our minds Stocktwitsis consistent, but really it’s a great group of people, which is why we jumped in when the chance opened.