Press Release: Nous secures US$600,000 in first financing round

Monday 20 October 2014, London, UK. For immediate release.

Financial sentiment data feed company Nous secures US$600,000

Start-up financial data company Nous, which crowdsources currency, stock indices, commodities and bitcoin data from its ‘Spark Profit’ virtual trading game, has raised over US$600,000 (£375,000) of external funding.

The investment is an important milestone and a validation of Nous’s business model, which to date has been entirely self-funded. Nous’s goal is to increase its Spark Profit user base to 250,000 users in the next six months.

Nous is using the funds raised to add new markets and social features to the Spark Profit application. All of the funding has been raised from private investors, predominantly senior finance and technology professionals at global investment banks.

Justin Short, CEO of Nous, says:

“This investment is fantastic news for Nous. All of our investors will contribute not just capital, but also their considerable industry experience. We now have even stronger connections to the forward thinking hedge-funds that can make the most of our unique data feeds.”

Nous Global Markets was founded in September 2012 by Justin Short and four other former high flying Merrill Lynch traders and technologists. Originally based in Tokyo it has since relocated to London.

In January 2014, Short and his colleagues launched their free-to-play virtual trading game – ‘Spark Profit’ – which enables players to predict currency and liquid instrument movements in return for cash prizes. Spark Profit has already 84,000 users in 200 separate countries, with several players expected to earn over a thousand dollars in annualized prize money through their accurate predictions.

Nous collects and processes the price prediction data, weighing in at 250,000 predictions per week, using its own proprietary software, and has created data feeds which it is marketing to hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions. It is in discussion with potential clients about pilot schemes to assess how Nous’ data can enhance their internal systems and strategies.

A key strength of Nous’s crowdsourced data is that it is generated without interpreting natural language responses, unlike some firms that analyze text such as comments on Twitter and Facebook to monitor consumer sentiment. Nous describes its product as “perfectly quantified intuition”.

The greater the player base, the higher the value of the data generated from its data feeds. The feeds give financial institutions the ability to understand – and even accurately anticipate – market price changes at multiple time scales, including much shorter ones than are served by traditional analysts.

Contacts

Justin Short / CEO, Nous Global Markets / +44 207 117 2942 / [email protected]

Neil Boom / MD, Gresham PR / +44 7866 805 108 / [email protected]

About Nous

Nous was founded in 2012 by Justin Short and four other former high flying Merrill Lynch traders and technologists, who saw an opportunity for professionals to better understand and predict financial markets, and to empower people around the world to discover their trading talents. It launched Spark Profit, the free-to-play virtual trading game, in January 2014.

www.nous.net

www.sparkprofit.com

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In The News: MyMobile

13 October 2014 | Saumya Nigam

Spark Profit was featured in an article on MyMobile, a popular Indian blog looking at mobile news and innovation.

mymobile.co.in/news/spark-profit-app-launches-indian-market/

Spark Profit will appeal to many people in India, whether it is someone playing on their commute, while minding their shop, in between household chores or just as a bit of fun at the end of a stressful day

Press Release: New free global sentiment indicators to boost players’ market returns

22 May 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tokyo-based financial data company Nous has added global sentiment indicators for all markets, to its free-to-play Spark Profit fantasy trading platform.

Spark Profit's free Global Sentiment Indicator (Example)

Spark Profit’s free Global Sentiment Indicator (Example)

Using an intuitive visual format, the sentiment indicator provides an additional source of information to help players when making predictions. It shows whether all users of the system are buyers or sellers of each instrument, in aggregate. Spark Profit players who make accurate predictions collect points that convert to cash prizes.

To activate the free sentiment indicator, users will need to make 15 predictions of their own. Uniquely, historical data is also shown, to help players learn when to follow the crowd – and when to lead it.

There are currently 29,000 Spark Profit users in 194 different countries, with around 3,000 additional users signing up each month. Players have earned rewards totalling US $30,000.

Spark Profit can be accessed via https://sparkprofit.com or downloaded from iTunes or Google Play.

Many Spark Profit players started out with no previous trading experience, but the best have developed original strategies that consistently outcompete their peers and outperform the markets.

Nous intends to monetise Spark Profit’s price prediction data by integrating it into a range of professional data feed products it will sell to hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions. A pilot international hedge fund is trialling feeds that Nous launched in February.

Justin Short, CEO of Nous, says: “The purpose of our new free sentiment indicator is to help market participants improve their trading strategies by showing them the average person’s viewpoint, from right now all the way back to Spark Profit’s launch in January. This tool also hints at the powerful insights available in our Spark Data products – the suite of feeds we supply to professional traders.

“In launching the global sentiment indicator we have been at pains to design a system that provides exclusive, actionable information without creating a systemic bias for our players. We hope existing and new users will use it to boost their returns.”

Contacts

Justin Short CEO Nous [email protected]

Neil Boom MD Gresham PR +44 7866 805 108 [email protected]

About Nous

Nous was founded in 2012 by Justin Short and four other former high flying Merrill Lynch traders and technologists, who saw an opportunity to help firms understand and predict financial markets, by empowering people around the world to discover and hone their natural trading talents.

It launched Spark Profit, the virtual trading game, in January 2014.

In The News: Inside Market Data

http://www.waterstechnology.com/inside-market-data/news/2345887/nous-expands-asset-classes-adds-feed-to-trading-game

Startup mobile trading application and data provider Nous has expanded the asset classes available for trading on its Spark Profit trading game — which the vendor uses to collect consumer investment predictions for use by institutional traders — and has begun making its Spark Feed datafeed available to all users of the trading app.

May 21 2014 | Max Bowie

The article covers the new markets and features added since the launch three months prior, and goes into some of the motivations we had for adding a free global sentiment indicator to our Spark Profit application.