Databento: Bite-sized financial data for all

The company: Databento

Fintech startup Databento is on the cusp of disrupting traditional financial data providers by providing instant access to market data with a pay-as-you-go, utility-like model. Its platform serves any app, product, or team that uses market data, including trading firms, brokers, AI/ML analytics companies, and universities. Using a proprietary method to slice and price data, Databento allows customers to buy only the data they need in “bite-sized” pieces (like the food you’d pack in a bento box). This radical approach overhauls legacy industry practices like opaque pricing, burdensome annual licenses, and manual onboarding. 

Why you should pay attention 

CEO Christina Qi and her team (who have years of experience running high-frequency trading desks) astutely recognize that, although data is one of the fastest growing segments within fintech, incumbent providers are stuck in the past. They know firsthand the pains of spending months dealing with slow, costly data vendors in order to find, clean, and onboard new datasets. In just three years, they’ve built a next generation data platform and raised over $27.8M in funding. Soon, the platform will be ready for the 2,000+ companies that have signed up on Databento’s waitlist.  

The details 

In preparing to launch a self-service, on-demand market data platform, Databento has curated the financial industry’s best-quality data and built the technical architecture needed to deliver it at the fastest speeds with seamless scalability. By providing the same raw data sold by exchanges, but at a fraction of the costs — with flexible terms, transparent pricing, and no lockup period — Databento will help companies eliminate tens of thousands of dollars in upfront data expenses per dataset. 

Ideal for mission-critical applications such as order routing and risk management, Databento promises cutting edge performance and data integrity, with 99.99% uptime on real-time streaming data, nanosecond latencies, and automated onboarding. Its 1.4 petabytes of data spans 400,000+ tickers (eg. futures, FX, equities), is available in multiple formats, and is delivered direct from the source (the colocation facilities of each market) without any third-party data providers in between.

Why were obsessed 

We love Databento’s mission to democratize the financial industry by making data less intimidating and easier to understand. The team’s focus on helping even smaller customers and non-technical users to assess data’s accuracy and usefulness will undoubtedly make a positive impact. In building Databento with her co-founders, Christina always remembers a valuable insight that she learned when launching her own fund ten years ago: “A great way to vet a company is to see how they treat their lowest-paying client.”

Databento’s origin

A Chinese immigrant to the U.S., Christina infuses diverse life experiences into her leadership approach. She grew up on food stamps and won international piano competitions before making her way to MIT. There, she started a hedge fund (Domeyard LP) from her dorm with $1000 in savings, and was eventually trading $7 billion a day. During that experience, one of the mistakes she learned from was wasting millions of dollars on data and infrastructure because there was no pay-as-you-go option at the time. 

After finding financial success and making a name for herself in the industry, Christina took a step back from Wall Street a few years ago. She wanted to put her energy into a purpose-driven business rather than continue to invest her time into making billionaires richer. With the help of co-founder Luca Lin, she’s doing just that at Databento, while also giving back as co-chair of the board of Invest in Girls and more.

Get involved

Want to be part of the Databento rocketship? Check out the company’s job opportunities or sign up to be one of the first to know when its platform comes out of beta mode.