Nasdaq Cloud Data Service Provides Real-Time Data with Efficiency and Scale to Fintech Newcomer Unhedged

Executive Summary

Breaking into the competitive financial-data and research-management industry, fintech newcomer Unhedged, a platform for financial research, analysis, and collaboration, set out to deliver institutional-quality data and productivity tools that fit the needs of both individual consumers and professional investor enterprises. Delivering on their vision meant they needed to have the research depth to be able to compete against large, data and research platforms, and keep a cost-conscious mindset to stand out among more limited providers geared toward price-sensitive professionals and consumers.

These needs sent Unhedged on a search for a cloud-based, market-data solution that would deliver real-time data with the added benefits of efficiency, scale, and competitive pricing. Nasdaq Cloud Data Service, hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), met Unhedged’s requirements to launch their platform and position them for additional growth.

The Challenge

Unhedged requires real-time market data to deliver financial data, earnings, press releases, and news to its users, who rely on the platform to stay on top of the financial markets. While there are several options for real-time, market-data providers, Unhedged needed a complete solution that could provide a combination of comprehensive market coverage, low-latency, streaming-API data delivery, and efficient onboarding with API technology.

Unhedged set out to acquire real-time intraday last-sale data at a competitive price. Without it, they would have to offer either delayed last-sale data or significantly less reliable real-time market data representing a smaller slice of the overall trading landscape. This would have reduced their competitive market position as they entered the financial-data and research-management space.

"Unhedged consumes data from dozens of APIs and sources, and being able to work natively with Nasdaq in the cloud made our setup much simpler and straightforward."

- Chris Sommers, CEO, Unhedged

Why Nasdaq Cloud Data Service?

Nasdaq is uniquely positioned to offer comprehensive real-time market data owing to their strong position amongst the major exchanges. With Nasdaq equities and options trading, and reporting venues consistently representing the largest portion of U.S. market share, Unhedged knew the data quality was the strongest of the real-time last-sale offerings considered. With the introduction of Nasdaq Cloud Data Service in 2020, Nasdaq market data feeds were available in a cloud-API format ideally positioned for fintech companies such as Unhedged that are committed to a cloud infrastructure. And, in addition to exchange data, Nasdaq Cloud Data Service included the option of adding additional data feeds and reports across alternative data, trading information, and industry news with the added benefit of being available from a single source with less overhead costs to consider.

Nasdaq's introduction of Nasdaq Cloud Data Service into the marketplace provided the combination of everything Unhedged needed: broad and deep market data with ease of integration and delivery, as well as competitive pricing.

Solution Details

Unhedged is a young company that operates on the cloud. Without a cloud solution, they would have had to buy and add servers co-located near exchanges and then route that data back to their cloud infrastructure for broader distribution, creating additional overhead, operating costs, and management oversight. This additional overhead would have been a significant burden for the young startup. AWS made it very easy to set up a cloud presence and scale rapidly as needed with easy connection to other cloud-native platforms like Nasdaq Cloud Data Service. AWS services, such as content distribution, Amazon Route 53, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), made scalability, availability, and durability easy and simple for Unhedged.

“The integration to Nasdaq Cloud Data Service was very straightforward after getting real-time streaming data set up,” said Chris Sommers, Chief Executive Officer of Unhedged. “Unhedged consumes data from dozens of APIs and sources, and being able to work natively with Nasdaq in the cloud made our setup much simpler and straightforward. Combined with AWS’ cloud services, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, networking, and content distribution, setup and the potential for data expansion was made simple for our emerging company.”

"Nasdaq Cloud Data Service has improved the breadth and depth of our data coverage by over 10x with a minimal change to our infrastructure."

- Chris Sommers, CEO, Unhedged

The Result

Being able to implement in the cloud is dramatically simpler and more efficient. For Unhedged, it was also significantly more cost-effective – from both an operating-expenditure and a capital-expenditure perspective – as well as time-efficient, as they were able to get data live in their platform within a few weeks of signing an agreement.

With Nasdaq Cloud Data Service, Unhedged is able to consume broad, real-time market data at a competitive rate to deliver to their end users. “Nasdaq Cloud Data Service has improved the breadth and depth of our data coverage by over 10x with a minimal change to our infrastructure,” said Sommers. “Nasdaq offers the first cloud-based solution that can deliver robust market data without having to co-locate servers near exchanges, which affords a tremendous time, infrastructure and cost savings.”

Looking Ahead

As the emerging company grows, they look forward to expanding their use of Nasdaq Cloud Data Service to incorporate additional data and financial-industry offerings into their platform with the ease of quick provisioning through API access.


About the Customer

Unhedged is a financial-data and research-management platform that combines institutional-grade data with purpose-built workflow and productivity tools. Its platform has advanced features to search, discover, and curate information from a wide variety of sources, including major news sources, government agencies and databases, and social media. Unhedged was founded in June 2019 and is headquartered in Hays, Kansas.

About the Partner

Nasdaq Cloud Data Service (NCDS) provides a flexible and efficient delivery method for real-time exchange data and other financial information. Data is available through a suite of APIs, allowing for effortless integration from disparate sources and a dramatic reduction in time to market for customer-designed applications.

Published May 2021