In The Press: Inside Market Data

Nous Bows Crowd-Sourced Investor Sentiment Data

by Max Bowie. February 9 2014.

Startup trading application and data provider Nous will next week unveil a feed of crowd-sourced data aimed at banks and hedge funds that delivers a view of investor sentiment based on the trading decisions of investors using the vendor’s mobile app fantasy trading game.

This article talks about various aspect of our plans, including our belief that in the short term it is often human psychology that moves the markets, and that there is no comparable analysts recommendations for short-term market movements, only medium or long term ones.


In The Press: TechNode

SparkProfit invites everyone to make predictions on financial markets and rewards good ones with cash

By  on February 2, 2014

Spark Profit is a platform for users, being professionals or not,  to make predictions on financial markets and earn cash rewards. Those who are good at making predictions will receive weekly incomes.

Available on the Web, Android and iOS, Spark Profit is designed to fit into users’ spare time, according to Justin Short, CEO of — the Tokyo-based startup behind the service.

It’s risk free to make any predictions on Spark Profit. But the founders of the startup will take risks to keep the platform running and make profits. They will trade, with their own money, based on predictions made by users and reward good predictors with returns.

This business model is called ”crowd-sourced alpha” by the founders. Justin Short came up with this idea 4 years ago and has applied for a patent.

With 16-year experience in building automated trading systems for investment banks, Short and his four co-founders, who are also finance and IT professionals, are confident that they are able to “find the trading signal in the noise of the crowd”.

Currently only major currency prices, including Bitcoin prices, are available for users to make predictions on. More types of financial products will be added later. The service has attracted players from more than 70 countries in a trial period last year.

Incorporated in 2012, Nous. net has been self-funded so far and is looking for angel investment.

In The Press: e27

Real-time market trends prediction app Spark Profit is finally live after a year of playtesting. How will it fare?

You might not be a clairvoyant, but new free app Spark Profit developed by Tokyo-based startup might just be your thing. Dubbed by its CEO Justin Short as “totally free trading”, the platform pays its users real money for predicting market trends. Having been in beta throughout 2013, the app is finally live on iOS and Android devices.

In an official statement, claims that it has awarded “US$15,000 to players in 70 countries”. Short told e27, “We saw the potential to shake up the financial industry, provide an opportunity for people to learn new skills and earn additional incomes, all at the same time.”

The goal of playing with the real-time market prediction game app is to win points for making correct predictions, and avoid losing points for making bad predictions. After players hit a certain weekly target, the more points they earn, they more money they receive. Short said that some points are then carried over to the next week. He added, “We do not have stocks in the app right now, but they will be added.”

At the moment, the company uses PayPal to reward its users, but it plans to add Skrill and Bitcoin in the near future. In fact, Spark Profit added Bitcoin predictions in September 2013 to allow players variety when other financial markets are shut. He explained, “… Bitcoin is such an unusual financial instrument – people are still figuring out what the value of a bitcoin really should be. We hope to have as many people predicting Bitcoin as actually trading it!”

Short also sees a ”huge potential for people in developing countries” where going online is a new and fresh experience for many. In 2014, users can look forward to new market, social features and tools to help them analyse and improve predictions.

He was also quick to point out how Spark Profit is different from financial trading apps such as TradeHero and StockRadars. He said, “One key difference is the way we profit (and therefore pay our users) — by using our considerable financial experience to trade our own money.”

Interestingly, Nous’ profits come from what is known as a ‘crowd-sourced alpha’ business model, which uses players’ inputs to trade in real markets. He added, “This innovation ensures that players have no risk of loss because they do not need to pay or invest in the service.”

The risk does sound a tad excessive for a young startup, but seeing how the free app has made enough to award users with US$15,000, there must be some truth in it. In reality, Short has had 16 years of building automated trading systems for blue-chip investment banks, which helps him and his team identify good trading signals.

He added that most of these competitors “only seem to reward the top few players” while Spark Profit aims to pay everyone “who does sufficiently well”. In addition, the service unlocks new features with tutorials, so users actually get educated about what they’re supposed to be doing. was incorporated in 2012, and has five full-timers at the moment.

Press Release

For release no earlier than Wednesday 29th January 10:00 EST / 15:00 UKT / 23:00 SGT. launches Spark Profit, a free app that pays for predictions.

Tokyo-based has launched “Spark Profit”, a free app that rewards skilled predictors with weekly incomes. The user-friendly system was built for the whole world to “have a go” – it’s completely free, users need no experience and it is designed to fit into people’s spare time.

The company’s CEO, Justin Short, describes it as “totally free trading” due to its initial focus on financial markets. Despite the absence of personal risk, all skilled users will earn money. Short says that they have been testing and refining the system in a limited pre-release and have already awarded US $15,000 to players in 70 countries.

Spark Profit was released simultaneously for desktop browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices and is available at Players can currently make predictions about major currency and also Bitcoin prices, with additional financial markets and other domains to follow.

Nous’ profits come from a unique business model, which they call “crowd-sourced alpha”. They use the players’ inputs to make, and trade upon, their own predictions. This innovation ensures that players have no risk of loss because they do not need to pay or invest in the service.

Nous aims to discover, train and partner with the next generation of trading talent.

About Nous

Nous was founded in 2012 by five Finance and IT professionals each with up to 16 years’ blue-chip experience. Nous will also be demonstrating their new Spark Feed product at Finovate Europe in early February, and the company will appear as a finalist in the UK’s “Million Pound Startup” competition in late February.