Intrinio is a St. Petersburg company focused on making financial data accessible and affordable to everyone from individuals to institutional investors. The company also houses software developers who are working on financial technology applications. We talked with CEO Rachel Carpenter.
St. Pete Catalyst: What were your company’s biggest accomplishments in 2018?
Carpenter: Intrinio’s user growth flourished in 2018 and we started to get significant traction in the institutional space. We saw our developer/startup program grow in a big way – we’re now supporting over 250 early stage fintech companies. We completed the Engage VC Program in Atlanta, receiving investment from companies like Goldman Sachs, Invesco, and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). We were also accepted into the Village Capital Fin-Data program (sponsored by PayPal and BNY Mellon) and ended up getting second place out of a cohort of 12 companies. That we are particularly proud of: being recognized as one of the top companies in the country in our space — financial data.
St. Pete Catalyst: What was a challenge the company faced in 2018 and what did you learn from it?
Carpenter: I hired really smart people early on — smarter than me, on purpose. We grew fast. Unfortunately, that means that we rapidly on-boarded over 300 types of financial data feeds to our platform and grew faster than we were really prepared for. We spent the entire summer investing in our infrastructure, building in QA [quality assurance], advanced ETL [extract, transform and load], and supporting systems. It was painful to slow down the creation of new products, but we learned that investing in building the industry’s best infrastructure was important. It enabled us to continue delivering quality service, and without slowing down sales it gave us a great launching pad for 2019.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are your goals for your company in 2019?
Carpenter: In 2019 we’re doubling down on our mission to be the engine powering developers building fintech innovations. We’ll be expanding and building upon our Startup Program, focusing on adding more valuable data feeds for our users, and starting to build a community around the innovations that are ‘Powered by Intrinio.’ Stay tuned — our clients are building game-changing products for the financial industry, and we can’t wait to show you what they build.
St. Pete Catalyst: What do you see for your business sector or industry in 2019?
Carpenter: There’s little doubt that we’re headed for a recessionary decline, in which case budgets get tightened and costs are cut across the board, leading fintech companies and financial services firms to search for more affordable resources hint, hint: affordable data! I think we’re past the blockchain hype cycle, and we’re farther behind on AI [artificial intelligence] than we think. I believe the most untapped frontier within financial services is VR [virtual reality], something companies like Goldman have shown signs of investing in.
St. Pete Catalyst: What business insight (advice or a tip) can you share with readers?
Carpenter: We started doing ‘Show and Tell’ on Fridays recently, the brainchild of one of my senior developers. It’s a wonderful, light-hearted, fun way to end the week allowing each member of the team to show something they’re proud of. Our customer support staff gets to see how the sausage is made and look at live code, and our developers get a peek into new clients, use cases and testimonials from our customers. It builds camaraderie, communication across teams, and allows us to acknowledge and celebrate our wins in an interactive way.
St. Pete Catalyst: What’s your morning ritual?
Carpenter: Four shots of espresso from my new DeLonghi and sprinting out the door. I don’t like to pretend I have some fancy green smoothie and do an hour of yoga. I do have mornings like that but most people are lying when they say that happens every day and I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations for your readers. Listening to Reuters TV morning updates while I get ready is a must, and if I’m not traveling for work I frequent Banyan Cafe and make sure to spend time checking in with my team first thing — they are my priority.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are you listening to?
Carpenter: Pardison Fontaine (for my workouts) and Billie Eilish (for everything!)
St. Pete Catalyst: What are you watching?
Carpenter: VICE News special reports are incredibly addictive, short form ways to get insight into developing, frequently unreported stories around the world. Recently I watched episodes on the California fires, DPRK, blockchain, Libya, and the untold stories of the financial crisis.
St. Pete Catalyst: What’s a must-read or must-listen for our readers?
Carpenter: “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.” It outlines the destruction that can happen when we blindly trust algorithms without understanding any of their underlying assumptions. This hit close to home as we work in the big data space at Intrinio, and I think it’s important to see both sides of a story.