I am delighted to welcome Stephane Dubois founder and CEO of Xignite on the show to take a deep-dive into APIs which are not only the very Lego building blocks of Fintech but also set to become even more important with forthcoming legislation around opening up banking data.
I also share some exciting developments in making the London Fintech Podcast more interactive – for now exclusively available only in the podcast 😉
Xignite is a decade-old company, focuses on market data, has just raised $20m in a Series C round and is one of the leading providers of financial APIS in the world with more than 1000 clients in over 50 countries and serve a staggering 60 billion API calls a month. They anticipate doing over 1 trillion API calls in the first half of 2016 alone.
So what are all the facets to APIs – why is something so tecchie of such importance?
You will have all heard of APIs but whether you know comparatively little or if you live knee deep in them all day I’m sure you’ll find plenty of angles of interest in Stephane’s long experience, clear metaphors and views of where they are going over the next decade.
In this show we discuss, amongst much more:– Stephane’s journey from Brittany to Silicon Valley to today
– how Xignite came about – from failure in wealth management to solving an essential problem in wealth management software – the provision of market-data
– how the leaders of business revolutions – whether in ways of working or in APIs – can take over a decade to ripple widely
– “the technical foundation for APIs were laid down in the late 90s”
– the evolution of the web as having been layers of technology building upon prior layers of technology
– how businesses work with this evolving computing ecosystem
– what is, in essence, an API? The meal analogy. APIs as services.
– “real time data is the meal that’s really hard to cook”
– does the cloud “exist”? The cloud as a utility
– the vital role of the cloud in scalability; “when we say the cloud we generally mean the public cloud; and when we say the public cloud we generally mean Amazon as they are 10x bigger than everybody else combined”
– comparison of the Amazon cloud with an operating system they use
– “to go from 500bn to 1trn we just turn a few knobs”; “the more we buy the cheaper it gets”
– sourcing the data from non-cloud sources and putting it into the cloud
– the story of API supermarkets and why they didn’t catch on
– $25bn p.a. is spent globally on market data
– the main factor in adoption of APIs – what makes one better than another
– latency issues with APIs
– “APIs are everywhere” – all data going to mobile phones is via APIs, the internet of things is all about APIs
– APIs as a simple way of communicating
– what do APIs enable? What parts of the Fintech Revolution would not exist if APIs hadn’t been created
– “APIs enable customer satisfaction” – the vital point that as APIs (from another angle) mean that a lot of development effort i avoided/”outsourced” that developers have been increasingly able to focus a greater percentage of their time on customer-facing development – and thus producing the very customer-friendly faces of Fintech applications
– the banks conversely have been internally focused since 2008 due to the weight of regulation etc
– future developments in APIs over the next 5-10yrs
– how banks shoudl respond to this “old stack” of IT versus APIs
– Xignite’s new API development – cloud alerts
– how banks should respond to this “old stack” of IT versus APIs – the “old stack” and “new stack” model
– Xignite’s new API development – market data alerts API
– where Xignite is going in terms of client direction especially with respects to the challenge that FS incumbents face in moving into the 21stC
– the old chestnut of security of the cloud; “we have reached a tipping point … Amazon[‘s security] is way past anything the banks can do”; a mutualised infrastructure
– “the cloud is now safer than what the banks can do”
– “the cloud is more reliable than what the banks can do”
And much, much more 🙂